FSU notes: Fisher frustrated by penalties

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The ACC issued a letter of reprimand and suspended an official from Saturday's Florida State win over Miami because of a flubbed call at the end of the first half, but Jimbo Fisher believes that was just the tip of the iceberg in a poorly officiated game.

Crew chief David Epperley was suspended Monday for ruling the first half over following an FSU offensive penalty, which would normally result in a 10-second run-off, but Fisher still had a timeout remaining, which would have negated the run-off.

As Miami's players dashed off the field, Fisher pleaded with officials to reconsider the call, which they eventually did. Dustin Hopkins then drilled a 46-yard field goal with 3 seconds remaining to give Florida State a 13-10 halftime lead.

"Luckily they got it right, and they listened," Fisher said.

But while the officials belatedly corrected that call, Fisher remains disgruntled about a number of other calls. Florida State was flagged for penalties 16 times in Saturday's game, though four were either offset or declined. Three of the penalties were for offensive pass interference, including one that negated a touchdown to Kelvin Benjamin.

Fisher said the contact on the play came as a result of Miami's defender jamming Benjamin, and he lamented that another flag was thrown on FSU cornerback Nick Waisome later in the game for similar contact.

"It made it hard to get in the rhythm of a game," Fisher said. "All of a sudden you're hitting plays and you're moving. Some calls, there were penalties there. But you hit things and -- it makes it hard to coach, because how do you tell your players how to play? What's a penalty and what's not a penalty?"

At one point in the game, Florida State had 12 penalties compared with just one for Miami, though those numbers evened some by game's end. In all, 23 flags were thrown.

Florida State's 53 enforced penalties this season are the third-most in the ACC, behind North Carolina and Virginia.

"I don't want to be an official," Fisher said. "They've got a tough job. But they have to do their job."

Rhodes ready: Cornerback Xavier Rhodes was a full participant in Monday's practice, running and jumping with no apparent lingering effects from an ankle injury he suffered against Miami on Saturday.

Rhodes left Saturday's game intermittently after suffering the injury, but he returned each time.

"It was something new every time," he said. "I had to keep going back out there and fighting through it."

Rhodes wasn't tested downfield often -- although Miami attacked freshman replacement Ronald Darby when Rhodes was on the sideline -- but he was critical in run support as the Hurricanes repeatedly looked for yards to the outside.

"They weren't running up inside because they couldn't handle us, so they were trying to get the edge," Fisher said. "The corners have to set the edge. That's part of being a big, physical corner that allows him to do that. … He was doing a nice job of that."

Rhodes finished with two tackles Saturday, including one for a loss, and had a pass break-up.

After the game, he admitted the ankle was sore, but he said there was virtually no chance he'd miss any time because of the injury.

"After a tough game, I feel a little worn out," Rhodes said. "But I'm going to be ready for next week, I can tell you that."

Defensive linemen Anthony McCloud and Cornellius Carradine, who both left Saturday's game at various points with undisclosed injuries, also were full participants in Monday's practice.

Change brewing: After Rashad Greene fumbled a punt for the third time this season Saturday, Fisher said he'll consider trying out alternatives at the position.

"We've had too many," Fisher said. "We see if he can catch it, and if not, we'd have to put somebody else in there."

Tyler Hunter and Darby figure to be the most likely candidates. Both have worked as punt returners this season, but Greene has accounted for 19 of FSU's 22 returns this year.