Noles focused in South Florida

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- The weather is beautiful. The players are having a blast, and the Noles are all accounted for, focused and healthy, according to coach Jimbo Fisher after Day 1 of practice for the Discover Orange Bowl.

Fisher said he was worried about being off for four or five days and whether or not the players would be focused, but he said they executed very well in the first day of practice at Nova Southeastern University for MAC champs Northern Illinois.

"The kids were locked in and focused assignment-wise," Fisher said. "Very few missed assignments and good technique. It was a very good practice -- even better than I thought we practiced at home. I liked their attitude and what we did."

This was the equivalent of a "Monday" practice for the Noles, who were in shorts today. Fisher said they'll have some "good-on-good" work tomorrow and will have tough, physical practices this week. Fisher said none of his players are overlooking No. 15 Northern Illinois, despite the public perception doubting this year's BCS busters.

"Our kids are excited about winning the ACC for the first time in seven years and the first chance to win a BCS bowl game in 12," he said. "Our kids are happy about what they've accomplished and what they can do. You can't worry about your opponent and what people say about them. They're a quality opponent. They're a great opponent or they wouldn't be here."