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Live updates: Norvell, coordinators preview UMass

Florida State coach Mike Norvell and the team’s coordinators will preview this weekend’s game against UMass on Saturday (noon on ACC Network). Below are updates from the coaches.

Mike Norvell

Coaches had a chance to get out and recruit during the bye week.

Norvell says the team had a good Sunday practice. Viewed it as a chance to continue to improve and an opportunity at what is ahead for the second half of the season. He’s mentioned “opportunity” and “growth” a few times in his opening statement.

Norvell: I see us getting better week in and week out. I like the direction we’re heading.

UMass is multiple defensively. They are a team that can run the football. We have to find a way to disrupt the quarterback. They are disciplined, don’t commit many penalties.

Norvell said the bye week gave the Seminoles time to evaluate some younger prospects. Mentions Ja’Khi Douglas, Zane Herring, Rod Orr and Bryson Estes as some true and redshirt freshmen who are improving as they get more reps. Also discusses Josh Farmer, Patrick Payton, George Wilson. Overall, he is seeing confidence as they make mistakes and progress. Omarion Cooper, Hunter Washington and Shyheim Brown have also shown improvement.

Norvell says “you see the confidence really building” with Jordan Travis. He’s seeking continued efficiency in passing game.

Norvell says recruits “see the progress” when asked what the past two games have done to solidify the commitments or help in pursuit of other prospects. “It was great to be able to get out into the high schools.”

Norvell said he was on a plane recruiting Wednesday afternoon. He did games each night through Saturday, sometimes multiple games. “It’s important to me that we have that presence.” Coaches were able to get out on the road the Friday night before Notre Dame game, but the bye week presented an extended opportunity for coaches to recruit the state.

Norvell asked where the Seminoles have made the most growth: He says FSU is a more disciplined team. Fewer missed assignments, penalties, turnovers.

Norvell asked about three rivalry games in the second half of the schedule. He says he promises FSU is not looking past UMass. The team has learned life lessons through learning to focus and hard work on the game ahead. Doesn’t want players to look that far ahead.

Norvell asked about having patience but also seeing progress from first-year starters on defense like Kalen DeLoach, DJ Lundy and others. Continued repetition, good and bad results, can help build confidence. Adds that Amari Gainer played his best game at UNC, seeing his “confidence continue to emerge.”

Kenny Dillingham

Dillingham reflects on the first half of the season. Similar to Norvell, he mentions inconsistencies. He sees the improvement the past few weeks as well as 11 guys doing what their job was on that play.

He says the Seminoles are playing “cleaner.”

Dillingham said the recruiting opportunity to see prospects in a live game was valuable. It’s different from evaluating a prospect in a camp setting.

Kind of funny, but Dillingham said he is given a list of prospects in a high school game but often doesn’t pay it much attention. He wants to see prospects stand out and be wowed by them and think he doesn’t want to play that guy (at the next level). The goal is to get those guys and he calls them difference makers.

Dillingham is asked what he wants to see coming off a bye week, and says it’s pretty simple: Play hard.

Question about Treshaun Ward, Dillingham praises him but re-states a frequent line about Ward and that he’s very competitive. Jokes that he’s a guy you have to tell him not to block a defender into the water cooler.

Adam Fuller

Fuller says he saw some good building blocks in the first half as well as moments he would like to have back.

When you see really good defenses around the country, it’s usually because guys have played together on the field with frequency.

Fuller says some consistency on defense has been achieved because the team is healthier, players have returned from injuries.

With DJ Lundy, Fuller said he has picked up the defense and understands responsibilities well. He does mention Fuller played a little slower against UNC. Praises Amari Gainer for playing well against the Tar Heels.

Fuller said FSU has had growth in the secondary, mentions better technique and consistency.

John Papuchis

He has seen a number of offenses try to move protection or the run game away from Jermaine Johnson. The coaches have tried to be creative in moving him around, make 1-on-1 matchups where he can capitalize.

Papuchis says he knows Johnson is gathering attention but says he is “super grounded.”

Bye week was a good opportunity for young guys to gain experience. Says he has seen progress from Payton and Wilson. Notes Wilson has natural pass-rush abilities. Thinks both will take a step forward as they get more time in the weight room with coach Josh Storms.

Similar to the other coaches, Papuchis said the response from high school coaches was positive as they were out visiting schools last week.