Florida State coach Mike Norvell will spend part of his 40th birthday discussing the win over North Carolina with reporters on Monday. Coordinators Kenny Dillingham, Adam Fuller and John Papuchis will also discuss the game.
Norvell is pleased with the defense, said they were down in the number of personnel.
He liked the response of the Seminoles, bouncing back from a 10-0 deficit.
Norvell liked what Jordan Travis did as a passer, that he was decisive, as well as what he did with his legs.
Also reflects on third-down conversions and the big catches from veterans like Keyshawn Helton and Ontaria Wilson.
Norvell: “This was a clean game.” Notes the Seminoles limited penalties and turnovers but also the response within the game.
“It’s a great celebration in the locker room. You see the joy … They believe. You see it in their eyes.”
Norvell: The situational football is getting better.
Norvell: “It was fun watching the film.” There weren’t many negatives.
Coach gives a “shout out to the offensive line.” Mentions that there were just two TFLs. “That group has been battling. We haven’t had a lot of consistency in the lineup.” Also says it was good to see 11 guys play as one.
Robert Scott played his best game of the year, Darius Washington played well, Norvell said. Maurice Smith isn’t 100 percent but seemed to play well in Norvell’s view. He also praises Dillan Gibbons, had some plays where he “created some significant movement.”
Norvell said coaches haven’t changed much in coaching or philosophy on third downs. Praises fundamentals, technique and communication on offense and defense.
Norvell says he is excited about the win but then: “We can be a lot better.”
With Jordan Travis, Norvell discusses the talents he was born with but also sees him settling in with the game plan.
The bye week comes at a good time for helping guys recover from injuries. FSU will practice Tuesday and Wednesday but won’t hit as much as in a game week. “We’ll get good work in this week but we need bodies to heal.”
Norvell says Emmett Rice and Leonard Warner are progressing well and getting closer. No real timeframe offered for them to get back on the field.
He’s happy with the continued growth from Kevin Knowles at the slot corner, which has allowed Jammie Robinson to settle in at safety.
Norvell says Jordan Travis “has been very limited in practice.”
Norvell: “Fabien Lovett played one of his best games. He’s a great leader for us.”
With Jarrett Jackson out, FSU tested its defensive tackles. Malcolm Ray logged a number of snaps. Norvell said Jermaine Johnson and Keir Thomas also logged a large number of snaps.
When asked about defensive backs bouncing back after a bad play to then make a play, Norvell praises the group and mentions plays from Jarrian Jones and Jarvis Brownlee for how they have responded.
Norvell: “I’m glad to make it to another birthday.” Each day that you get to have an impact is meaningful, he said.
The season has “been an interesting ride.” He says it is an opportunity to respond. “I try to always be grateful for the position I’ve been put in.” Says he will celebrate it by working. Mentions he spent some time with family on Sunday and also watched the FSU soccer team play.
When asked about the run game and identity, he says the Seminoles were able to establish the run and were ahead on the chains but that they took what the defense has given them. What he liked is that even with limited passing attempts, they were efficient and explosive.
He smiles when asked about Treshaun Ward and mentions that he should not have gone out of bounds late in the game but then praises him for breaking tackles on the last drive where FSU was able to run out the clock.
Travis is becoming more of a veteran but is still a first-year starter in Dillingham’s view (presuming he’s referencing low number of total quarters played / starts under his belt). He likes Travis has a feel for the game, checks at the line, blocking assignments.
Dillingham said there was nothing special about scheme or game plan. Blocked well, executed well.
On third downs, players making plays. It’s not a scheme to get a guy wide open. Dillingham says a lot of third-and-7 success nationally is a quarterback scramble.
Dillingham says Ward is extremely competitive. Also mentions he was yelling into headset when Ward went out of bounds but a few plays later was yelling in celebration at Ward’s big late run. “That’s the sign of winning football.”
The OL is “banged up.” Dillingham said they need this week more than any other position group. He’s happy overall with how the offensive line has played.
Dillingham mentions FSU had no drops, caught every ball for the first time in his memory since this staff has been in Tallahassee.
Dillingham says he is happy with Travis’ growth and progress.
Good line from Dillingham: We get paid to score points, we get paid to win. But also says you have to enjoy the smile on the faces of players.
Dillingham: “We’re not where we want to be. But we’re getting better.”
Players deserve the moments. They haven’t had as many moments. But they will come through hard work.
Dillingham says the team should be able to watch this film and still see areas for improvement. If our guys keep working they are going to keep improving.
It was good to get some consistency in the back end. To see that show up against a good passing attack was good.
What is confidence and swagger? You’ve done the work to have the knowledge and feel you can make the play when the time comes.
Fuller said it is important to have a consistent group out on the field on Saturdays. But the injuries and limitations are what it may be just because you don’t know on Tuesday who may not be able to go because they are nursing injuries.
The interception was critical in the second quarter, as was the fourth-down stop by Kevin Knowles.
Fuller says the emphasis is always on third down. Sam Howell hurt them on the ground more than in the air. “We can be better but give him credit too.”
Lovett told Odell Haggins and said Malcolm Ray should start. It shows confidence in each other and the respect level. Ray played 20+ snaps. Lovett is playing really good football, he has made major impacts. Robert Cooper played a lot of snaps.
Travis Jay’s kick return to the 41 was a big spark.
Hands team was prepared well and lined up in the right spots for the onside kick. “When it mattered, we were able to get the ball back.”
As a group, Papuchis felt it was a solid day for the specialists.
Players like Jermaine Johnson and Keir Thomas understand that everyone benefits when the team has success. Individual goals can be a result of team success. Jermaine and Keir want to put their stamp on FSU football, Papuchis said.
Papuchis says the defensive front has been very consistent since Day 1. “It has been fun to coach them this year.”