Florida State coach Mike Norvell discusses the loss at Clemson and previews Saturday’s game against NC State (4 p.m. on ACC Network).
Really pleased with the effort and the fight from the team.
Begins by saying they had three penalties for 15 yards going into the fourth quarter. Says he has some feelings. Wants to make sure the Seminoles play disciplined football.
Defense was put in some difficult positions. Overall, we had guys in position (to limit some big plays from Clemson).
On offense, Clemson did a good job of limiting the run game.
We have to continue to grow. We have to continue to get better. … We’re all hurting. We’re all upset about the outcome.
Norvell reflects in part about the eight games so far. He is happy to see FSU’s bounce back after the four losses in September. The team got knocked down and got back up. This team is going to continue to fight and will continue to get better.
Regarding officiating, Norvell says the league does a good job of responding when he has a question about a play. Again is politically correct and references them as judgement calls.
Norvell asked about the momentum swing and temptation to maybe call a defensive timeout. He also describes a call on Jordan Travis where refs said he had stepped out of bounds on the far sideline as the QB had tried to throw it away. Norvell said it was tough to see from the far sideline and to get a good review on the Jumbotron.
Norvell: The pre-snap penalties were tough for us to overcome.
When you go back and watch the film, there were some chances that the offense had. Norvell said there was some efficiency in the pass game, especially on early downs like the Travis throw to Lawrance Toafili.
The hidden yardage (on special teams) is something we emphasize a ton. Their punter was spraying it around. Wind was also a factor. Norvell wants the returners to go field the ball but No. 1 thing is possession of the ball. It was a factor in our field position. He does think FSU can be explosive in the return units.
Norvell asked about injuries coming out of the Clemson game. He says there are players who the coaching staff will evaluate throughout the course of the week.
Norvell says NC State is one of the top run defenses in the ACC.
Norvell said he liked how FSU players attacked practice on Sunday and were back in the weight room. He saw good energy and it’s a reflection of the competitive nature of players and the culture.
FSU has had five takeaways in the last two weeks. Norvell said the defense has been prepared for the opportunity. It’s something that was missing earlier in the year. Norvell says it will be needed in November, too.
He says Clemson does a good job boxing in mobile quarterbacks. Tigers used twist games along the defensive front to pin down Jordan Travis.
Clemson’s use of zone prevented Travis from running on third-and-long. Being behind the chains with penalties and missed assignments, it was a tough scenario.
Clemson’s versatility in terms of defensive looks in the box makes it complex for the line to communicate the blocking assignments.
Dillingham consistently emphasizing that FSU needs to stay out of difficult down-and-distance situations.
He calls Toafili’s catch and run a miraculous play that was big in the moment. The coaching staff had identified an opportunity that may be there if Clemson was in a certain man coverage and they moved Toafili around pre-snap with the intent to have the Tigers commit, communicate and adjust and make sure the play would work against the coverage.
I would say we are an explosive team. But the games we score a lot of points in, we have the explosiveness and consistency. On the road, you need to have a level of consistency.
Very few similarities on defense from NC State to Clemson. The Wolfpack play fast, hard and don’t have missed assignments. He calls them an “elite tackling team.”
Dillingham said Treshaun Ward has showed up and gone to work after tripping up on what could have been a big play at Clemson. I believe in him. One play is not going to define him.”
Akeem Dent played a lot of snaps, some due to ability and some due to his play. Mentions third down plays. But also sees room for improvement.
Fuller says Kevin Knowles’ coverage was tight. He says Knowles reacted in a good way. He said it was a bang-bang play.
Johnson’s drill work is showing up on tape. He’s taking what is being done in practice and made a big play in a critical situation.
Fuller gently suggests that Lundy’s penalty was a result of him pursuing a quarterback at the sideline and that the linebacker may have needed to back off on the hit. References a similar hit when FSU was on a return and Clemson also had a hit near/on sideline.
We’ve created some positive takeaways. That’s a positive and a result of training.
Fuller says NC State’s talent begins with quarterback but also notes they have big receivers and a talented tight end. He says Leary doesn’t turn it over often.
Malcolm Ray has given FSU significant reps. He’s playing with technique and doesn’t guess. Fuller praises Ray and Jarrett Jackson.
DJ Lundy had his most physical game. He’s said this often but the defensive line is the front porch of the defense.
Fuller does note there were too many missed tackles.
He tries to separate what the defense is doing well and sees improvement. There have been good performances, individually and as a team. “Yes, we are better.” But he is looking at the big picture and knows there needs to be improvement.
Fuller says his theory when forming a game plan is two-fold, what does FSU do well and then how does that pair up with what an opponent does well, how do you counter it. He says NC State likes to have Leary make decisions as the quarterback and he’s been accurate. Leary has completed 61 percent or more of his passes in every game except Miami (57 percent).
Papuchis is set to talk on Tuesday