Florida State coach Mike Norvell and the coordinators spoke to the media on Monday morning. Below are some updates:
Norvell: “I believe in who these kids are and what they’re about. But obviously that’s not occurring and we’re not doing that for 60 minutes to the level. So, yes, the first week, we lost a game I believe we should’ve won. Same thing happened Saturday night. First week, people are happy we played hard. Well, that’s going to be the standard. We’re going to play hard.”
Norvell: “I know how much it hurts whenever you come up short. I see it. I live it. That’s a part of these kids. They work extremely hard in this program and it’s also so disappointing and so heartbreaking when you see things that show up that are uncharacteristic in how we train or what we do. We have to learn to overcome that. I don’t care who you play. It does not matter.”
Norvell: No explosiveness in the offense, inconsistent in the pass game, too many drops. Moments in the run game. It was a tough night for us there offensively.
Nine penalties for 100 yards in the second half. That is extremely challenging for us to finish football games.
I thought our guys played hard. I thought our defensive front gave great effort.
Third and fourth-down situations were poor. Norvell said the conversion was 38 percent on both situations combined.
As a coaching staff we’ve got to continue to make sure we’re doing our part. We continue to evaluate all aspects of what we’re doing.
Norvell said the attitude Sunday was “appropriate.” Guys were disappointed but went to work.
“We have not played to the level that I believe we are capable of.”
Norvell says the team has to trust its fundamentals, go to work.
“In the grand scheme of things, I like the development of the program.”
Norvell: “Everything is a teachable moment.” What happened on the final play is something Norvell feels they as players and coaches will have to live with. Says there was a sense of shock among players at what happened in the moment.
Norvell said JSU showed on film that it was trying to force offenses to earn yards, preventing big pass plays downfield. He said it was often a case of where you had to take what the defense gave.
Norvell: “I do believe in the character and the heart of our kids.”
“We have to go out there and play, coach and execute” the way we can. Norvell says he has never had a feel-good loss but later admits that he felt they should have beaten Notre Dame.
Norvell says he doesn’t put much stock in the Seminoles having a short week with practice.
McKenzie Milton had some plays he would like to have back. He says with where the Seminoles were in regards to down and distance it wasn’t fun to be a quarterback.
Norvell not really specific about the return of Robert Scott and Maurice Smith. Thinks Ontaria Wilson will be back soon but does not clarify availability for Wake game.
Milton played well, he extended plays. A few busted plays, he extended.
Similar to Norvell: “Penalties. Can’t get penalties.”
On short-yardage situations: “We got to put our players in a better situation to succeed.”
On the usage of multiple tight ends: That’s something we’ve always been good at in the last four, five years (going back to Memphis). Likes the versatility and what it can bring near the goal line. Goes on to discuss what the wildcat brings to the table.
Dillingham said JSU was dropping eight often and forcing FSU to hit short passes in rhythm.
Dillingham comments that coaches know the offense can be efficient, mentions success they had against Notre Dame. When all 11 people were doing the right job, they averaged nearly 9 yards per play. (Presume he means against JSU but doesn’t specify this stat.)
Dillingham: “We have to live in a world of efficiency.”
On the final defensive play, the call, and feedback from the players: “Yeah, not great answers, but you know, just going back the last play, listen we didn’t want to be in that position as it was, but that’s how the game came down to it. I thought our guys played well, but at the end of the game, you know, clock’s rolling, it is a dead clock, you know we got four down on the field, it was like alright, we’re rushing the passer really well, so we kept four down rush, knew he would try to get the ball out, trying to get the corners back as far as we could, they get back to about 10, wanted to get them more, had a post on the overlap, it became more of a one-on-one play than I wanted it, wanted more of a two-on-one play but it happened. Got to make a tackle at the end and try to win the game there and didn’t. So disappointed on the result of that play for sure.”
On the clock (six seconds) impacting decision-making on final play call: “I went through that because it’s still a field goal game. You know when you’re trying to make the decision, they got a timeout left, so you’re always trying to make that decision in the heat [of the moment]. Okay. Is it going to be more of a chunk play with a timeout for a field goal to tie, right, or is it going to be a shot to the end zone. In my mind going through it, it’s like, okay, he can’t reach the end zone if we rush four, like that’s not happening, we’ll get there before he can get the ball up 60 yards. So you know let’s be four-man rush, get the pressure, back the guys up so they’ll see the ball thrown, overlap it with the safety and put yourself in position, get the ball down. That’s really what it came down to. So it went through my mind. Listen, can they get 30 or 40 and timeout it for a field goal and right in my mind, I’m like, I don’t think that’s what’s going to happen, right. So, right away I went to four-down rush, back them up, overlap post, let’s go play. That’s really what it came down to.”
On defense playing well for most part outside of final two drives: “Well I mean to start out on the second-to-last drive, I mean it’s 3rd-and-12 and we have a penalty. That’s a 2nd-and-20 and we have a lapse, an MA, on a ball that we’ve covered all night. Then we get them and we picked the ball off on a third down, we’re on the bench, and it’s an overview targeting call, so you know that was that drive. So were there breakdowns? Yeah, penalties and a crucial 2nd-and-20 lapse in judgment, and then a penalty on a third down where we picked the ball off to get off the field. So then we go back out, we stop them, score, now we come back on the field and a two minute drive. So that’s what it was, definitely, thought we had them stopped on numerous times that second-to-last last drive, and for whatever reason, we didn’t. So yeah disappointing the last two for sure, but up until then, I thought we played really solid football.”
Fuller asked if defensive backs should have been deeper on the snap on the last play. Caught in the moment, he thinks.
FSU works on two-minute, end-of-game, last-play scenarios frequently.
Fuller mentions mistakes, penalties, lapses in judgement on second- and third-and-long situations in final few drives. “Thought we had them stopped numerous times,” Fuller says of second to last drive.
On playing the ball in the air: Ball drills, taking away the ball, it’s corner 101.
Fuller: “Pass rush has been one of the bright spots here early on.”
On the Wake mesh point: Their mesh point is longer. The timing changes and impacts the defense. “There’s is a little bit unique because you don’t see it as much.”
Kevin Knowles has “been really clean in his performance. … The moment is not too big for Kevin.”
Linebacker Kalen DeLoach will get reps in practice but coaches will cut those in half as they know he will be out for the first half due to targeting.
On Wake QB Sam Hartman: Fuller sees he is tough, accurate and decisive. Wake has also put its identity out there on offense, what they do well in the run game and use the RPO as well as how they put receivers in space.
We have a ton of faith and confidence in Ryan (Fitzgerald). Papuchis said he felt the more difficult kick was the one in the fourth quarter of the Notre Dame game.
Alex (Mastromanno) can be a weapon for us. On the 65-yard punt, Papuchis notes it was a good job by DeLoach to down the ball at the 1-yard line.
Jermaine Johnson “plays super hard. He’s a gifted pass rusher. … He’s a more physical pass rusher than I think people realize.” Notes that Johnson is frustrated with the team’s start but has been committed in how he works and leads within the group.
Papuchis said he feels Keyshawn Helton is aggressive in his decision making as a returner but also wants the Seminoles to be more aggressive in blocking for him.