After Florida State's narrower-than-expected win over Oklahoma State, defensive leaders told the media that practices leading up to the game had not gone that well, that players could not expect to suddenly play much better than they had practiced, and that habits needed to improve.
After FSU's win over the Citadel, defensive end Mario Edwards, Jr. said that practice had improved.
"It was definitely better," Edwards, Jr. said.
He spoke of the challenge young players face when they're not candidates for immediate playing time.
"For the young guys, even though you may be on scout team, or you may be behind a two or a three, that doesn't mean that you won't have your opportunity to play. You have to always be ready. You don't know when your number is going to be called, so you have to make sure you get mental reps as well as physical reps. As long as they stay in the playbook and know what to do, that's what they did a lot better this week."
Still, Jimbo Fisher's message to the team after the win focused on taking things to the next level.
"That we still haven't played our best game," Edwards, Jr. said when asked about Fisher's message to the team. "We've given up runs, penalties, we've let people score and we've still managed to pull off the win."
And Fisher warned the team about what can happen if they don't focus on the small details, and mentioned the 2012 road loss to N.C. State.
"He's basically telling us it's the little things. It's the little things that hurts us the most," Edward, Jr. said.
"It doesn't catch up with you until it catches up with you, meaning that it might not catch you this week, second week, third week, but when it catches up with you, it hurts. And he told us it doesn't want an N.C. State game that shocks us, like it was two years ago. He'd rather us stay in the lab, do what we need to do, play hard, practice hard, and not have it."
FSU has a bye week before facing Clemson, and FSU will need to continue to make strides in order to keep its grip on the Atlantic Division for the third-consecutive year.