The Florida State Seminoles kicked off Wednesday’s practice preparing for the University of Massachusettes this Saturday at home. The energy of the coaches seemed positive to start the day and carried throughout most of the morning. The players seemed focused and some good plays were made but also a lot of mistakes. Here are some notes and observations from today’s practice:
- There was only one tempo drill at the start of practice today ran by quarterback Jordan Travis throwing an incomplete pass to wide receiver Malik McClain into some very tight coverage by Jarvis Brownlee II. After that, the offense started heating up when good coverage forced Travis to scramble for five and then running back Treshaun Ward cut through a hole to get the first. Travis took off for another first down and then hit his receiver, Darion Williamson on an outside dig who dropped the pass. On the next play, Travis found some time and launched one deep to wide receiver Andrew Parchment. Parchment made a nice one-handed catch on the sideline being pulled and turned by defensive back Meiko Dotson drawing a pass interference penalty. The defense responded well to the free 15-yards given up and defensive back Jammie Robinson pushed wide receiver Jordan Young out of bounds for a short gain. On the next play, Travis had a big first-down run called back for holding. Defensive tackle Jarrett Jackson got his hand on the ball reaching over the pocket to tip a pass thrown to Ward incomplete. The last play ended in a hail mary attempt thrown into triple coverage that got broken up prompting defensive coordinator Adam Fuller to run up congratulating the three backs.
11 vs 11
- Defensive back Brendan Gant had a nice pass break up on Malik McClain in the air, Mclain couldn't get turned around fast enough.
- Travis found running back Lawrence Toafili wide-open 10-yards deep and would’ve scored had they not called the play dead after he passed the secondary.
- The defense showed major pressure to the left side but the offensive line held strong. Travis found Toafili again in the same spot of the field.
- On quarterback Chubba Purdy’s turn, the defense dominated. Runs were being blown up in the backfield, pressure from defensive lineman Shambre Jackson caused timing issues, although Purdy was able to make a nicely timed pass to receiver Jordan Young.
- At the goal line, defensive end Jermaine Johnson II was able to burst through the center of the offensive line almost immediately. Travis, unable to escape, took the sack.
- Running back Jashaun Corbin had a big touchdown run from the 30 breaking it outside. Defensive back Shyheim Brown couldn't make it across the field in time to save the touchdown but the very next rep he diagnosed the play as the same one and got there for the stop. Afterward, he was laughing, “Hahaha I got you this time!” and patted Corbin on the helmet.
- Linebacker D.J. Lundy showed some force shooting a gap to blow up running back D.J. Williams in the backfield. Later in 7 on 7, he diagnosed a pass to the flats pre-snap and honed in on the scout team wide receiver. He was able to get his hands on the receiver for a shove out of bounds on the sidelines.
There was definitely some camaraderie showing on the special teams unit and really throughout the team overall. Defensive back Travis Jay on kick return drills ran through the coverage and when he got to the kicker they had a playful exchange like he was going to tackle him and then Jay spun the ball on the ground with a little bit of style for the next rep. Later on, Keyshawn Helton was directing two younger receivers bunched in a three-man set on what appeared to be what route they were running and which coverage he was seeing.
1 vs 1
- Wide receiver Darion Williamson put a nice juke move on defensive back Omarion Cooper and McKenzie Milton found him wide open.
- Williamson made 90% of his catches in this drill although he had a bad drop in the red zone.
7 vs 7
- Purdy had a good completion to wide receiver Kentron Poitier who put a spin move on defensive back Brendan Gant, but also a pick from Jarques McClellion on a bad throw.
- Travis put the ball perfectly into McClain’s hands and Gant got a hand in there. The ball was fumbled but McClain was able to hold on. On the catch, McClain was spinning as the ball came over his shoulder to catch it. It was a good play by Gant and 9/10 times it would’ve been incomplete but the ball being thrown where it was and McClain’s ability to catch the bobble worked in the offense’s favor. Head Coach Mike Norvell ran over to praise McClain going back to the offensive side.
A couple of other things to note: There were a lot more penalties today than normal. I think I've only seen one practice so far with that much laundry coming from both sides of the ball. Pass interference, false starts, an ineligible receiver that would’ve gotten a touchdown called back. It wasn't the worst I’ve seen but noticeable. Norvell addressed the issue in his post-practice interview about things from practice carrying over to games which can be found here:
WATCH: FSU head coach Mike Norvell speaks on an up and down practice