The gloomy weather Wednesday morning foreshadowed the day the Seminoles would have.
With light rain and overcast skies throughout practice, Florida State played like the conditions. The offense during the first 11-on-11 period had a pre-snap penalty followed by a miscommunication with the snap, which forced Mike Norvell to throw out the 1s. Dropped balls, miscommunication, and emotional overflows became commonplace throughout the day.
The offense got in rhythm as practice progressed, completing passes on seven straight mock 3rd down plays. Norvell did not seem overly concerned during his media availability but did comment on the intensity of practice.
“There’s got to be controlled emotion...you can put on and just start talking but make sure that every play when that ball is snapped that it looks a certain way.
“Part of toughness is being disciplined in the moment.”
Three themes rose above the rest, even during a strange practice for the Seminoles.
As usual, Florida State took the field this morning, understanding that today’s practice would be viewed through the microscope of situational football. The early individual drills focused on forcing turnovers, staying disciplined, and causing chaos for opponents. During the first period of 11-on-11 work, Jordan Travis had 55 seconds to lead his team into a field goal and put points on the board.
As mentioned earlier, the drive sputtered.
What began with a promising start with Jordan Travis hitting Keon Coleman on a back shoulder throw turned into sloppy plays. Norvell had seen enough after a false start compounded with a fumbled snap resulted in the starters being replaced by the backups. Tate and company moved the ball well with a seam pass to Markeston Douglas, but ultimately, another botched snap forced Ryan Fitzgerald to come out for a field goal try.
Later in the day, both phases of the ball competed against each other during 3rd down work. The offense was clearly above the defense this time out.
Florida State completed a pass on seven straight plays as Travis’s patience paid off by constantly checking the ball down and gaining yards. Alex Atkins screamed for “urgency” before this practice session after the poor play earlier, and the players followed his command. The situational focus paid off last week as both teams excelled during that stage of the game, and hopefully, the Seminoles will build on their play against Syracuse.
With the health of Johnny Wilson in question, the Michigan State transfer will be even more vital than he already has been. #4 relishes the challenge. Coleman made a jaw-dropping play during all phases of the day today; whether it was 11-on-11, 2-point drills, or 7-on-7, Keon shined through the cloudy day.
His two-point conversion reception was the most impressive on the day — Jordan Travis rolled out right and needed some to bail him out with pressure barring down. Travis followed the philosophy of hoping Coleman could make a play, and he did high, pointing the ball and catching it over two defenders. During scout team work, like last week, every pass seemed to end up in the end zone. Those trying to cover the receiver did not stand a chance as every time they looked up, Coleman was 5 yards past them and closing in on another gorgeous deep ball Travis threw. If today was any indication, Coleman looks up to the challenge of being Seminole offense's focal point Saturday.
The Seminoles may need a player to step up with Wilson’s health in question, and the freshman seems ready to take charge. After producing an up-and-down fall camp, Williams appears to be hitting his stride. He made appearances in both the Clemson and Virginia Tech games, and the coaching staff seems to trust him with each passing day.
On practice Wednesday, he used his massive frame to win pass interference calls and come down with contested catches. Mike Norvell, along with the rest of the staff, are catching on to the increase in performance.
“You can see him playing faster and playing more confident because he’s learning about what to do and not his physical condition, and you are starting to see the talent really show up.”
Look for the Fort Lauderdale first-year player to continue to receive playing time and make plays when out on the field as the season rolls along.
That is all for practice this week, as the next time the Seminoles meet with the media will be after the game on Saturday.
Head Coach Mike Norvell
DB Akeem Dent
LB Kalen DeLoach
Video courtesy Warchant.com