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“To finish tonight and get that victory was huge:” Norvell, FSU players talk win over Miami

FSU wraps up its conference slate undefeated in ACC play

Outlasting the Miami Hurricanes in a thriller, Florida State moved to 10-0 (8-0 ACC) on the season with its third straight win over its rival.

FSU went up 27-13 in the fourth quarter but an 85-yard touchdown toss from quarterback Emory Williams to receiver Jacolby George tightened things up to 27-20. Miami was driving with a chance to tie things up at the end of the game, but Jarrian Jones picked off Tyler Van Dyke (who replaced the injured Williams) to secure the victory for the Seminoles.

“Any great team that I’ve been around,” head coach Mike Norvell said after the win, “you have got to have that critical component — when times get tough, when things are challenging, when maybe it doesn’t go exactly like you can dig down deep, you have that grit, you have the confidence to be able to overcome and go get better and that’s what this team has done. And they’ve done it over the course of a season. It’s a great team, and it’s one that I’m honored to coach.”

After the win, Norvell, along with defensive back Akeem Dent, quarterback Jordan Travis, wide receiver Keon Coleman, linebacker Kalen DeLoach and running back Trey Benson, offered takeaways on Florida State’s performance and what it means to beat Miami three years in a row.

Full transcripts will be added when available.

Head coach Mike Norvell

MIKE NORVELL: Start off, you know, so proud of our team. What a big game. What a great atmosphere. Unbelievable with just our fan base. The energy that was in Doak Campbell Ell stadium tonight was remarkable.

Our players, we knew this game — I mean, you get to this game, rivalry game, we knew it could come down to literally one play. That’s what showed up tonight. Our guys, they just have continued to battle. There are plenty of mistakes made and things we have to get corrected, but in the moment of truth they just continued to respond.

That’s who are. That’s why we work the way we work and we challenge them the way we challenge them, so in those moments they’re going to be able to rise up and make the play that’s necessary and just continue to have each other’s back.

It’s a football team that loves each other and they work hard together. They challenge each other. They continued to push, you know, for that game.

I mean, it’s just so big for the program, so big for our fan base, the university, everybody involved. I’m just proud of these players. To be able to win the last three in this series is big. Continuing to build upon that. You know, to be able to finish up ACC play undefeated, ninth time in history we’ve been able to do that. That’s a big step.

Tonight, you know, said this a year ago, this is a special program. This is a special place. Unbelievable tradition, unbelievable legacy that we have to push and work to uphold.

But to be able to change the walls here is something that’s important. To be able to get back-to-back 10-win seasons, to be able to continue to elevate to that standard within our program is something that I’m proud of our players for.

They worked so hard and put in so much. Just really pleased with what they did and what they’ve done up to his point of the season. We got two more regular season games to go. Finishing up ACC play undefeated was something that was a big step for our program as well.

You know, it was a great game. Excited for the things that we’ve seen and just the way that our players continue to respond.

Q. So many players have played such a huge role on this team, what you guys have done the last four years. Was it kind of fitting for Jarrian to come up with the final interception?

MIKE NORVELL: Yeah, it was special. You know, he’s a young man that he’s worked very, very hard and just improving and has grown up so much on the field, so much off the field.

Just who he is as a man is something that I respect and I love him. He’s just a really special, special person. For him to be in that moment, to have the opportunity to seal the game, finish it like that, really proud of him.

You talk about guys, Kalen DeLoach was somebody that was special for us tonight. You know, talk about guys that have been here throughout journey as well. Kalen has been great all year. I think he’s playing at an elite level there at the linebacker position.

The impact he’s making on the game, he showed up big. Broke the rock there for us after the game, so very impactful in all the things that he’s doing. It was just a wonderful night to see those guys and see the joy on their faces being able to get that win, knowing what it means, especially with the journey we’ve been on.

That was definitely great for those guys that have been through the process and been through the journey.

Q. Staying with that theme, I was going to ask about DeLoach, but I’ll respond accordingly. Malcolm Ray had the pressure on the pick on the last play. For those guys that have stuck through this winning three in a row, 10-0, having everything in front of them, how important is it for that group especially?

MIKE NORVELL: It’s huge. You talk about this game. This game is going to be remembered forever. Every person that’s ever played in it, everybody that ever coached in it, they know the importance of this one.

To be able to — where we were four years ago and where it had been, to be able to come out and win the last three, I mean, just the continued progression, and this game it’s always going to be a battle. There is always going to be challenges. Always going to be adversity that shows up.

I think you see the maturity of the guys that have been through it. Whether they’re players that have been here for four, five years or guys that have been here for eight or nine months. We’ve all said yes. We have all said yes to a standard, an expectation. We’ve all said yes to continuing to push daily to get better and maximizing the opportunity that’s here.

You know, to see that, us play as a team, because it was all phases, offense, defense, special teams, everybody had to show up big in moments. Keon was huge with the big punt return and then the touchdown.

You know, I mean, I’ll tell you, Alex Mastromanno, I mean, I think he might have got a swing on the hammer there at some point, but he flipped the field for us. He really did a good job with being able to help us win some of that field position battle.

But then obviously offensively, defensively, the plays that were necessary. We gave up some things that we don’t ever want to really give up, and just got to finish a couple plays. Offensively, you know, there was some times we just kind of stubbed our toe.

That was a good defense, one that has definitely improved and playing with a lot of confidence in what they’re being asked to do. We had some missed opportunities that we get to grow from, but proud of this team and just all the guys.

Like I said, all the journeys, but really special for the ones that have been here throughout it. Definitely great to see Malcolm out there making an impactful play in that moment.

Q. The defensive performance in the second half, one play was pretty dominant. What went into that with effort and physicality, and even maybe some scheme adjustments in the second half?

MIKE NORVELL: Few adjustments. They did a good job coming in, you know, trying to mix up a couple different looks and things they were doing out of personnel groupings. I thought our guys adjusted well. I thought they played at a very high level.

Even the big touchdown they had, I mean, we got two guys in position. Just unfortunately didn’t — weren’t able to finish it in that moment.

You know, that’s part of this game. It was a great throw by Emory, and obviously George made a really nice catch and run there afterwards.

It’s every play. It’s a game of inches in this game. The passion, intensity, all things that go into that one, it’s big.

But to finish tonight and be able to get that victory was just like I said, it was huge.

Q. Mike, what was the message to the team in the locker room afterwards just knowing how many of these games you guys have played and come out victorious, and then also knowing there is still a lot to play for?

MIKE NORVELL: I mean, that’s what — you know, you sit there and you look at the way these games have been won, the emotional swings, the good, the bad.

There has been times we’ve had guys injured, times one side of the ball has performed well and the other one had to really respond throughout it.

But you see a team. You know, I mean, any great team that I’ve ever been around, you got to have that. You got to have that as a critical component. You know, when times get tough, when things are challenging, when maybe it doesn’t go exactly like you thought it would on a play or in a quarter or whatever that is, that you can just dig down deep, you have the grit, the confidence to be able to overcome and go get better.

That’s what this team has done, and they’ve done it over and over throughout the course of the season. They’ve played at a very high level. This is a great team. It’s one that I’m honored to be able to coach, and just excited for where we’re going as we continue to go through this journey.

Q. Kind of along those lines, I think the position you’re in, being Top 5 almost all year, feel like you often get team’s best shots? In this rivalry, too. What do you think it is about your team that it feels like time and time again this year they’ve responded when they get punched in the mouth?

MIKE NORVELL: Ultimately, that’s what this game is going to do. When you’re a top program, which we are, I mean, you’re not sneaking up on anybody. You’re going to get all that people have and it’s going to be challenging. That’s what I love about it.

You know, everything we do in our program starting in January academically, you know, the sacrifices our guys make socially, just who they are, to go out there and just to push to be their best, I mean, I say it all the time, this program is not for everybody, but when you see the commitment and the belief, the work ethic, just the relationships, you know, it’s what makes it special.

We’ve got an incredible group and they really care about each other. I think even to go back to Andrea’s question, that’s one of those components you can’t fake it. When you have guys that truly love each other and they’re willing to push and coaches, players, everybody involved, doesn’t mean you’re not going to have a difficult time or even adverse situations within the team, but you have the example. You build the trust.

You know, I’m so proud of our guys for what they’re willing to put in and obviously the position they’ve put us in.

Q. Coach, the team got Johnny Wilson and Keon Coleman back this week, and both made some huge plays down the stretch to give this offense the spark. What can you say about the significance of having those guys back healthy, not only for this game, but down the stretch the rest of the season?

MIKE NORVELL: Yeah, they’re great players. Obviously tremendous matchup issues for opposing defenses. It was good to see them get out there and work together, and obviously some of the plays that they made were monumental in this game.

Also Ja’Khi Douglas had a huge play there. Guy that had to step up a week ago when they were out. You see just a variety of guys that are ready for the opportunity. You know, some games you guys will have more, some games guys will have less. Everybody has to serve a role.

Everybody has to be ready when the moment calls upon them.

You know, once again, just in the run game there was some challenging things with just looks and numbers and things that we were seeing. You know, our guys just continued to battle. It was great seeing Trey being able to get out again and just proud of our guys.

Definitely a team effort, and whether it’s on one side of the ball or just collectively with all three phases.

Q. Mike, there have been a lot of really good teams, really good Florida State teams in that rivalry have suffered some heartbreaking losses to that program. Kind of looked there in the final couple minutes it was coming down to maybe a player or two. How did your team avoid a heartbreak to this program?

MIKE NORVELL: You know, it goes down to the training, the belief, the confidence. You know, with all the emotions and all that’s around you, can you focus on doing your job. This game, that’s what it should come down to, right?

Anybody that’s ever been a part. I’ve been around some rivalry games and obviously some — there is nothing, nothing like this game.

You know, we’re fortunate. We got two big ones, and the only ones I talk about before the season, before winter workouts. This is what it’s about. You want to be a part of games like this. This is why you come to Florida State, to be in an atmosphere like we got to be in.

It prepares you for all things that are ahead. This was a championship atmosphere, championship approach, all those things. When you play in a game like this, it takes it all.

Like I said, there has been a lot of teams that have come up short, but this is a very confident team. You know, when those moments arise they know what it takes because they put in the work.

Q. Coach, mentioned a little bit already, but talk about the special teams today. On the one hand you had the onside kick that didn’t workout, and Keon’s punt return and then Alex flipping the field for you guys.

MIKE NORVELL: Yeah, I thought our guys did a really good job in special teams. You know, we took a shot on the surprise onside. Unfortunately — and all credit to their player; made a really good play — we got a little bit bigger hop than we have had in our preparation, but he made a great play.

I was confident in how we would respond even in that situation if we didn’t get it. Something we had talked about, something we were prepared for. You know, but you see the way our guys — the work that’s been invested in special teams, you see how it’s carrying over on game day.

You know, you never know which unit it’s going to be, punt return, kick return, coverage units had to show up big.

There were some challenging situations. Alex was flipping the field, but coverage units have to get down there and be able to get them down.

I thought just the belief in that is something that also speaks to the culture. You know, we have a lot of great players that play on our special teams unit and some newcomers that I think are going to be wonderful players by what they put on display in those teams. Proud of our special teams group and was so very impactful for this game.

Q. Coach, you said you have coached in different rivalries. What makes this one special in your opinion?

MIKE NORVELL: I mean, that was a field full of very talented players, and when you take great talent, great ability, but the passion, the intensity, it’s 365 days, right, their fan base is gonna talk about it and our fan base going to talk about it. What do you want them to say? That’s the opportunity of we’ve had for the last three. It’s a pretty good feeling.

Obviously it’s something that you don’t just prepare for this game when it gets to this week. It’s everything that we do. There is a focus to make sure we’re going to put ourselves in the best position to go be able to win it.

Even doing that — we didn’t play our best game tonight, but made the plays necessary, right, to go win the game.

That’s going to show up in any championship-level game like this. I just was so proud of our guys for the composure they were able to have to go make the plays necessary at the end.

Q. Revisiting special teams, Alex was one of the guys that got to break the rock. One the few guys that got to tonight. How important is it that the team is recognizing what might be a smaller role is on the team? How important is it that the team is recognizing is his impact?

MIKE NORVELL: You know, every person, every player, you know, everybody matters. It’s easy to point to offense and defense, but when you feel and you know and you watch the special teams and the investment that goes in, our specialists do a great job. They work so very hard.

Ryan being a semifinalist for the Groza Award is something that — a lot of people doubted him, too. Alex has been so very consistent for us this year, and we needed him to show up big today. That happens from time to time.

Really good offense, and sometimes he didn’t get much work. When his number is called he has to be ready. Our team appreciates that. James Rosenberry, somebody I want to shoutout. Obviously he’s been outstanding in his

operation with his snaps.

Last week he was a player of the week for us in special teams because nobody talks about him. I’m glad nobody talks about him. You don’t want people to talk about your long snapper, but he does an outstanding job as well.

Just the things we ask our guys to do in the work and the time invested, to see that show up, I think it’s just a tribute to them.

Obviously Coach JP does a great job in the planning and continuing to build that for our guys. But it’s really big, and the appreciation within our team, I think it speaks to the culture once again.

Q. I think Jordan is the first quarterback, starting quarterback to go 3-0 against Miami in the history of this rivalry. Not his best passing day overall, but just the grit he showed, and also did you — in the moment can you hear like when the crowd starts chanting his name during a break, especially where he came from three or four years ago?

MIKE NORVELL: For me, I don’t usually hear some of those things. It’s special that they did. You know, I think when you see what Jordan Travis has meant to this program, and especially the path that he’s been on, you know, there has been ups and downs. He’s had to work, he’s had to believe, he’s had to grow throughout it, and he is a tremendous leader.

For him to finish up as a starting quarterback 3-0 against those guys, it’s big. You know, I’m so proud of him. He pours so much into this team and he cares so much, and at the end of the day, it’s all about getting the win. We were 100% on offense not turning the ball over, and we knew in a rivalry game that was going to be huge.

To see our guys be able to have that discipline and carry that over, that’s one of the things that I think doesn’t get mentioned enough, is these guys — you know, we have explosive players, we do. But they play a disciplined brand of football too, and I’m really proud of them for being able to do that.

Then obviously defensively the takeaway when we needed it. It was huge. Being able to seal the game there. Really proud of our guys.

Defensive back Akeem Dent

Q. Congratulations. Describe what it feels like to win games against those guys?

AKEEM DENT: I mean, it’s a feeling that you can’t buy. Three straight, especially for me being from down south. So three straight, yeah, I got stuff to talk about when I go back home. (Smiling.) Great for me.

Q. For how far you have come personally, guys have come in this class with you, to get three in a row over these guys, talk about the journey, the development through the last several years in this program for and you the rest of your classmates.

AKEEM DENT: I think the development, like trusting the process with a new coaching change, buying in to the new culture. Some people was culture shock, but buying in and staying to it, sticking to the script.

I feel like I always feel like Coach Norvell had a good script coming in; just had to play it out and wait until it finally complete.

Q. What did you see on the interception that sealed it?

AKEEM DENT: Oh, what I seen was, yeah, backyard football going to make a play. (Laughter.) No lie.

But overall, yeah, what I seen was, yeah, (indiscernible) had an out-cut, and I think they put the running back — yeah, they sent the running back or the third receiver up the middle. My boy Jarrian made the play, got us of the field. That’s what I seen.

Q. I think in the second half you guys blitzed on eight straight plays. Talk about the second half adjustment and the defense starting to play offense a little bit.

AKEEM DENT: I mean, you know, sometimes you just got to put pressure on them. I feel like it probably did get to a point where they was having too much space or being too comfortable in the pocket, so a lot of pressure going to bust the pipe, and I guess they bust they pipe, so...

Q. Assume you guys were expecting Van Dyke to start at quarterback.


Q. Did the game plan change at all? Did you have to change anything once you realized they were going with the freshman quarterback?

AKEEM DENT: No. We ain’t saying nothing. I mean, I seen he was on — they started the freshman like I think an hour before the game or like 30 minutes, so it was like too late to make any adjustments.

To me personally, they all play the same. It wasn’t really no drop off. Even when he got in fourth quarter he was trying to complete something, but it was still the same type of formations and situations, so...

Q. It’s probably hard to define, but what do you think it is about this team that seems like they kind of respond so well time and time again in those adverse situations when times are hard?

AKEEM DENT: Tour of duty. I mean, a lot of ya’ll might not know what tour of duty is, the spring workouts. You know, what ya’ll see, that just come from spring ball, summer work outs, you know, staying to it. They’ll throw us in the deep end and make us respond every day. That’s like the number one thing of the program, respond.

Q. Kind of going off that, can you talk about the onside kick? Did they talk to the defense in the locker room saying if he doesn’t get it we need you guys to hold and that drive force Miami to the field goal?

AKEEM DENT: The offside kick was money. I feel like me personally, the one pop pop a little too high, but it was money. It was right there. We could have — it was money, so I ain’t got nothing to say. I think we would’ve executed. Just a little high pop.

Q. I know it’s on the other side of the ball, but getting Keon and Johnny back and then watching Keon bust a lot of punt return, like what did those guys give you coming back and playing this week?

AKEEM DENT: They gave us back that offense that everybody know, so shoutout to them boys. They came back and did what we wanted them to do. As a defense we proud to have them boys back, and appreciate how they came back, so...

Q. What was the atmosphere like? Seemed like it was loud. How did it help you on defense throughout the night?

AKEEM DENT: Yeah, it was crazy. Like for running out the first time, it was like yeah. But one thing I will respect though, it was filled with our fans. It wasn’t like half and half. Our fans done for sure.

So just to see all the fans come support, third downs, everybody getting loud, you can’t beat that, yeah.

Q. You guys have done such a good job focusing on each week and yourselves. Now the finish line is getting close, 10-0, couple games left to get where you want to be. Can you start to taste it a little bit now or still taking the same approach?

AKEEM DENT: I don’t think nobody want to taste it right now. Just one game at a time, you know. Just one game. Like because once you start thinking too far down the line then you start — one game at a time. We taste this one.

We got to taste the next one.

Regardless of who the opponent is, we got to come out and play hard.

Q. We’ve talked all year about communication. How do you guys think did you in the communication aspect today?

AKEEM DENT: Communication was great today. I mean, it been great really the whole season, so great today. As in everybody know each other, we been around each other for three, four years, so everybody know the voice and the communication depending on how loud or not.

Q. I know you said you always believe in Coach Norvell’s script. What about Coach Fuller? What’s it been for you guys this year? Is it personnel with something with chemistry with the coaching staff? Other than the bust in the fourth quarter play, in the second half this season you guys are lights out.

AKEEM DENT: Same thing with Coach Fuller script. They came in together. Coach Fuller, everybody, the same thing. Everybody just had to dial in and believe. I think it’s a pretty solid little system he run.

You know, you got to believe first before you can do anything. Without believing going to always be mistakes.

Q. You’re going to be leaving after this year. You guys had a ton of recruits here today. Talk to any of those guys? What kind of things do you tell those guys on their visits?

AKEEM DENT: I mean, you know it’s home, man. You know where the feeling at. From when I came here it was a feeling more than the coaches or the commitment. It was like I just feel like I fit here. I know a lot them feel like they fit here, so other than that, I’m cool with a lot of recruits though, so I feel like the class that coming in going to be great. The DB class.

Quarterback Jordan Travis, wide receiver Keon Coleman, linebacker Kalen DeLoach

Q. Kalen and Jordan, what does it mean to win three in a row? And Keon, what was your first experience like in this rivalry game?

KALEN DeLOACH: I’m going to say for me, it was just going to mean a lot to me, go out in my last year with 3-0, go against these guys with the guys I got on the field definitely going to mean a lot to me, because these guys I work with every day, ride or die. I’m with these guys every day, so definitely going to mean a lot to me.

JORDAN TRAVIS: Yeah, I love winning football games at the end of the day. That’s the goal every week. Obviously going against Miami it’s a little bit different. Feeling is a little bit different. Emotions are a little bit different.

Yeah, like Kalen said, it’s my last year, too, so I mean, I love — I’m so happy I’m going out with a win against them boys. I’m not a fan of them at all. Yeah, very thankful.

KEON COLEMAN: I’m happy for them. Coming in here I didn’t really know much about the rivalry. I just knew it was two dominant programs in the country, so just coming out, being able to get a win and go 1-0 — well, 2-0. We played them when I was State, and I ain’t lose either.

But getting a win with those guys, sending them out on their last year was is a special moment for them. When it’s special for them it’s special for me.

Q. Jordan, did one of their players rip your chain?

JORDAN TRAVIS: Yes, ma’am.

Q. We saw that a little on TV. Can you take us through what happened there?

JORDAN TRAVIS: I don’t know. He was talking a lot the whole game. Yeah, snapped my chain and I had a couple words for him. That’s it. I got it back though.

Q. (Indiscernible.)

JORDAN TRAVIS: No, not at all.

Q. Kalen, the defense gave up 96 rush yards in the first half; second half only 35. What went behind the adjustment to defense made in the second half to step up and prevent that?

KALEN DeLOACH: You know, at halftime you got to make adjustments to what they do, so going to halftime knowing what they were giving us in the run game, knowing we had adjust certain fits. You know, just change things and then go out there — at the end of the day, go out there and play football.

You know, at the end of the day our job is to stop the run, as a defense stop the pass. Once we made those adjustments, like you say, it’s hard to get them yards.

Q. Jordan, we’ve seen games this season where the team has been piling on the points; the offense clicking from the jump. Then we’ve seen games like tonight where a little bit of a slower start and you’re able to battle for the win in the end. Ultimately the experience of playing in these different type of games and able to win different styles of games, how valuable will that be for what this group wants to accomplish down the line?

JORDAN TRAVIS: Yeah, I feel like every game — I was thinking about it I think it was yesterday. I feel like every game you learn a new like life experience, something that’s going to help you later on in life. Things are not always going to go your way at the end of the day. I mean, especially in a game like that, two teams that dislike each other a lot. Always going to be a lot of emotion. We had to learn how to handle that type of stuff.

I just feel like it shows the maturity of this team on how we grow every single week. You know, obviously being down

and coming back again, felt kind of like the LSU game. We just got to keep our foot on the gas. There were so many mistakes today we need to correct as an offense especially.

Once we get that right, this team will be rolling for sure.

Q. Questions for both Jordan and Keon. On the touchdown pass, I know it’s like a fade pattern into the end zone, but what goes into that play, the precision? Easy for me to say. And then the energy afterwards, momentum of that play?

JORDAN TRAVIS: Well when you have a guy like this it makes your job easy playing quarterback. You put ball up anywhere he’s going to go make a play. Just got to give him the chance.

Yeah, offensive line gave me time. Yeah, when you have a guy like this makes your job easy. Thankful for him for sure.

Q. Jordan, was there any trash talk when you were taking a knee?

JORDAN TRAVIS: Yeah, there was. I just wanted to take a knee and get it over with and go celebrate. Yeah, there was a lot.

Q. Kalen, question for you. I don’t know how steeped you are in this rivalry’s history, but been a lot of very good Florida State teams that have lost heartbreaking games to that program. How do you guys avoid that heartbreak when they got the ball back with a minute and a half left and they were driving on you? How did you guys finish off the game?

KALEN DeLOACH: The defense, we was on the sideline. We knew we were going to have to go out there and finish the game. We needed a stop. You know, just thankful that our defense got the opportunity to go out there and showcase what we’re capable of.

We build for those moments. We enjoy those moments. I feel like we made the most of those moments. Like he said, we’ll continue to grow, learn, and take advantage of it.

Q. Keon, talk about the punt return. Looked like you muffed one in the second half, and then the massive punt return to set up the touchdown later in the game.

KEON COLEMAN: Really just my team needed me to make a play, and I feel like I can do that once the ball get in my hands. I made a clean catch on it and just did what I do best. My blockers, they was blocking. I ain’t lying to

you. They was blocking. I just found a crease and kept running. Probably should have scored, but I didn’t see the punts.

It is what it is.

And the muffed one, just being more disciplined. I thought I seen one of our guys close enough so I tried to back away from it, but that was a stupid decision. Got to be more disciplined in that and avoid that heartache. That could have been devastating.

Q. For Jordan, you mentioned throughout the week how much you don’t like Miami. You know, growing up in South Florida as well, you mentioned winning, too at the same time. How deep does that rivalry go for you, someone who has played Florida State, been a fan of it, against a team you grew up in the area? How deep does this go for you?

JORDAN TRAVIS: Yeah, I mean, it’s really big for me. It’s big for my family. Going to my brother’s baseball games when I was ten years old Florida State versus Miami just hearing the fans and what they said to my brother always stuck with me.

The fans, I don’t know, the fans are not too kind, but, man, at the end of the day I’m thankful to be a Florida State Seminole, to go out and represent this university, go out with my teammates and compete week in and week out and just get better, have an opportunity to get better.

Miami came out to play today 100%. Those teams find a way to win. Fans came out and supported us today and that helped a lot, too. Yeah, what I said already. I’m not a fan of Miami at all, and I’ll say that for the rest of my life.

Q. Keon, when we first spoke to you you were so confident about coming to Florida State and everything was going to work out despite the fact there was so many play makers already here. How much is that confidence in Mike Norvell, the confidence, in yourself, and the quarterback sitting next to you?

KEON COLEMAN: Simple as that. So many play makers you don’t have to overdo your job. Just go out there be disciplined, disciplined route runner. Block and chase the ball. Sometimes you get caught because we have some good running backs. I got caught a lot, you know what I’m saying?

So that is the biggest adjustment, continue to play because at any moment it can break. I wasn’t worried about anything. I knew coming here putting my trust and Coach Norvell we was all going to do what we supposed to do and

win the game and get to that next level. I just be a around a lot of guys that was in that same position as me, and, you know, go out there with a lot of the lose. A lot of people going to say each week they got a lot of players. How they going to do this, how they going to do that. So just going out there every week and answering that question, that’s the challenge, and I love a challenge.

Q. For any of you, being the Top 5 team you’re probably going to get team’s best shots about every week. I feel like a lot of the last few weeks there have been moments that could have gone south had the other team had a chance or took advantage or took a lead and was in position to maybe take control. What do you think it is about this team that you’re at your best in the toughest, most adverse moments?

KEON COLEMAN: I’m going to go first. Like you said, we got a lot play makers and we put a lot of trust in our coaches and our coaches trust what we do and out ability, so, you know, like he said, the key word was had. They had. Ain’t going to keep it for long. We coming back for that.

Q. Two questions real quick. Jordan, did they explain to you how that wasn’t targeting?

JORDAN TRAVIS: No, they did not.

Q. Okay. And then you two guys, Kalen and Keon, talk about Jordan. You guys probably don’t realize this, he is the first FSU starting quarterback to go 3-0 against Miami in the history of the school. Talk about him and what he gives you guys.

KEON COLEMAN: Great, simple.

KALEN DeLOACH: He’s a dog. You see what he go through and the things he do throughout the week and come out there and play on Saturdays, it means a lot to him and a lot to me.

Like you said, 3-0. Just to stick with this guy through my whole process, I’m going to go battle with him any day, any day.

KEON COLEMAN: Yeah, again, numbers don’t lie. This dude has a lot of heart. You think some quarterbacks are soft. That’s not him. He’s going to go out there every day and compete. He’s going to go out there and show he’s resilient and bounce back from whatever loss he took.

For him it’s not a loss, it’s a lesson, and he learns the lesson pretty quick, so...

JORDAN TRAVIS: Thank you guys.

Q. Kalen, as one of the guys that has seen the rebuild of this program, what have these past two weeks been like in just seeing qualifying for the ACC Championship game and now getting third straight win over Miami. From where this program started out when you came here to now, what has it been like taking in all these two weeks?

KALEN DeLOACH: I’m just taking it in year by year, just learn a lesson each year and try to apply it to the next year. Like I say, going through my five years, it’s been a struggle, but you know, we got to a standpoint where we got to turn this thing around. We brought in a good group of guys. They came with a great mindset and they’re just willing to work. They bought into the program and they just continue to work.

And at some point things are going to go our way and I’m grateful for it to happen now.

Running back Trey Benson

Game notes from FSU’s win over Miami, via FSU Sports Info:

  • No. 4 Florida State improved to 10-0 overall and capped a perfect 8-0 ACC record with a 27-20 win against visiting Miami. With the win:FSU improved to 25-6 all-time when ranked No. 4 in the AP poll, including 15-1 at home and 7-0 overall this season.
  • FSU is now 154-29 all-time when ranked in the top 5, including 9-0 in 2023. FSU is 104-6 all-time against unranked opponents as a top-5 team, with 24 consecutive wins.
  • FSU head coach Mike Norvell improved to 22-5 in November as a head coach.
  • Florida State’s 10-0 start is the eighth in school history and first since 2014.
  • FSU completed its season a perfect 8-0 in ACC action for the 10th time and first since 2014.
  • Florida State has won three consecutive games against Miami and leads the series 13-7 since Miami joined the ACC prior to the 2004 season.
  • FSU’s 16-game win streak is the longest in the ACC and 3rd-longest active streak nationally entering Saturday. The 16-game streak is tied for the 3rd-longest in FSU history.
  • During its current win streak, Florida State has outscored its opponents 636-282.
  • FSU is one of six teams in the country that has not allowed 30 points in a game this season. At 10 games, the Noles have the longest active streak in the ACC and the 4th-longest in the country entering Saturday.
  • Florida State held Miami to 10-for-30 passing, the Noles 5th straight opponent under 50 percent completion percentage. FSU began Saturday tied with Ohio State for the longest active streak in the country, and it is FSU’s longest such streak since a 5-game stretch in 1998.
  • Miami led the ACC and was 15th nationally in completion percentage at 68.7 percent.
  • For the season, opponents are completing just 46.9 percent of passes against FSU’s defense.
  • Jordan Travis became the first player in FSU history with three wins as the starting quarterback against Miami. He was 19-for-31 for 265 yards and one touchdown, with no turnovers.
  • Travis has thrown at least one TD in 22 consecutive games, FSU’s longest stretch since 2013 Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston (27, 2013-14). He is tied with Winston for the 2nd-most passing touchdowns in school history with 65.
  • Travis passed Chris Rix for No. 2 on FSU’s career passing yards list and now has 8,622 yards as a Seminole. His 2,734 passing yards this year are tied with Rix for 17th on FSU’s single-season list.
  • Travis’s 205 completions are 18th on FSU’s single-season list. He is 3rd in school history with 631 for his career, 19 from tying No. 1 Chris Weinke.
  • FSU’s win was Travis’s 27th as the starting quarterback, breaking a tie with Winston for the 3rd-most in FSU history.
  • Travis is tied for 17th on FSU’s single-season list with 20 passing TDs this year.
  • Including 101 yards at Louisville in 2018, Travis is 14th in ACC history with 10,627 yards of total offense in his career.
  • Running back Trey Benson ran for 80 yards and a pair of touchdowns - from 5 and 38 yards. He has seven career multi-touchdown games, including four this year.
  • Benson is tied for 15th on FSU’s career rushing TD list with 19. His 10 rushing touchdowns this year are 18th in a season.
  • Benson had nine rushing touchdowns last season and is the sixth running back in program history with multiple seasons of at least nine rushing touchdowns, joining Greg Allen, Dalvin Cook, Warrick Dunn, Amp Lee, and Karlos Williams.
  • Keon Coleman began and ended a touchdown drive in the fourth quarter. Coleman had a 57-yard punt return - the 2nd-longest of his career - and caught a 6-yard touchdown pass to extend FSU’s lead to 27-13.
  • Coleman’s 10 receiving touchdowns are the most for a Seminole since Auden Tate also had 10 in 2017 and are tied for 13th in a season in FSU history. Coleman began Saturday as the ACC leader in TD catches.
  • Linebacker Kalen DeLoach led FSU with 10 tackles, 2.0 sacks, and 2.0 tackles for loss. Both sacks came on third down, including a pivotal stop in the first quarter, a 10-yard loss that ended with a missed 51-yard field goal.
  • DeLoach’s 10 tackles were a career high and the first double-digit tackle game for a Seminole this season. His 2.0 sacks were also a career-best, and it was the 4th time a Seminole had multiple sacks this season (Jared Verse vs. Virginia Tech and Wake Forest; Patrick Payton at Wake Forest).
  • DeLoach leads FSU with 7.0 sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss on the season. His 7.0 sacks are the most for a Seminole linebacker in records dating to 2000. DeLoach has at least 0.5 TFL in nine of 10 games this year.
  • DeLoach passed 200 career tackles in the game and enters the North Alabama game with 203. Verse had three tackles and now has 152 for his career.
  • Alex Mastromanno had four 50-yard punts Saturday - a 52-yarder downed at the Miami 2; a 55-yarder fair-caught at the Miami 18; a 51-yarder out of bounds at the Miami 5; and a 51-yarder downed at the Miami 16. He also added punts of 44, 44, and 46 yards.
  • Mastromanno has 17 punts of 50 or more yards this year, and 22 punts have been downed inside the 20-yard line. He entered Saturday 11th in the country with an average of 46.4 yards per punt.
  • Lou Groza Award semifinalist Ryan Fitzgerald improved to 13 for 14 on field goals this season and has made all 48 extra point attempts. He has 271 career points, 12th in FSU history.
  • Florida State’s starting offensive line has combined to start 198 games in their career. All five have started at least 30 games, with three - LG Casey Roddick (40), RG D’Mitri Emmanuel (48), and RT Jeremiah Byers (40) - starting at least 40 games.
  • Wide receiver Ja’Khi Douglas caught a 62-yard pass on Florida State’s opening drive of the second half. It was his 2nd-longest career catch and FSU’s 3rd-longest completion of the season.
  • Johnny Wilson returned from a two-game absence and led FSU with five catches for 82 yards.
  • Jarrian Jones intercepted Miami’s final pass. FSU has a takeaway in nine of 10 games, and Jones is the first Nole with two this year. He is tied with Greedy Vance for FSU’s active career interceptions lead with four.
  • Florida State scored 17 consecutive points and has a +17 run in each game this year. It was the Noles’ 9th run of 17-0 or better.
  • The U.S. Special Operations Command Para-Commandos performed a pre-game jump to celebrate Veterans Day.
  • Starting left tackle Darius Washington and DeLoach carried the American Flag and Florida State flags, respectively, onto the field.