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Florida State practice notebook: November 10

FSU faces another tough road challenge in NC State.

Don Juan Moore

Update, 11:27 AM

Head coach Mike Norvell spoke to the media today after practice as the Seminoles preparation for the Wolfpack continues. For Florida State, the way forward is consistent effort on a daily basis. Norvell was pleased with the effort on Tuesday. On practice, he said, “Good Tuesday. Really good energy today. Have to continue to push in every aspect.”

After back-to-back ugly losses, Florida State is now 2-5 with just 4 games left in the season. No matter how bad it gets, the team has to continue to push to get better. On where this team is at and how they deal with it, Norvell said, “We’ve earned where we are sitting right now, good or bad. A lot of guys are getting new opportunities. Guys who are older players who have been through are pushing themselves to a higher standard.”

2020 has been a mental challenge for everyone around the country. For football players, the game is already emotional, but adding on the stress of 2020 has made it a roller coaster of emotions this season. On the mental challenges of the season, Norvell said, “That’s part of every year. Really in college football today and social media, what they have to deal with is very challenging. Help them manage the good and bad. Be focused on the day that is in front of them.”

A lot of talk around the program has been about clearing the team of older players. But Norvell isn’t giving up on his older players. On never giving up on older players, he said, “There’s players who I have been around who have made those choices for themselves. If these guys will come out and give me everything that they have, they are going to get the same thing from me.”

Both Norvell and Adam Fuller raved about junior CB Asante Samuel Jr. yesterday. That praise for his leadership and effort continued today. Norvell sees Samuel as the perfect example for the rest of the team. “As a first-year staff, you look for that response. Asante has that in him. You look at the production he’s had this year and the improvement. He was a great player last year, but he has taken his game to a whole new level.”

Update, 11:41 AM

Running back Jashaun Corbin was the first player of the week to speak to the media. The ‘Noles have faced more adversity than they could’ve ever wanted this season. But the them for the entire year has been about response. On responding to adversity, Corbin said, “Just being able to handle good and bad adversity. When things go bad, we have to be able to handle that. Just being able to handle the highs and lows.”

After Jordan Travis left the game with injury, Chubba Purdy got the majority of the snaps in the second half. Corbin spoke on his development and what he saw from him in the second half. On Purdy, he said, “I didn’t know he was that athletic, when he tried to jump over the guy. That just shows the talent he has. He has a strong arm. I think him getting that playing time was big for him.”

Every team goes through adversity at some point, but not many teams have faced as much as Florida State this year. Corbin said that at some point, every team faces these types of moments. “Everybody has those types of moments. Everybody has to bond together. Eventually things will turn around.”

Update, 11:48 AM

We also heard from tight end Wyatt Rector this morning. Rector rushed in a tight end sneak for one of FSU’s two touchdowns on the night. Rector knew he was going to score as soon as he took the field. On the play call, he said, “I knew as soon as I went in that they were gonna call the play and I knew I would score because of the look from the defense.”

Rector has come a long ways as a football player the last couple years. In the summer, we heard from him that he once thought about quitting the sport. On the opportunity and culmination of that moment, he said, “It was just a blessing. In my mind, I shouldn’t be here. Based off my story and everything else. I am just a kid from Leesburg with a great opportunity to play at this great school.”

Rector has the most snaps of any Florida State player on special teams this year. We’ve seen him in nearly every phase of the special teams unit. Rector said that he really takes pride in special teams and wants to contribute in any way possible. On kickoff coverage, Rector said, “I hope every game that we get the opportunity to kick the ball off first. Running down there, it’s a great feeling. Setting the tone for the defense.”

Florida State Seminoles football, for the first time since its defeat against Miami-Florida Hurricanes in the second game of the season, is coming off a truly deflating performance — one that stood out in comparison to even the Seminoles let down the week prior vs. Louisville.

“To say that there were happy feelings around the facility- there weren’t,” head coach Mike Norvell said Monday. “I wasn’t happy. We got beat for all the reasons that have been mentioned. For us, it’s about our growth.”

“You’ve got to work through it. Not getting caught up in the emotion of it, focus on the play. You have to be confident in what you’ve trained yourself to do, your own skill set. Continue to develop that confidence.”

Up next is a NC State Wolfpack team coming off a near upset of Miami with an offense finding its groove and a defense that, while schematically is separate from Pitt, is been talented in its own right.

“Pretty drastically different from last week in terms of how they play defense. Their linebackers are going to fit aggressively. Their defensive line is talented. Their backers all play in unison,” offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham said yesterday.

We’ll be hearing from Norvell today, as well as offensive players and potentially coaches. You can follow along both in the comment section and on our Twitter, and in the meantime, drop any questions you have in the comments and we’ll try to get to them.