Update, 11:22 AM
Florida State head coach Mike Norvell met with the media after their first practice of Clemson preparation today. Norvell has consistently emphasized the importance of finishing everything they do at a high level. He felt they did that in practice today. He said, “I thought our guys finished up well, and today was one of our better finishes that we had.”
FSU has consistently lost the field position battle over the last few games, for a multitude of reasons. If the Seminoles want to give themself chances in these last few games, that has to flip. On the poor field position, Norvell said, “That’s not ever ideal. We have to make sure that we truly treat each play as it’s own. We have to control what we can control, and play at the the highest level possible.”
The Seminoles have been one of the most aggressive teams in the entire country on fourth down. The ‘Noles haven’t been afraid to go for it on any part of the field. On the fourth down strategy, Norvell said, “We want to maximize every down that we have. If we feel that we are in a position to go for it and extend drives, we gotta understand those situations. We weren’t very good on third down on offense the other night and it hurt us.”
Florida State has one of the best teams in the country coming to Tallahassee on Saturday in the form of the Clemson Tigers. Clemson is also coming off a bye and one of their first regular season losses in 20+ games. Norvell knows the challenge posed in front of them. “They’re a great football team. Offense that is versatile. With Lawrence, he is a special talent. There’s not a whole lot of them that are like him out there. As good of a back as there is in the country.”
Sidney Williams and Jarvis Brownlee Jr. have been a couple of the young bright spots for FSU this season. On Williams, Norvell said, “He has come in and gotten better every day. Making an impact on special teams. His performance in practice has allowed himself to be in this position. He has shown a lot of improvement.” He also mentioned Brownlee has ‘established himself as the starting corner opposite Asante Samuel Jr.’
Update, 11:38 AM
FSU running back Jashaun Corbin was second to the podium this morning. Corbin had his best game as a Seminole in Raleigh and has been mentioned as an emerging leader on this team multiple times this week. Corbin mentioned that he’s really beginning to feel like himself again after going nearly two years without being tackled. “It feels good, it’s been a year, almost two years without being tackled. Making cuts, making reads, all the things a running back does. This year really helped.”
Corbin ripped off the first touchdown of the night in Raleigh, on a 4th and one. The TD came on a direct snap to the RB out of the wildcat. On the touchdown, Corbin said, “It was a great block, I made the safety miss, and the rest is history. All credit to my coaches and the guys blocking for me.” He also mentioned that Saturday was the most direct snaps he’s taken since Saturday.
Florida State enters Saturday’s matchup as 30+ point underdogs against Clemson. Corbin knows Clemson is a great football team, but he embraces the challenge and is still confident in going to battle with FSU. He said, “We love it, we love the challenge. Clemson is great team, but I like us to battle with anyone.”
Update, 11:48 AM
Freshman offensive lineman Thomas Shrader spoke to the media for the first time after making his first career start against the Wolfpack. Shrader had seen some time earlier in the season, but the first start gave him a week to prepare as a starter. On his first start, he said, “It was good, I just put my head down and worked all week. I was a little nervous but once it got going it started to feel like practice.”
Florida State’s starting offensive line composed of four redshirt or true freshman against NC State. That experience, individually and as a group, could go a long way for the Seminoles. On the young starting O-line, Shrader said, “Its great to get experience. We’re just going to keep working and keep improving. As we get older, we are going to get better.”
As a whole, FSU started six freshmen on the offense, including QB Chubba Purdy and RB/WR Ja’Khi Douglas. Despite the extremely young starting 11, Shrader and the offense went at their business as usual. “We just put our head down and work. We didn’t care that there were six freshman, we are going to try and get the job down.”
Shrader has seen time at tackle and guard throughout the fall and game time. This past week, he started at left guard. We’ve heard about cross training from Alex Atkins since he got to Florida State. This was another good example of what it can do. On cross-training, Shrader said, “It’s very important to know every position because if one guy goes down you can come in at any position.”
Florida State Seminoles football, again, is potentially facing a quarterback battle this season.
True to the word the coachingt gave in the preseason, the competition for reps has remained largely open throughout the year with FSU starting four quarterbacks for the first time since 1985.
The latest fight for reps has emerged with former third incumbent starter Jordan Travis missing the second half vs. Pittsburgh and the entire game vs. NC State with an undisclosed injury. True freshman Chubba Purdy, who played most of the second half vs. Pitt, earned the start against the Wolfpack, with fellow frosh Tate Rodemaker, who started vs. Jacksonville State but was replaced by Jordan Travis, also earning some playing time.
“We started the week [before NC State] planning as if we were not going to have [Travis],” head coach Mike Norvell said on his coaches show Monday night. “Chubba has really come along. The confidence that is showing up with each rep that he is getting. Made some freshman mistakes in moments, all in all played really well.”
At media availability, he said he thought Purdy “saw the field well. His demeanor is incredible. His approach to the leadership role that he has as a quarterback, but also trying to make others better. There are a lot of positives from his first start.”
“We’re excited about getting Jordan back out there this week. I think Jordan has done some remarkable things this year. Both [quarterbacks] were extremely limited in fall camp. I’m excited about the future.”
Today, we’ll be talking with Norvell, as well as other members of the team. 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.