FLORIDA STATE — The Hurricane buzz has been circling Tallahassee lately, and everyone on the team, from top to bottom, knows it. Head coach Mike Norvell said in his interview earlier today, “There’s no secret. I mean, you got flags hanging. You got people everywhere you go this week (who) will be talking about this game.”
Quarterback Jordan Travis, defensive tackle Fabien Lovett Sr., and running back Lawrance Toafili spoke with the media on Wednesday after an intense and competitive practice ahead of a primetime showdown against the Miami Hurricanes.
Travis is coming off a stellar performance last weekend, passing for a career-high of 396-yards and matching his single-game high passing to completion ratio, along with passing touchdowns.
The last time the two teams met, FSU history was made in the infamous 4th and 14 drive, which sealed the Nole’s victory (and started a few t-shirt designs.) Travis said that it's a blessing to go down in FSU lore and that he appreciates every minute of it.
“It’s awesome. It’s a blessing. I mean, obviously, this is one of the biggest games in college football, but yeah, this fan base is amazing; we’re blessed to have them. They have our back no matter what, so it’s awesome.” Also, saying that “Yeah, there’s a lot a lot of history that goes between these two teams, and so happy to be a part of it.”
Hard Rock Stadium can be a tough atmosphere to play in. The Hurricane fanbase, the noise, and the hype surrounding this game can sometimes get to a player's head. Travis said that it’s more or less just a distraction and the focus is still on themselves.
“It’s just like — it’s a distraction. It tries to distract us at the end of the day, we have to keep the main thing the main thing. It’s a football game. We have to take it play by play, to focus on us, and that’s all we have to do.”
Travis’ full interview can be seen below, where he talks about ownership of the team, his leadership style, this weekend’s rivalry, and more.
Fabien Lovett Sr.
After going down with an injury in the second game of the season, Lovett was hard-pressed to get back out on the field. Many of his teammates have said that just his presence on the sideline affected them in more ways than one.
“It was difficult, but I learned a lot watching and seeing the guys practice and being able to help coach guys and help them improve on their technique, so it wasn’t just — it was bad, it was hard, but it wasn’t just too hard.” Adding that, it’s part of his personality to help his teammates whenever he can. “That’s just how I am. I like to help everybody if I can. At the end of the day, we all in this together, so if you can do what you need to do and I could play a part in helping you, that’s what I’m gonna do.”
When asked about the rivalry matchup, Fabien said they’re aiming for the state.
“Honestly, it means a lot because, at the end of the day, we’re taking over the state. We’re trying to win for the state. We beat them, we got one more team to beat, and so that’s my whole thing, that’s my goal.”
Lovett goes over defensive line development, freshman tackles, and coming back from injury in his full interview below.
Toafili bounced back last weekend after fumbling on the goal line by making a remarkable 62-yard catch and run for a score and adding another one on the ground. He talked about the rebound from that and his teammate's support.
“It was definitely a crazy experience. We were talking about the play all week, so as soon as I seen the, uh, when I got out the battlefield and I seen the end peal with me, I knew like, Jordan had his eyes on me, so I definitely just try to create enough space and make it happen, so I’m proud that happened.”
When asked about the return of fellow running back Treshaun Ward, Toafili said with a smile, “You already know. It’s the three-headed monster, we’re ready to go, okay, you know what I’m saying? I’m happy to have him back definitely.”
Toafili talks about the rivalry game, rebounding from mistakes, and more in his full interview below: