The Florida State Seminoles are heading to Syracuse to face the Syracuse Orange on Saturday. They are coming off a record-setting performance against the Miami Hurricanes and look to finish out ACC play strong with a winning conference record. The Noles now sit at No. 25 and earned a spot in the CFP rankings (23) earlier this week. They held the No. 25 spot early in October before going on a losing streak.
Linebacker Kalen DeLoach and defensive end Patrick Payton spoke with the media after Wednesday’s practice, detailed their performance last weekend, and discussed the upcoming challenge on Saturday.
DeLoach was a little quiet last weekend stat-wise (3 tackles) but was an overall disruption in the run-and-pass game. He was asked about his team being ranked in the College Football Playoff rankings and acknowledged it but said that's not where they want to be.
“I did see it yesterday. They did make a post about the new College Football Rankings I seen we got 23. Yeah, man, playoffs, yes. Yes, you know that’s improvement, but that’s still not where we want to be at, but it’s still Improvement.”
When asked about the change the program has undergone, and it’s development since he’s been here, he said:
“You know, I always reflect on, like, when I very first got here to the time now and the relationships I made. Just coming out here practicing every day, working on the craft and the things that that I needed to work on. You know to get here and just enjoying the moment, basically, enjoying the moment, take it day by day. But yeah, I like where we have come so far from where we have been. It was good to go down there and do what we need to do, handle business, and just get back up here and focus on this week.
DeLoach talks about the possibility of facing either Syracuse quarterback, how he feels the defense can improve, and more in his full interview below.
Payton had his highest grade of the season per PFF at 92.8 and really made an impact rushing the passer recording one sack. He and a few other new guys had to step up in previous games due to DE Jared Verse and DT Fabien Lovett being out with injuries. Payton went over his sack.
“So throughout the game, we knew that their offensive line really couldn’t match up with our defensive line, so we were taking every advantage that we can, and really, I just took a power move, and I saw the ball and went to the ball because I tried to do against Clemson, but I missed it, and I really wanted that play, so it was better to do it against my home town, it was good though.”
Defensive ends coach John Papuchis has had a lot of high praise for Payton’s development while redshirting. Payton said it was the hard work and following in the steps of DE Jermaine Johnson II and Kier Thomas that he tried to emulate.
“Well, I wouldn’t say I knew that Jermaine was going first round, but I knew because so right whatever he’s doing, I was just watching Pop too; whatever they was doing, I was trying to not exactly like do it a little better but at the same time just because they was playing great, so I was just trying to follow these footsteps she’s taking every day of Practice series”
Payton talks about playing at home and goes more into his development as a player in his full interview below.