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Three observations, day 11: FSU practice analysis

The ‘Noles practice at Doak Campbell Stadium in a back-and-forth battle.

FLORiDA STATE — The Florida State Seminoles took to the practice fields on Tuesday looking ahead to travel to Jacksonville for a two-day trip at UNF. Among a few recruits and scouts, transfer defensive back Malik Feaster was there today but not dressed out. He was wearing number 16 as indicated on the roster.

Midway through practice, the team went inside Doak Campbell Stadium for some intense series and red zone drills and also worked on some live kick returns. The returners weren't really given a chance to return because of the few reps they did, they were fair catches and touchbacks. Defensive back Jammie Robinson had a nice play downing the ball around the 5-yard line to “pin them deep.”

*The new press-box and suite facades in Doak Campbell are looking sleek. They seem to be about half of the way done.

Holes open up in the run game

One funny thing I noticed mid-practice was a wake of linebackers on the ground behind Lawrence Toafili after cutting outside and driving to the first down marker. The linebackers weren't bad at all today that was just one play. We talk a lot about the other running backs but Toafili has his purpose in this offense.

The middle of the lines seemed to open up more today allowing backs like Rodney Hill, Trey Benson, and even wide receiver Ja’khi Douglas to hit holes. When Hill finds where he wants to go you just see the explosive speed he can generate.

Receivers and tight ends developing chemistry with Rodemaker

In 7 on 7, the offense pretty much could take anything they wanted. Rodemaker is starting to look clean with his passes but sometimes can be way off and lacks consistency. His errant throws are becoming less and less a normal occurrence, however. He showed good ball placement on one occasion hitting Mycah Pittman in stride for a big gain right through defensive back Sam McCall trying to swat the pass down.

Wide receiver Johnny Wilson had another good practice and used his size on multiple defenders. He was able to catch a touchdown over defensive back Jarrion Jones’ head without even appearing to leave the ground. There was another big catch he had and was able to go up and get it while defensive back Sidney Williams closed in fast. The hit Williams delivered could be heard across the practice fields but Wilson managed to hold on.

Quarterback AJ Duffy showed some nice touch on a few passes today inside the stadium. With a quick rollout and read he was able to connect with wide receiver Kentron Poitier in the flats with a pretty pass.

Of the few red zone drills they did, tight end Jackson West was able to score twice and nearly a third only coming down with the ball out of bounds in the end zone. West is continually starting to emerge as someone with reliable hands. Deuce Spann was also able to get in the end zone as well.

Defense takes advantage

It wasn’t all offense today. Defensive back Jammie Robinson was a major factor in the secondary breaking up passes and nearly picking off both quarterbacks. Renardo Green had an interception on the day.

Edge Jared Verse was able to quickly diagnose a play developing in the backfield and honed in on his guy immediately for a major tackle for loss.

Defensive linemen Patrick Payton and Bishop Thomas both had pretty good showings and Payton ended the day with a fumble recovery.

The defensive line was able to generate a ton of pressure and force incompletions but the offense was still able to move.

The next practice will be Wednesday, August 10 at the Dunlap Practice Facility and then the ‘Noles will hitch a ride down to UNF to practice before coming back into another scrimmage this weekend.