Florida State head coach Mike Norvell spoke with the media on Tuesday after practice ahead of Saturday’s top-25 matchup against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. The Seminoles are 4-0 and look to show their improvement from years past and as of today the game is still set to be played, however, due to incoming Hurricane Ian’s potential FSU has canceled classes for the week.
Norvell said that today was their first day installing the game plan for Wake Forest and that he was pleased with the team's effort and energy they brought with them to practice. “I thought today was a real solid work day. First-day installing different things when it comes to the game plan. You know obviously, this is a unique offense just going by the sheer tempo and speed that they’re going to try to play at, so (we’re) really pushing our guys, just the efficiency of our communication, making sure that every man understands their job and goes out to execute their job to the best of their ability.”
Wake Forest runs a unique “slow mesh” style offense that can be very difficult to defend and Norvell said that the scheme is challenging to duplicate. “It’s challenging and you try to implement the timing and the tempo of it, it's just, it's like anything, it’s like the triple option, you can try to simulate it as much as possible but until you get the speed of it in the game it’s tough to replicate, you know, but our guys are doing a good job giving the defense the best looks possible.” He also said that the extent to which Wake Forest uses the slow mesh concept is rare throughout football. “To that extent, you know, you’ll see it. I mean the quarterback will throw the ball almost at the line of scrimmage at times just because of how tempo’d he is in his read. It puts a lot of emphasis on the defensive front, you know, you need all of the second-level and third-level players to be consistent in doing their job, they’re really good at what they do.”
He said that Wake’s wide receivers are talented and the way they run their offense will put his defensive backs in a lot of one on one matchups but that they competed well today in practice. “They were competing and that's one of the things that I liked. When you get to the catch point that's where you have to have a different mentality. You gotta do everything you can to get the ball out, you know, being able to, whether you're in zone coverage, man coverage, whatever coverage you're playing you just have to be extremely aggressive and our guys are working hard at it.”
When asked about how he feels about his offense going into the weekend he was quick to say that it’s still a work in progress aside from all of the success they’ve had this season. “I think it’s a continued work in progress. I like the personnel that we have. Each week is a bit of a challenge to get better fundamentally, to make sure we’re doing the things necessary to allow our guys to go out there and play to the best of their ability to create one on one matchups for ourselves. It’s about the run game. When you can run the football that's going to help create the opportunities outside and I think we’ve got a really good balance.”
Norvell’s full interview can be seen below: