The defense of the first team, the attack of the second team succeed


Florida State’s second spring scrimmage on Saturday didn’t go as planned.

A looming thunderstorm forced the Seminoles to move the final scrimmage before FSU’s April 9 spring game from Doak Campbell Stadium to the indoor training facility.

The change of venue at the last second did not upset the FSU first-team defence. FSU head coach Mike Norvell said the unit had the best performance of the day by far, racking up three turnovers and a host of negative plays that prevented FSU’s first-team offense to gain a lot of momentum.

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“I thought (the team’s) first defense was exceptional today. They did a tremendous job creating negative plays, had three explosive takeaways, a forced fumble and two interceptions…” said Norvell.

“The first offense would have moments where it would start. I thought they were working and moving with a solid pace, that was something we had really been emphasizing throughout the week. But then there would be a accident or a negative that would cost them possession or force difficult situations.”

Norvell put together quite a long list of defensive players who impressed him today, ranging from young defensive linemen like Patrick Payton and Joshua Farmer to veterans like Renardo Green and Dennis Briggs.

But the biggest heap of praise was definitely reserved for junior redshirt safety Akeem Dent. FSU defensive coordinator Adam Fuller said Dent had two interceptions in Saturday’s scrimmage, one of which was a particularly impressive play where he covered a lot of ground to make a play on a ball where the quarterback thought he had a 1 on 1 situation. against a cornerback.

Losses to defensive ends Jermaine Johnson and Keir Thomas are definitely a big part of the defense this offseason. However, the buzz from both scrums was that the Seminoles’ improved depth and first-team talent could help the FSU defense as a whole take another step forward in 2022.

FSU safety Akeem Dent had two interceptions in the Seminoles scrimmage on Saturday, leading a strong showing from FSU's first-team defense.

“I’m excited about our group. When you have so many returning starters around them who have really played better over the season and built their confidence and you add some really talented young men…” Norvell said.

“The depth that’s there and the competition helps elevate everyone. That’s what we need. It was good to see them all working today. I thought they were dominant and they have created a lot of explosive games.”

Travis entrenched as starting QB despite Rodemaker’s growth

Norvell didn’t beat around the bush when he said incumbent starting quarterback Jordan Travis wasn’t at his best in Saturday’s scrimmage.

He was a little too prone to rolling and struggled to find a rhythm after having more success in the first spring scrimmage. Even so, coupled with the promising signs that redshirt sophomore Tate Rodemaker has shown this spring, Norvell has played down any notion that there’s a real quarterback battle going on right now.

“Jordan is our starting quarterback. Jordan did a phenomenal job,” Norvell said.

“You better have competition in every position. Does it push the guys? Yeah, they need to be pushed, everyone does that. One thing I like about Jordan, that n “It’s not a push from another person, it’s a push he has for himself. It’s exciting to see how they compete.”

Rodemaker was counted by many in terms of consideration for FSU’s long-term quarterback plans due to struggling in limited game action and practice during his first two seasons with the Seminoles. .

Although Tate Rodemaker may have been the Seminoles' best quarterback in Saturday's scrimmage, Mike Norvell made it clear that Jordan Travis was the team's starter.

This spring, however, he continues to string together solid practices that show legit growth as he battles for the backup spot behind Travis.

“He’s doing what I expected him to do. I saw steps last year of what he was doing. I knew it was going to be a great spring for him. The confidence, the execution. It’s not a finished product, he still has a lot of work he needs to keep doing. But seeing it happen and the way he’s growing, making great plays with his arm, great plays with his feet, I’m impressed…” Norvell said.

“The second offense, I think they did a great job. They did a really good job of moving the ball, had explosive plays. Great runs, created great passes and chances there. I like what I see from this group and I think it speaks to the depth we have and the competition we have at all levels.”

It may not have been Travis’ best day on Saturday, but he showed Norvell more than enough in the first 10 spring workouts that he’s extremely confident Travis will continue to build on the steady progress. he achieved in his first three seasons with the Seminoles.

“The improvement he’s shown from autumn to spring, he’s in a much better position than he was at any time last year in his attacking skills and understanding. “He had some games today that weren’t his best. It’s going to show over time. Those three quarterbacks were part of that growth,” Norvell said.

“We put them in tough situations to really go out there and execute whatever look comes up, whatever they may see. Having to deal with that is one thing with his knowledge of the offense and where he is. turns out, it’s been fun to watch. I’m excited about this group of quarterbacks and the stages that we’ve seen and the competition that we have.

Contact Curt Weiler at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @CurtMWeiler.

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