SYRACUSE, NY – Mike Norvell felt it coming last week. His Florida Federal State Team was quiet in the dressing room before his game against the Miami hurricaneswith a level of sharpened focus that felt appropriate for a rivalry game.
And while Miami players jumped and erupted in pregame warm-ups, FSU was in full swing.
“They knew there was purpose,” Norvell said. “It’s not like we’ve never done it, but it just was, man, that’s — these guys are ready. It was an emotional start when you come into this game, but all of our guys, I felt their focus, their control.
FSU actually transacted its business against Miami, winning 45-3 as the Seminoles responded to emotional moments or setbacks by focusing their energy on the next game.
Now that they sit at 6-3 and have a chance to end an encouraging 2022 campaign on a high note, FSU arrives Syracuse (6-3) to take on a team struggling with injuries while losing three games in a row. For a program that is constantly growing, the next step is to dial in and arm consistently.
“I mean, that’s how we want our program to be,” Norvell said. “You can have great moments, and we’ve had great moments over the past few years, but it’s about that steady and constant growth and improvement. That’s our goal. That’s our daily focus so we can go out there and do our best and keep getting better.
That’s the bridge FSU is trying to cross as it goes from Win Small to Win Big at this stage of the build process.
The Seminoles opened the week as Seven point street favourites. This spread climbed to -8.5 points on Friday afternoon, but returned to -7 points a few hours later. The QB status Garret Shraderwhich, according to the trainer, has to do with an unspecified “ouch”. Dino Baberis probably in play for the swaying line.
As the players have repeatedly explained over the last few weeks, it is about the FSU. The spread, whether at -7 points or -1 point or -10 points, doesn’t matter. The Seminoles are capable of winning this game if they come out focused and execute. Syracuse hasn’t played well lately and is a vulnerable opponent that a better can should handle with relative ease.
Will the Seminoles be focused a week after a dominant win over a rival? Will they be able to play at a high level again?
And that’s what Norvell is looking for tonight and what he’s seen this week of training. The team was locked in and got better as the days went by.
Bringing that back to matchday would be another step in the right direction for the program’s ascent.
“I think our players have seen times where we’ve done that so well and then they’ve seen times where we might have lost focus at a moment or couldn’t maintain that over the course of a game or even in a season. Now we have that opportunity this week,” Norvell said. “I can’t talk to you about two weeks or three weeks or anything like that, but I know we can control this week. That’s what I want to see and this team knows we have to do it because that’s a big challenge ahead of us on Saturday.”