September 30, 2014 - by
FSU Practice Report: Williams Getting ‘Better and Better’

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – No. 1 Florida State practiced on Monday at the Albert J. Dunlap Athletic Training Facility, staying inside because of inclement weather throughout the duration of practice.

The Seminoles escaped always tough Carter-Finley Stadium with a come-from-behind 56-41 victory over NC State on Saturday. The Seminoles fought out of a 24-7 hole in the first quarter and literally ran away with the game as senior running back Karlos Williams ran for 60 yards and two touchdowns in the final frame.

Williams finished with 126 yards rushing for his first 100-yard game of the season behind a standout game by the offensive line as FSU tallied a season 531 yards of total offense.

“Karlos is getting better and better,” Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher said. “He ran the clock out at the end. That was another thing we did on offense too, we took that last drive and never gave them the ball back. We took the game away. That was extremely critical. He had a couple big runs and had three touchdowns on the night.”

Redshirt sophomore quarterback Jameis Winston (four touchdown passes), sophomore Jesus Wilson (109 yards, two scores) and senior wide receiver Rashad Greene (11 catches, 125 yards, 1 touchdown) also stood out for the offense.

On defense, the Seminoles struggled at times to stop NC State quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who finished with 359 yards passing.

FSU missed several tackles on Saturday and the team worked extensively on tackling drills at practiced on Monday.

“Tackling to me is a lot of ‘want to’ being able to step on guys toes and hit them in the mouth and get into position to do that,” Fisher said. “Sometimes I thought we jumped too low on tackles didn’t hit on the rise, we’re physical enough and other times we got ourselves out of position. No excuse, we have to tackle better and we will tackle better and we’ll have a lot of space and drills and work on those things.”

Fisher said redshirt junior safety Tyler Hunter and freshman defensive end Lorenzo Featherston played well for the defense, however. 

Hunter had a career-best 10 tackles, while Featherston made five tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss, including a game-breaking sack for a 17-yard loss where Brissett fumbled and fellow freshman defensive end Jacob Pugh recovered.

Greene, Jackson Capture ACC Player of the Week Nominations
Senior wide receiver Rashad Greene captured ACC Receiver of the Week honors for the third time in the young 2014 season on Monday, while senior right guard Tre’ Jackson collected ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week honors.

Greene and Jackson led FSU to a come-from-behind 56-41 victory at NC State on Saturday.

The Seminoles erased a 24-7 first quarter lead as Greene totaled 11 receptions for 125 yards and the go-ahead touchdown. His four-yard score in the third quarter gave FSU its first lead of the game, 42-38.

Greene is the ACC’s leader in receptions (35), receiving yards (543) and yards per game (135.8). The Albany, Ga., native has 206 career receptions is just seven catches away from becoming Florida State’s all-time leader in receptions. Ron Sellers had 212 catches from 1966-68.

This is the fifth ACC Receiver of the Week award of Greene’s career.

Jackson garnered ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week honors for the first time in his career after having the highest grade by a Seminole this season in the win over the Wolfpack. Jackson anchored an offensive line that paved the way for the FSU offense to tally a season high 531 yards of total offense. Jackson also opened holes for Karlos Williams, who rushed for a career-best 126 yards to become the first 100-yard rusher for the Seminoles this season.

Jimbo Press Conference Transcript

Opening Statement:

“I’m very proud of our team and the way we competed at NC State. That’s always been a tough place for us to play. It’s always a tough place to play in general. They have a tremendous home atmosphere, they have good players.  They came out ready to play, (they) did some things offensively in the first that they’ve never shown. After that I thought our defensive staff did a tremendous job of making adjustments in the second quarter and in the second half and the whole second half points the points they we were re able to score were off turnovers from the offensive side of the ball.  I think Charlie (Kelly) and the group did a great job in the second quarter and at halftime of making adjustments. I thought the offense did a tremendous job of keeping its poise. It did make mistakes and did go back the next drive – there were a bunch of times, we were down 17, then we’re down 11 and we get to three and think we can get it back and we had a mistake. They get up 11, we just make another drive and get it back to three and kept pressure on them. (They) did a great job of having poise with that and finally overtaking them at the end.  Special teams I thought was very critical in the game. I thought we punted the ball okay, but hit it in the right spots, we’re still getting 30-yard punts, we’re not line-driving, still can kick a little better. Not as well as he (Cason Beatty) kicked the week before, but they were in the right spot and we covered it well, had no return. The kickoff coverage was excellent. We were pinning them inside the 20-yard line, four or five times. Roberto (Aguayo) was tremendous, our speed and our coverage – then we started winning the field position battle, started getting better field position on offense, being able to score, that all ties together. I thought Roberto again was excellent in that regard. Lot of guys on Dalvin Cook, Scooter (Jarred Haggins) and a bunch of guys just made play after play. Defensively, (I’m) very happy with the two young ends that came in, they were a key spark with (Lorenzo) Featherston and (Jacob) Pugh. They gave us a lot of length, athleticism, speed and they were ready to play.  After all of that, they were the guys that got us over the hump because we were down three and finally got that turnover that got us ahead, up four and then got us a stop. Took a drive down and the offense did the things we had to do from that standpoint, but they played very well. I thought Tyler Hunter tackled well in the game. I thought he played really well. I thought we tackled poorly in the game. A lot of those to me were guys that were very good tacklers in the past, very uncharacteristic but inexcusable. Tackling to me is a lot of ‘want to’ being able to step on guys’ toes and hit them in the mouth and get into position to do that. Sometimes I thought we jumped too low on tackles didn’t hit on the rise, we’re physical enough and other times we got ourselves out of position. (We) had bad eye discipline, no matter what. No excuse, we have to tackle better and we will tackle better and we’ll have a lot of space and drills and work on those things. Thought we had sacks (but) their quarterback did a great job of avoiding, we should have had six or seven sacks in the game and a lot of that was due to him, but still we’ve got to close the gap and put pressure on him and get him on the ground and make those plays because you can only cover down field so long and they had opportunities to do that. Again, give credit to them, they did some things offensively we haven’t seen and Jacoby Brissett  made tremendous plays in the game from that standpoint. Again, very happy with our offensive line – first half (was) a little shaky in protection, (but they) protected better and got the running game going in the second half. I thought Karlos (Williams) had a good game. I thought Austin Barron played tremendous and played outstanding up front. He did a great job of getting to the second level, made all of the right calls, got us in the right plays. Karlos had a 100-yard day and three touchdowns, again Rashad (Greene) was great, but another guy in that group that was sneaky good was Bobo Wilson. Six catches, 100-and-some yards, had a big kickoff return for about 40 yards – the guy is emerging into a player and I’m very happy with Travis Rudolph (and) the progress he is making. Ermon Lane, you didn’t see it, but he practiced well and we didn’t get the ball to him, but he had chances, the ball went somewhere else. He blocked well. That guy is really coming on. I thought Kermit caught a nice over route, did some things in the game. I’m very happy where he is. Dalvin Cook, when he got chances – his role has to continue to grow. I am really happy where he is. I though Nick O’Leary didn’t get balls, they did a good job of double bumping him off the line, rerouting him and we’ll do some things to get him open, but I though he blocked extremely well, which is critical in our running game, which a tight end is very selfless and we’re getting the ball to the other guys.  Freddie Stevenson had some nice blocks in the game.  Jameis (Winston) had a couple critical errors in the game which are very uncharacteristic, but I thought he rebounded very well from those, kept competing in the game and made outstanding plays. We were great on third down (and) in the red zone – 8-of-11 conversions, then 6-for-6 with touchdowns in the red zone (which) I thought was extremely critical in the game. (The) big third down throw to Bobo late and the scramble was critical. (We) came a long way. Encouraging thing is, disappointing thing is – we’re not playing anywhere near our best. The encouraging thing is, we’re playing nowhere near our best and played some really good football teams. I think we’ve made some significant strides since a year ago and (we’ve) withstood some storms on the road and (at) neutral sites and at home. They never felt from the look in their eyes on the sideline that they were out of this game or anything bad was going to happen. They were very confident in the game and just kept playing. Say what you want but there is a lot to be said for that. That’s a culture and a mindset. You’ve got to eliminate those things and you have to understand that you’re going to get their best shot coming out and you’re going to get everyone’s best execution and tricks and they’re going to do things to you with nothing to lose and they’re going to play loose because they have nothing to lose. You’ve got to understand that when you play that and you’ve got to be able to match that for 60 minutes.  I am very proud where we are, I like the development of our team. I’m very excited to see where we go from here. I really am. I’ve watched these guys and if we can continue to keep taking that next step and keep practicing doing the things we have. I’m looking forward to a great Wake (Forest) team.  Wake has done an outstanding job on defense. Their whole secondary is back, two linebackers are back. They’re doing a great job schematically. Scoring on defense in almost every game. Against Louisville, it was 10-7 going into the fourth quarter last week and one of their touchdowns was scored on defense.  These guys are doing a great job on defense. Offensively they’re well-coached, very sound, (they) have a young quarterback. Good solid, offensive line, good skill guys, good kicking game – (they have) a lot of different looks and problem formations. We’ll have our hands full, they always come in and play hard. They’re going to play tough and we’ll need to prepare well and play well and keep taking the steps and grow where we need to grow.”

On sophomore wide receiver Bobo Wilson’s play and how he’s a bigger part of the offense this year:

“I think knowledge. He’s always had athleticism and I think his knowledge and his confidence and he’s done a great job and he has a lot of ability. He’s a very smart young man.”

 

On how he feels when his second and third targets are stepping up:

“It’s huge. I feel confident with three or four of our guys, or five in that rotation.  That’s what our offense is based on, if you want to take somebody away and you’re one-on-one over here, then we’re going to go over here. That’s when you can really be aggressive when you call plays, knowing what you’ve got in certain looks because if you have the wrong guy at the wrong spot and you don’t like that matchup, the play may not be good if they take this away. As a play caller it’s very gratifying and gives you a great feeling if the ball goes there, good, we’re good with that.”

On dropping in the Coaches Poll:

“Polls, we can’t control. All we can control is how we play and (if) we just keep playing ball and we’ll be fine.”

On if that is the most the defense had missed tackles:

“It is. When I was a coordinator there were a lot like that, but since we’ve been here yes, and the bad part, we were in the position to make a lot of plays.  It’s not like we were out of position, the calls were there, and we’ve got to tackle better. It’s not like he’s out-leveraged, (we) just didn’t step on the toes and tackle well. Again, I give them credit, they’re a well-coached football team, they play hard, they’ve got good players, and they’re athletic. But, those are plays you have to make if you want to win big time games.”

On the identity of the team right now:

“Great competitors. (We) don’t flinch. Light the moment. I think it’s evolving offensively and defensively to how we can play. The personality of it and the competitiveness of it is natural when you line up and play you’re going to have to play us because we’re not going away.”

On the first four games with the coaching staff:

“If you have kids. You have that first kid. You’ve got it down, well here’s a second one that’s going to be just like it, wrong. It’s similar to that and I use that because I treat it the same, I’m doing the same things I did with number one but the results aren’t the same he don’t think the same or do the same. That’s kind of how a team is. It’s got a little personality here and you never know what it’s personality is until it hits adversity or success, whatever the scenario is and try and figure and spend a lot of time with it and hopefully you can predict how it is going to act. That’s what coaching is like. A lot of coaching and success comes from judging the personality of the team and getting to know it. You don’t just get it and plug it in.  Life doesn’t work that way and that’s a key part of coaching that you’ve got to understand and that we spend a lot of time, I do, identifying, talking spending time with kids talking with people around them and how they watch them and how they practice and how they react to different things. That’s critical because of who you ask to do what at certain times. All of those things are critical and that’s why sports are so different than everything else.”

On not playing their best and at what point do you start to worry:

“I don’t worry. You take how it goes and play well enough to beat your opponent and you want to see it gradually go in that direction and as crazy as it sounds, I do. I start to see us in a lot of different ways we’ve improved tremendously from that opening game.  From the young players, from Featherston, Pugh, to Cook, Lane and Rudolph, (Mario) Pender – those guys we’ve never seen play. The young defensive tackles and defensive linemen getting in the game.  I see a lot and I start to see it in my mind and form what it is and how it’s going and as crazy as it sounds, I think we played a lot better in a lot of areas than the week before.”

On the offensive line from the first half to the second half:

“They grew up and got fundamentally sound. We’ve got to be able to run the ball. We were so far behind early and we have to be careful because if you go out there and be patient and run the ball two or three times then all of a sudden they go out there and score and we had to match, which I think they did. Once we got to halftime they got their composure back and we came out and we were able to keep balanced and what we called and that allowed them to play well. I think their maturity showed in that game.”

On freshman defensive end Lorenzo Featherston and if he saw anything in camp that showed he would be a great player:

“I thought he had the chance to be one of those from the get go. Now you have to give him time and you have to put him there and I think Jacob Pugh, I think all of those young guys they have the chance to be really good football players. Now the challenge is you have to go out and do it each week. He’s got to go out and prepare, which I think he does and he loves playing ball and those guys really gave us a lift and it gives us a lot more depth.”

On Featherston’s unique physique:

“No doubt, the length. You don’t think of those guys and how they can close. They’re long, they’re big and then all of a sudden they’re cat quick and boom, they get there and they have that extra length. He’s got a 7-foot-3 wingspan and you talk about that with quickness and length and size and he plays physical. It makes a difference. He gets one your way before you think. He can get himself out of position as crazy as it sounds, a step or two and arms and length make a difference to make up leverage. There’s a lot of things that guy can do.”

On Featherston’s body and if he can keep adding weight:

“He’s going to be a big joker now. He’s going to be a big ole’ sun of a gun.”

On Rashad Greene making a couple critical mistakes and being able to come back and score a big touchdown:

“That is what great players do. That is what great players do. When you have true confidence in yourself and make a mistake you go onto the next play, don’t dwell on it and go make a play. One he over thought and the other one he got in a hurry. Even great players want to get that ball, he saw the hole I know where I wanted to go and he just took his eyes off the punt. Then he comes right back. It was typical Rashad [Greene].

On Jameis Winston being similar to Rashad Greene – making a critical mistake and coming back strong and not dwelling on his mistake:

“Those guys have that true confidence in themselves. They know they messed up but they will come back and aren’t going to let it affect them and they just go on to the next play. They are going to have those mistakes. When you make as many decisions and throws as Jameis [Winston] does or opportunities as Rashad [Greene] has, they aren’t going to be perfect. You are going to keep going back to them and they are going to keep making plays.”

On what happened on Florida State’s first drive on the third and 20 conversion that the referees reviewed, but gave NC State a timeout:

“I couldn’t tell, did they call a timeout in time? Were they checking the time on the clock? I said, ‘Does it count as a play’ and they said no. Officials have a tough job. They all make mistakes too. They all have a tough job too.”

On if the team is afraid by dropping from No. 1 to No. 2 in the USA Today poll:

“You are always concerned. We can’t control the polls. All we have to do is keep winning. The polls are for the polls and the voters. If we keep winning and do what we do we will be fine.”

On letting up 24 points in the first quarter, if he talked to defensive coordinator Charles Kelly about what changes need to be made:

“Oh yeah. You have to identify the problem. Don’t complain and don’t gripe. What is the issue and what is our plan? This is a problem. What ideas do you have, who can do it and do we have the personnel that can do it? Can we make the adjustments? We had it made and once we got up to the press box and things, they did a great job of coaching during the game. What plan do you have? He [Charles Kelly] was ready. He knew what to do. He knew exactly where he was going with it. He had some good ideas from his assistants. That is your job. Take care of it.”

On freshman defensive end Lorenzo Featherston changing the complexion of the game and if he planned playing the freshmen on defense:

“He does when he is setting the edge. Don’t forget No. 16 [Jacob Pugh]. No. 41 [Lorenzo Featherston] got there, but No. 16 scooped that ball up with his hands. Those guys with their size and athleticism on the edge made a big difference. We had plans to play them. Get them in there. You have to play them.”

On what happened on NC State’s first touchdown when safety Tyler Hunter appeared to be looking for help:

“What happened was they ran a double move. There was supposed to be a guy that was rotating to the center of the field. At the same time we sent six on that play. We had a guy completely unblocked. If he gets sacked, he can’t run a double move when you have a guy unblocked. We just whiffed the quarterback. We changed the blitz and we whiffed the quarterback. Tyler [Hunter] is taught to take the first move on that because the ball is coming out hot, it has to come out. You will see the play, we just whiffed the quarterback. You have to make a play. I am not putting it on anybody else. I am not trying to blame anything. That is what happened.”

On if he is worried about only having one interception in four games this season:

“You don’t worry about that. You say you want turnovers. The harder you try for turnovers the least [likely you are going to get them.] They come in bunches. You just have to play your game, be fundamentally sound, make the right reads, do the right thing and react to the ball. If they are there they are there if they are not they are not. Just keep playing great defense. Those turnovers will come when you do the right things, put yourself in the right position, get pressure and cover tightly.”

On the success of the Florida State fall sports and what is happening athletically on campus:

“You have a lot of good coaches and a lot of good athletes. Guys are doing what they’re doing. They are getting the things they need to have to be successful. I am very proud of them. This is a great athletic and academic institution.”

On senior running back Karlos Williams’ impressive performance against NC State:

Very impressed. Karlos [Williams] is getting better and better. 100-yard game – 126 yards. He ran the clock out at the end. That was another thing we did on offense too, we took that last drive and never gave them the ball back. We took the game away. That was extremely critical. He had a couple big runs and had three touchdowns on the night. Karlos is pass blocking well, caught a couple passes out of the backfield. He keeps getting better and better. We are three co-players, Karlos, [Austin] Barron, and Bobo [Wilson]. Those guys to us were critical on offense. Defensively it was [Lorenzo] Featherston and Tyler Hunter.

On if linebacker Ukeme Eligwe will play this week against Wake Forest:

“I am hoping so. That is the plan. We will see this week. We plan on getting him in there. That is what we are shooting for if he can handle the practice. I think he will. He took off a couple times last week, he is solid. He brings size, speed, athleticism, closing ability and open field tackling. He will have to get back into the flow of things. He is a tremendous special teams player.”

On his evaluation of Jalen Ramsey playing the nickel back role:

“Good. He caused a big fumble. He has length, size and is learning to be a blitzer. Just like [Lamarcus] Joyner, he would miss tackles sometimes because he was so reckless especially early in his career because he played so hard. Jalen can clean up a little bit tackling and I don’t mean that as criticism. He gets there so fast and he is so athletic. He could have had a couple more sacks on the day, but I think he is doing a great job with providing pressure off the edge, and covering in the slot with his length and size and playing the run. He can close on the ball. I think he has the chance to be a heckuva nickel. Great size. You just don’t see a guy his size that has his burst.”

On what happened on Jameis Winston’s second interception:

“He worked the wrong side of the field. He should have worked the other side of the field. It was that simple. He worked into a bad coverage. He just thought it was a different coverage. He thought they were going to roll. He just made a poor choice.”

On how Jameis Winston reacts after making a mistake:

“He knows when he makes it. He and I when we are in a heated battle and we are having our discussions, you always trust the information coming back. He battled right back the next drive and we moved right down the field.”

On if Jameis Winston’s poor decision on his second interception was that obvious:

“It wasn’t a play that you run sometimes. It was a play you run all, all, all the time. It is like driving home and you drive past the turn to turn into your house. Have you ever been distracted and on the phone? You ever just drive by and miss a turn going home occasionally because you get preoccupied with something? There are so much on these quarterbacks today especially like an offense like ours and the way offenses are going now. These guys are making every decision, run, pass where it goes and who gets it. There is so much on them. Here is my best analogy: it is like a computer that has all the information and it spits it out right now [snaps fingers]. Doesn’t it lock up every now and then and you have to reboot it? No matter how mature a guy is he still has a young mind. That mind is only 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 years old. It is a young mind. It is part of human nature. Every now and then there might be a 2, or 3 or 4 play glitch. You see it in pro ball. I got home last night trying to unwind when I got home watching the [Dallas] Cowboys with Tony Romo and they are trying to run out the clock. They had a 3rd and 1, if they get the first down the game is over. They took a delay of game. It moved to 3rd and 6 and they threw a touchdown the very next play. They overcame it, but what I am saying is that you have so much on your mind. You are think here, thinking here and thinking here, this happens and this happens. It is how you rebound from that and he came back from that and was tremendous on it. Sometimes there is a glitch every now and then with guys. When somebody has that many decisions to make all day, every day that is part of it.”

On senior wide receiver Christian Green scoring his first touchdown of his career:

“Two very good catches – nice catches. It was great for him to get his first touchdown. I am very happy for him, but also very sad because he lost his grandpa on that day. It is very rewarding to see a guy work that hard and be such a great guy. He is doing a great job for us right now.”

On Dalvin Cook improving:

“He had a big run coming off the goal line. He is really coming on. He just needs at bats. The more he gets in there the better he is going to be. He is a natural. He is a heckuva football player.”

On what he is worried about this week against Wake Forest:

“It is our team in general — where we are going to go as a team. How we want to keep building. How we want to keep improving. How we want to keep practicing and the culture we create and the mindset in which we have. I don’t worry about all of them all the time, but from that standpoint I think it is important how we create the culture of our team, identifying the personality and how this team continues to grow as a unit.

I think some of it wasn’t upfront. Some of it was our linebackers that aren’t coming in downhill in time. When you get double teamed they have to come down hill and take those blockers off of them to create better space. Our linebackers at times have to come downhill quicker and different things. They didn’t do it at times in that game. Up front really didn’t play bad at all as far as run defense and the interior guys.”

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