Florida State coach Mike Norwell

Florida State coach Mike Norwell

Three weeks ago, Florida State coach Mike Norwell sat alone at home, watching his team lose to Miami in embarrassing ways, while turning to a corner in search of another damaging loss to a program.

Perhaps the same happened against North Carolina on Saturday. Playing with the intensity, passion and energy that has vanished in recent years, the semifinal No. 5 North Carolina won 31–28 on Saturday night, a win they desperately needed to build the type of confidence they needed and any The first-year coach needs speed as he builds his schedule.

Florida State entered this season as a double-digit domestic underdog, due to its poor performance to open the season. But Norwell saw an improvement in the loss to Notre Dame last week, and this led him to hope that there would be more to come against the Tar Heels.

Indeed, Florida State recorded its first win since 2007 as an AP Top-5 opponent versus No. 2 Boston College against an incoming team. It would be hard to imagine in late September, when Norwell missed the Miami game due to a positive coronovirus test and the Seminoles revealed to a national television audience.

Asked to describe the win on Saturday, Norwell said, “There’s really no word for it. It’s very special because after 8 December, for the first time I walked into that meeting room with my team and this group , Every moment we tried to grow and believing what was coming, I tell my friends, with every opportunity you get, the ultimate objective is to try to go out and you are the best.

“To see their ceremonies, to see Ananda, to know, to stand against all odds, many people did not give us a chance tonight, but they did not worry about what other people think of them. Are. They didn’t think of anyone. The boundaries that would be put in front of them. They just went out and played their game. Tonight was about these people. It was their moment, and they definitely deserved the win. How he prepared, and how he responded to them all. He asked to be done. “

Florida State led 31-7, but the Tar Heels bounced back. When the fourth quarter began, the Tar Heels closed the gap and trailed 31-21. Norwell said that he pulled his entire team with a smile on his face and told him, “Guys this is where you trust what you do. I can’t tell you what this fourth quarter is like.” Looking, but you go out there and you play the next play. You give everything you have. You do your utmost in this opportunity. “He did so. We did a play better tonight. It will be memorable for us that we continue to pursue this example and build it. ”

North Carolina had one final shot to win or tie the game on its final drive. When Sam Howell’s fourth down pass went incomplete, there was a mass celebration.

Quarterback Jordan Travis said, “This is the greatest feeling I’ve ever seen in my life, which I’ve seen as a defense.”

Added offensive lineman Devonte Love-Taylor, “The celebration, especially what we’ve done through this season, is a tough loss in Miami, a tough loss here for Georgia Tech, all the work that we do, we feel it Huh.” Tonight has paid off. But we have to work so that it can continue to pay. ”

Norwell sees a lot to clean up, including his inability to score in the second half, and also a number of undisciplined penalties that almost cost him in the game. The film will come during study and rehearse in the next week and the coming weeks.

“We are not right,” Norwell said. “We’re working on progress, but when you get a chance to see growth, when you see improvement, when you see investment – not for everyone. We have some people who have chosen other things, who The people are there. The work continues here, they are trying to be the best version of themselves in all aspects of their lives. That’s tonight.

“We’re still pushing because I know we’re capable of a lot more.”