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Kelly: Florida State finds something to smile about

Florida State Quarterback Jordan Travis on the move against Jacksonville State.
Florida State Quarterback Jordan Travis on the move against Jacksonville State.(KYLE PULEK | Florida State Athletics)
Published: Oct. 5, 2020 at 2:08 AM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -The beauty of Florida State Athletics is that the standard is the standard.  It never changes... no matter what.  It’s what’s made the last few seasons of Seminole football so difficult for so many who wear Garnet and Gold.

It’s truly uncharted water for many fans of a program that has not seen a downturn like this truly since the mid-70′s.  But something returned to Doak Campbell Stadium on Saturday, something not seen nearly enough these days...

Smiles.

You saw it on the faces of fans who finally at least for a half had something to cheer about, in the face of a quarterback in Jordan Travis who after over a year of criticism and hearing about what he can’t do, mostly succeeded in showing us what he can do.  You saw it in the face of his teammates and so did Seminole Head Coach Mike Norvell.

“I love seeing their smiles,” Said Norvell of the win.   “Like we talk about you learn from every experience and we talked about it in pregame tonight.  Had a chance to be a defining moment and not just tonight i mean obviously this is the game but the week of practice.  Nobody was feeling good about ourselves early in this week.”

“That’s just the way I play football,” Travis of his cheerful demeanor.  “Obviously the journey, I’ve been through a lot transferring, going through a couple things so I’m just out there trying to have fun.  I’m always smiling.  I get hit hard and I get up smiling.”

That old saying that winning cures everything isn’t always true because as you’re probably painfully aware this was the Jacksonville State game, the buy game, the guaranteed win and yet there were still some problems.

A defense that gave up a little too much especially early, trench play that still needs improvement and 10 penalties for 100 yards were all among the issues.  The penalties in particular are a sore spot for a head coach trying to change culture.

“Our guys are being held accountable to what the standard is and at the end of the day we’re going to get this fixed,” spoke Norvell of his team’s on field discipline. “It’s going to get eliminated and so we’re going to continue to push forward because when you get 10 penalties in a game it’s really challenging to go out there and sustain success.”

A win over a FCS opponent isn’t a magic wand.  It doesn’t magically give FSU more depth and talent in key positions, it doesn’t magically right the ship, it doesn’t solve some of the Tribe’s culture problems and it doesn’t mean there aren’t hard times still ahead.  After all, a trip to top five Notre Dame is looming this Saturday.

But a win is a win. something Florida State hasn’t experienced in just a little less than 11 months (November 16, 2019 to be exact).  So take it, embrace it for now and when the 'Noles eventually find their way back to the never changing standard never take it for granted again.

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