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Florida State vs. Florida: Monday Practice Observations

Kentron Poitier, Deuce Spann, Patrick Payton and Sam McCall among the standouts to begin the week.

The Seminoles hit the practice fields on Monday morning to begin preparations for the Florida Gators a little earlier than normal. With the game set for Friday night, Florida State has one less day to put together a plan of attack for its batter rival. Despite dealing with cold and wind in Tallahassee, head coach Mike Norvell came out of the day pleased with the execution.

READ MORE: Recruits react to FSU's 49-17 win over Louisiana, four-game winning streak

NoleGameday was in attendance for the session and we've listed some observations from different position groups and players below.

— Kicker Ryan Fitzgerald was good from 40 and 46 yards out. Backup Aidan Shahriari connected on his lone try from 40 yards.

OFFENSE:

— Florida State began the practice with some work down in the red zone. Quarterback Jordan Travis and tight end Cam McDonald connected on back-to-back passes that resulted in a touchdown. Travis tossed out to McDonald on a screen before finding him for a wide-open score on the next play. There appeared to be a miscommunication between the linebackers.

— Quarterback Tate Rodemaker got an opportunity as well. On the first play, he pulled the ball on a read-option and cut up the left side for a leaping touchdown.

— Wide receiver Deuce Spann made the catch of the day in 1-on-1s. He ran a route down the sideline and true freshman quarterback AJ Duffy tossed one deep. The ball was slightly in front of Spann but he stuck out one hand to bring it in.  

— In team drills, Travis showed off his legs by avoid a blitzing defensive back and cutting back across the opposite field for a decent gain on the ground.

— Rodemaker delivered one of the throws of the day with a beautiful deep ball to wide receiver Kentron Poitier. The pass hit the redshirt sophomore in stride and he fought his way into the end zone. Poitier had another impressive catch in 1-on-1s by going up vertical over his man for six. On the other hand, Rodemaker missed a wide-open Ontaria Wilson downfield in 7-on-7, displaying the need for consistency.

— Running back Treshaun Ward worked up the middle for a big gain in team drills.

— Campbell bounced off tackle for a solid pickup. Offensive tackle Lloyd Willis was working to seal a defensive end on the edge to free Campbell. Norvell told Willis to stick with the block longer.

DEFENSE:

— Defensive end Patrick Payton made a fantastic read on a play from the offense where Travis rolled out and wanted to throw backside. Payton was sitting right there on the receiver and forced the quarterback to look elsewhere. The pass ended up sailing high on a target in the end zone.

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— Defensive tackle Malcolm Ray emphatically batted down a pass at the line of scrimmage. 

— Linebacker Brendan Gant had a nice stick on running back Treshaun Ward between the tackles to blow up a running play.

— Linebacker Amari Gainer got involved with a stop on running back CJ Campbell. 

— Defensive back Greedy Vance Jr. play a ball in the air and ended up coming down with an interception in the end zone.

— Defensive tackle Joshua Farmer dislodged D'Mitri Emmanuel and Maurice Smith from their assignments to stop a running play before it even began. 

— Defensive end Byron Turner Jr. was able to bring down Campbell despite being blocked by an offensive lineman.

— Defensive tackle Fabien Lovett easily got by Emmanuel on a rep during 1-on-1s with the offensive line. 

— Linebacker Omar Graham Jr. was in position for a pick but the ball bounced off his hands.

— Speaking of creating turnovers, true freshman Sam McCall took advantage of the opportunity on a pass over the middle. The ball was behind Duece Spann, who made an impressive adjustment to pin the football against his helmet while running toward the sideline. McCall got his hands on the ball and ripped it out for himself right before the two went out of play.

READ MORE: Florida State leaves RB Cedric Baxter Jr. with a decision to make

Stick with NoleGameday for more coverage of Florida State football throughout the season.

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