The Seminoles returned to the practice fields on Tuesday morning to continue preparations for a Friday night matchup with the Florida Gators. The team donned helmets and jerseys during a less physical session that focused more on execution and fundamentals. This also marked the final open practice of the regular season. We've come a long way since the end of July.
NoleGameday was in attendance for the session and we've listed some observations from different position groups and players below.
— The session ended about five minutes earlier as head coach Mike Norvell and the staff work to preserve the team's health during the short week. The team will practice on Wednesday before position groups have a thanksgiving dinner at their respective coaches' houses. On Thursday, the Seminoles will have their normal team dinner ahead of gameday.
— Kicker Ryan Fitzgerald finished 1/3 on the day. He shanked his attempt during tempo drills. Fitzgerald rebounded with a 35-yard make in the special team's portion before his 42-yarder went off the goal post. Backup kicker Aidan Shahriari was pure on his lone attempt from 35 yards out.
— The practice started off with two-minute/tempo drills. The offense trailed by a field goal with 53 seconds on the clock and 75 yards to go. Travis began the drill with back-to-back completions to tight end Cam McDonald on the sideline and wide receiver Ontaria Wilson over the middle to bring the offense near midfield. Following two incompletions, Travis found Malik McClain near the opposite sideline for a first down before a pass interference penalty advanced the offense to the 29-yard line with under 20 seconds on the clock. The field goal unit was eventually forced to come out for a 47-yard attempt and the defense called timeout. Fitzgerald ended up shanking the attempt with crowd noise ringing in the IPF.
— Wide receiver Mycah Pittman and wide receiver Johnny Wilson both looked really fluid in Tuesday's practice. Wilson had a couple of very impressive catches where he showed off his range. Norvell stated after practice that he expects both players to suit up on Friday night.
— Jammie Robinson and Trey Benson fielded the majority of punts.
— The wide receivers showed up during 1-on-1s against the defensive backs. Malik McClain kicked things off with a catch down the sideline. Pittman pulled down on a pass on the outside before Ja'Khi Douglas got wide open deep. Tight end Brian Courtney also got in on the action, making a tough grab over the middle with a defender on his back before using a nice move to free himself up for another catch. The true freshman continues to look more and more natural at his new position.
— Travis got into a rhythm during 7-on-7/pass skelly as he completed three straight passes. He found Ontaria Wilson over the middle on a timing route. Following that, the redshirt junior put two throws into tight windows for Lawrance Toafili and Johnny Wilson.
— Wide receiver Kentron Poitier went vertical on the sideline and came down with a ball. Tough to tell if he got a foot in but it was extremely close either way.
— Cornerback Greedy Vance Jr. has really improved his ball skills and confidence throughout the season. Everyone remembers when he gave up a massive third down conversion against Wake Forest in October but since then he's pulled down two of his three interceptions on the year. Vance Jr. forced two impressive interceptions on Tuesday against the scout team. On the second, he was behind the receiver but jumped up and stuck his hands in front of the intended target to make the play.
— Defensive back Renardo Green deflected a pass for Deuce Spann on the sideline. Green broke up another pass in the end zone during 1-on-1s.
— True freshman cornerback Azareye'h Thomas intercepted a pass in the end zone.
— True freshman Sam McCall spent most of his time at safety on Tuesday.
— Tight coverage forced Tate Rodemaker to tuck and run and AJ Duffy to throw a ball into the dirt during 7-on-7/pass skelly.
Stick with NoleGameday for more coverage of Florida State football throughout the season.