In week one versus Iowa State, the defense held on for one half, but in the second, watched a 17-point Florida State lead being chipped away by ISU quarterback Seneca Wallace and the Cyclones.
Against Virginia Saturday at Doak Campbell Stadium, the defense held the Cavaliers to three scoreless quarters before giving up 19 points in the final 15 minutes.
"For three quarters I thought we were a lot better," FSU defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews said. "But we gave up 14 points in the fourth quarter last week and 19 this week. We want to dominate the fourth quarter; that means no points. We're not coaching good enough and we're not playing hard enough."
The Seminoles know their performance defensively was better than last week's but they believe they are still not where they need to be.
"I was very disappointed," linebacker Michael Boulware said. "The defense played as a unit well until the fourth quarter and we've just got to finish up. The biggest things is to finish the game."
After the half, the Cavaliers had only recorded 96 total yards. By the end of the third quarter, UVA added just 68 more total yards. But by that point, the 'Noles had a sizeable 33 point lead on the Cavs, and that's when things started to go downhill for the defense.
Virginia scored on three of its four offensive drives in the fourth quarter. All three were for touchdowns. Though the game was out of reach for UVA by then, the defense still allowed them to rack up points.
"Sometimes you tend to relax a little," free safety Kyler Hall said. "Even when you've got a big lead you got to keep on pushing. We don't want to give up all the points and all the yards."
So now the Seminoles turn their attention to their next opponent, the Maryland Terrapins, a game that will not come before they have time to make sure that what has happened so far this season, doesn't happen again.
"We just have to believe in our coaches and give it all we got and keep raising our standards and dominate for four quarters," FSU defensive tackle Darnell Dockett said. "We dominated one more quarter than we did last week and the defensive line, they were attacking. We just have to keep everybody healthy and get everybody's confidence back."
The 'Noles have an entire week to prepare for the Terps and will look to use their time wisely.
"We still have a long way to go from where we need to be," linebacker Kendyll Pope said. "We have an off week to work on everything and come Maryland I think we're going to have a real good showing. I think the off week is really going to help us because things we're messing up on are just fundamentals. Things like missing tackles, not breaking on the ball right, and things like that are not hard to work on. This whole week we're going to be fixing those mistakes."
And for those doubters, the defense has a few choice words for them too.
"Keep watching us before you judge us by the stats," cornerback Stanford Samuels said. "Those are people who don't watch the game, they just look at stats. We've busted our behinds to get better over the summer. They're going to see it though, the truth is going to come out."