NoleDigest Wrap-Up: Miami

NoleDigest caught up with Mickey Andrews, Jacobbi McDaniel and Rod Owens after the game Monday to get their thoughts on the nights results.

Andrews Not Happy with Defense

When you think of Florida State defenses you hearken back to the dynasty era and the flat-out dominant defenses the Seminoles had. Entering this fall Coach Andrews knew he had a young unit but he went as far as to say this was the fastest defense he's ever coached. That aspect made him feel comfortable coming into the season opener against Miami, but as we saw throughout the game FSU has a lot of work to do on the defensive side of the ball. Coach Andrews said in the post game interview the unit didn't play together Monday night.

"We didn't play like a unit tonight," said Andrews of the defense. "We had some guys who didn't play as good as they needed to play tonight and it showed. We play against speed every day in practice so it wasn't that. We just had too many missed tackles and blown overages."

A new wrinkle we had heard that was in the works was a new package the coaches put together on passing downs to help generate a pass rush. It consisted of one down linemen, 2 linebackers as the rush ends, 2 linebackers and 6 defensive backs. Coach Andrews said this was something he felt good about and that depending on how things go this could be apart of their package."

"The new scheme that is a 3rd down defense that we thought would be good," explained Andres. "We wanted our speed people on the field. The linebackers could be the rush guys and the others the drop back guys. This could be apart of our scheme but we have to see how it fits. We were pretty successful on 3rd down except the two 3rd down plays that had missed tackles that resulted in touchdowns. You aren't going to be able to do many things if you let that happen. You cannot afford to give up 6 point mistakes."

Mickey did say he has been impressed with Greg Reid and that he's been doing these things in practice. He did mention that he'll most likely get Reid more involved in the Jacksonville St. game and go from there.

Jacobbi Disappointed in Loss

Greg Reid wasn't the only freshman who had a standout game Monday night. Defensive tackle Jacobbi McDaniel played very well when he got his chance as he showed flashes of what the future will be like with him lined up inside.

He did tell NoleDigest after the game that he was disappointed in how things turned out.

"We played well but we ended up on the short end of the stick," said McDaniel of the game. "We have to go back and make corrections. If we prevented the big plays we would have been okay. I mean, that is part of football and it happens. But we have to get better."

McDaniel said he was nervous early on but as the game got going he got it going. One of the highlights for him was making his first career tackle for loss.

"Every freshman is a little nervous," McDaniel said. "I was nervous. I just knew I had to go out there and play my game. The upperclassmen were encouraging me throughout. When I got my tackle for loss I saw the center pulled down. I slapped my hands at him like coach Odell tells me; I met the guy in the backfield and made the play."

McDaniel knows there is a lot of work to be done but he hopes the Seminole nation doesn't give up on the team just yet.

"I was surprised by the offensive line," said McDaniel. "No disrespect to Miami. They were big guys, where we are smaller, quick and powerful, and I thought we could get them. We have to get better at pass rushers. We also need to work on staying in gaps and doing our job."

"We have some really good fans here at FSU," continued McDaniel. "I hope they stick behind us. That was the last loss for the Seminoles. The offense did a good job. The defense just needs to eliminate the big plays."

Rod Owens Knows Wide Receivers Missed Opportunities

One of the biggest reasons why the loss to Miami was tough to swallow was because of the missed chances FSU's wide outs had to make plays. There were several key drops in the second half that could have dictated a different result for the Seminoles. This fact is something senior wide out Rod Owens realizes.

"We're going to be more focused now," said Owens. "We left a lot out there. Me and the others, our job as leaders is to lead by example. We didn't do that, and I didn't do that especially. Me personally if that ball touches my hands I should have caught it. Had I made some of those plays the situation probably would have been different for us."

While the loss is a tough pill to swallow for FSU Rod says he isn't going to let the team fold. He says now more then ever is when the seniors need to step up.

"I want to push the team, the offense and the receivers," Owens said, "and the seniors are going to find a better way to push the team and get results. We have to. We were our own nightmare tonight and we set ourselves back tonight. We need to do what we do in practice everyday. We need to cash in on the missed big plays and get better."

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