Florida State Coach Mike Norwell

Three weeks ago, Florida State coach Mike Norwell watched his team get lost in embarrassing fashion to beat Miami and lost more than one gamble from the loss of a program looking for a way to turn a corner.

Maybe the same thing happened Saturday against North Carolina. Playing with the intensity, passion and missing spirit missing in recent years, the Seminoles upset No. 5 North Carolina 31-28 on Saturday night, holding on for a win that needed to build the kind of confidence any coach would want. As he makes his program.

Due to the poor performance of the opening season, Florida State entered the game as a home double-digit, for the most part. But Norwell saw an improvement in Notre Dame’s losses last week, giving him hope that more are likely to come against Tar Hills.

Indeed, Florida State posted its first win as an unranked team against No. 2 Boston C College Ledge since 2007 against an AP Top-5 opponent. It would have been hard to imagine all of that in late September, when Norwell missed the game in Miami due to a positive coronavirus test and Seminoles landed in front of a national television audience.

Asked to describe Saturday’s victory, Norwell said, “There really are no words for it. It’s so special because since December 8th, I went to that auditorium for the first time with my team and this group, every moment we tried to grow and that improved. That is, believe it, improve it, I tell our people, the ultimate goal with every opportunity you get is to get out and be the best you can be.

“To see their celebration, to see the joy, to learn, stacked against all odds, a lot of people haven’t given us a chance tonight, but they don’t care what other people think about them. They haven’t thought about anything against them. Limits will be set. They just went out and played their game. Tonight was about this guy. It was their moment, and they deserve victory for how they prepared, and how they reacted to it all. To do. “

Florida State jumped to a 31-7 lead, but gave Tar Hills a fight to go back. When the fourth quarter began, Tar Heels closed the gap and trailed 31-21. Norwell said he pulled his entire team together with a smile on his face and said, “Guys this is where you believe in what you do. I can’t tell you what this fourth quarter will look like, but you go out there and you play the next one. Give everything you have. You maximize your efforts in this opportunity. ‘They did it. We got a better way to play tonight. It will be a monument for us to grow and advance this example. “

North Carolina had one final shot on its final drive to win or tie the game. When North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell’s fourth down pass was incomplete, a huge celebration began.

Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis said, “It was the greatest experience I’ve ever had in my life, seeing it as big as defense.”

Aggressive lineman Devont added to Love-Taylor, “Celebration, especially after what we’ve done this season, the hard loss in Miami, the hard loss here for Georgia Tech, the work we’ve put in. We paid tonight. But we Work remains to be done so he can continue to pay. “

Norwell looks plenty to succeed, including the inability to score in the second half and a lot of unsolved penalties that have cost him almost a game. He will come during film study and during practice next week and next week.

“We’re not perfect,” Norwell said. “We’re working in progress, but when you see growth, when you see improvement, when you see investment – it’s not for everyone. We have some men who have chosen other things, individuals who want to work here. Continuing, they are trying to be the best version of themselves in all aspects of their lives.

“We’re still pushing because I know we’re a lot more capable.”