Seminoles ready to roll
SUN BOWL together and has gone 2-1 during three games, with the only loss coming to rival Florida in Gainesville.
“I’m proud of this staff. They have been professionals,” Haggins said. “This staff has done everything I’ve asked them to do. I take my hat off to them.”
Arizona State is coached by former NFL head coach Herm Edwards. Edwards is in his second season with the Sun Devils. He has filled out his coaching staff with former NFL coaches and players such as former Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis and New York Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce.
While the Seminoles have struggled the last couple of years, Edwards said his team is eager to face FSU.
“Absolutely, because of the brand,” Edwards said. “They have a tremendous brand. There’s transition [periods] like anything. There’s transitions sometimes and they have gone through that a little bit.”
The Seminoles’ running back situation is fluid.
Starting running back Cam Akers announced earlier this month he was skipping the bowl game and entering the NFL draft. Backup Khalan Laborn had knee surgery and is not expected to play.
That leaves FSU with Deonte Sheffield, who has nine carries for 48 rushing yards and a touchdown as the team’s leading tailback entering the contest. Backup quarterback Jordan Travis has rushed for 170 yards and three touchdowns in packages designed for him. Wide receiver D.J. Matthews took reps with the running backs during one of the first bowl practices.
“I told our kids, ‘We’re going to do what we have to do,’ ” Haggins said. “Fit in and let’s go play football. You don’t make excuses. Go and do it.”
FSU will have to contend with Arizona State true freshman quarterback Jayden Daniels, who has been impressive this season, throwing 17 touchdowns against only two interceptions. He has passed for 2,748 yards and has rushed for 319 yards and three scores in 11 games.
“You can tell he’s a gym rat,” Haggins said. “He studies the film. That kid, pressure doesn’t bother him. He’s smooth underneath pressure.”
“We got to get him on the ground,” defensive end Janarius Robinson added.
Haggins said there have been no conversations with the team about next season. He has been focused on getting a win. Norvell will likely be evaluating things for next season.
“We’re thinking about Florida State, the things we have to do to go out and play well,” Haggins said.
Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis, right, celebrates with quarterback James Blackman after Travis scored earlier this season. Travis is one of the Seminoles’ potential run threats entering the Sun Bowl.