TALLAHASSEE — For all the complicated coverages and intricate blitz packages defensive coaches can conjure up each week, Florida State defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews insists that creating turnovers is really rather simple.
"People don't fumble unless it's a violent collision," Andrews said. "People don't throw (interceptions) unless there's violent pressure on the quarterback and on the receiver. We didn't have enough of that."
FSU had plenty else on Saturday. For the second consecutive week, the Seminoles defense throttled a Division I-AA opponent. This time, it limited Chattanooga to 164 yards of total offense in a 46-7 rout. Last week, it shut out Western Carolina.
But despite the scoreboard dominance, Andrews and his players have left each game with an empty feeling. While they have been solid, they have not been spectacular.
They recorded only one turnover in the opener and did the same against Chattanooga.
"We've got to step up," senior linebacker Kenny Ingram said. "Our goal every week is to get three (turnovers). And right now, we're behind. If you count it, we're behind four. So that means next week, we have to get seven turnovers. We're going to go out there and play hard."
Ingram did his part Saturday. Late in the second quarter, he spotted Chattanooga receiver Clint Woods coming across the middle for a short completion and delivered a wicked hit that jarred the ball loose.
Ingram then pounced on the ball at Chattanooga's 31-yard line to set up the Seminoles' final scoring drive of the first half.
"I knew I hit him pretty good," Ingram said. "It was a great feeling. As soon as I laid into him, I knew he was going to cough something up."
Said fellow linebacker Toddrick Verdell: "Those types of hits amp everybody up. It brings energy not only to the defense, but to the offense and to the special teams. And more than anything, it gets the crowd more involved."
But apparently, creating turnovers isn't yet contagious. For the second consecutive week FSU's defensive backs were in position to break up passes but failed to record any interceptions.
"Last week we had six potential (interceptions)," Andrews said. "This week we had four or five. We didn't get a one. We've gone two weeks without an (interception)."
"We're putting ourselves in great positions to make the plays," said senior cornerback Tony Carter, who dropped what appeared to be an easy interception against Chattanooga. "Now, we've just got to go out and make them."