We all got it wrong. The doom and gloom of Mike Norvell at FSU, and the program in decline.

And more than anything, that Jordan Travis wasn’t a thrower.

“Jordan proved that he’s a real quarterback,” FSU wideout Pokey Wilson said during postgame media access after FSU’s 24-23 win over LSU. “I saw him stay in the pocket for the whole game.”

Norvell tried to sell this idea months ago during the ACC spring meetings in Florida. In a quiet moment away from the monotony of coaches complaining about NIL and the transfer portal, Norvell was desperate to talk ball.

More specifically, that Travis — a dynamic runner at a position that demands passing efficiency in college football’s vertical passing age — is a bona fide thrower.

“He’s going to shock a lot of people,” Norvell told me then. “He’s a thrower. Wait and see.”

He sold it, but it didn’t sink in because, frankly, watch the tape of the previous 2 seasons. Travis was a tremendous athlete, and that was where it ended. Especially in games that matter when the ball had to go in the air — and the defense knew it.

Travis made occasional throws, but nearly everything was off schedule. On a scramble, extending plays, hoping receivers separated in coverage.

Rarely on time, rarely with anticipation, and with accuracy issues. Then the LSU game happened.

Time and again, Travis stayed in the pocket and went through progressions, moving within the pocket with his feet — not his legs — and with his eyes up and recognizing coverages. Like a thrower.

That was Travis standing tall in the pocket — not panicking and escaping — making throws and if he had to, taking big hits in the process.

Exhibit A: a beautifully thrown deep ball to Wilson for a 17-3 lead in the second quarter. Travis stood in the pocket, saw the rush coming and threw on time knowing he would get hit.

Not only did he get hit, but LSU DE Ali Gaye was flagged for targeting with a brutal helmet to helmet hit on Travis.

“That one hurt a little bit,” Travis said. “I’m still feeling it.”

And it’s going to leave a mark — a mark Norvell tried to develop the previous 2 seasons: 3rd down is everything. It’s where games are won, both converting on offense and defending on defense.

They spend multiple periods of practice every Wednesday focusing on third down. Various down and distance, different formations and personnel and plays.

The foundational aspect of every Wednesday practice is 3rd down, distance and time, and make a play. Execute and perform.

The touchdown pass to Wilson was a 3rd-down throw. Midway through the fourth quarter, FSU had converted 11-of-15 3rd downs and finished 11-of-17 (65 percent).

The Noles were 13th in the ACC last season in 3rd-down conversion, converting 35 percent of opportunities.

“I did not know that J-Trav was capable of it,” FSU edge Jared Verse said.

To be fair, he got some help. Norvell went out this offseason and tried to surround Travis with pieces that could help him become more of a thrower — that would allow him to play more free and comfortably within the system.

That meant upgrading the offensive line (Gs Jazston Turnetine from South Carolina and D’Mitri Emmanuel from Charlotte), and the skill positions (WRs Johnny Wilson from Arizona State and Mycah Pittman from Oregon, and RB Trey Benson from Oregon).

They all worked together this offseason, throwing and building chemistry and developing trust. You know, all those things that sound hokey but are critical to success.

The same things that make a difference between making enough mistakes to lose, or finding a way to win.

“I’ve been working really hard on just technique,” Travis said in July. “All of the little parts of the game. Sitting in the pocket and not trying to scramble every single time. I’ve been working really hard.”

The Noles were up 2 touchdowns late in the third quarter and had control, and then momentum shifted and LSU cut it to 7 points and the LSU-heavy Caesar’s Superdome crowd was finally in the game.

FSU then responded with a 79-yard fourth-quarter drive that included 2 critical 3rd-down conversions, and the eventual winning points. Travis was 3-of-3 for 48 yards on the drive.

When ask if FSU would’ve won a game like this last season, Travis said, “That’s a tough question. I have no idea.”

Here’s an idea: FSU doesn’t beat LSU with Jordan Travis of the previous 2 seasons.

FSU can play with anyone on its schedule with Jordan Travis of today.

“After all we’ve been through,” Travis said, “the game shouldn’t have been that close from the jump.”

He’s a thrower, all right. There’s no denying it now.