2. KEYS TO THE SEASON
Biggest Key To The Florida State Offense
The offensive line HAS to keep defenses from doing bad things in the backfield, and the O has to start converting on third downs.
It’s hard to do too much offensively when the line is allowing 103 tackles for loss. By comparison, the 2003 FSU team allowed 80 – and with two more games – but the O line has been on a steady decline. Have problems for the running game, leave too many long third down tries.
Only three teams were worse on third downs than FSU, converting an abysmally low 29% of its chances with two 1-of-14 performances (Syracuse and Florida) and failing to hit 30% in seven games.
Biggest Key To The Florida State Defense
Be better against the stronger passing teams. It’s coming, but there’s too much talent now not to start being better when the ball is in the air. The young players are in place, but they need help from a pass rush that has to be steadier and stronger, and they have to stop getting hit by the big plays.
The defensive backs will be a whole lot better for a pass defense that can’t be last in the ACC again.
Quarterbacks only converted 55% of their throws, but FSU allowed two touchdown passes or more ten times and was hit for 200 yards or more by everyone but Notre Dame – the Irish were too busy running the ball in the 42-13 win.
Key Player To A Successful Season
QB James Blackman, Soph.
Or Wisconsin transfer Alex Hornibrook, or redshirt freshman and Louisville transfer Jordan Travis. Deondre Francois was good, but he was hurt in 2017, struggled through 2018, and had issues off the field and is now part of the Lane Kiffin traveling fun show at Florida Atlantic.
The entire offensive line is the real key to the season, and the defense has to be a whole lot stronger, but coming up with a steady season from the quarterback position no matter who’s handling it.
Blackman was good when thrown to the wolves in a tough situation as a freshman – completing 58% of his throws for 2,230 yards and 19 touchdowns with 11 picks – and now FSU needs him or Hornibrook to be special. The Noles need to start winning because the quarterback is just that good … but he needs time to throw.
Key Game To The Florida State Season
Boise State, Aug. 31 (in Jacksonville)
Of course there are massive ACC fish to fry with road games at Clemson and Virginia to deal with, home dates against Miami and Syracuse, and the regular season showdown at Florida to close things out, but this program really, really, really, really needs a good start.
The Noles were never the same after getting crushed by Alabama to start the 2017 season, and they clunked last year at home against a mediocre Virginia Tech team to open up the Willie Taggart era.
Beating Boise State up the road in Jacksonville wouldn’t mean FSU is back and ready to be a national player, but losing would be a problem for a team and a head coach that needs something positive to kick things off.
– Florida State Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
2018 Florida State Fun Stats
– Florida State 1st Quarter Points: 42
– Penalties: Florida State 110 for 851 yards – Opponents 69 for 607 yards
– Fumbles: Florida State 22 (lost 13) – Opponents 17 (lost 3)