TSX Report: Florida State

Back to square one. Again. At least the Seminoles (1-1) can say they have experience in this type of undesirable situation. It has happened several times in the past several seasons, but not with this new coaching staff.

After pronouncing themselves on the right path and giving off a confident attitude, the Seminoles were humbled and embarrassed in a 47-17 loss against Oklahoma that could have been far worse.

Just like before, the Seminoles looked overmatched against a legitimate Top 10 team. They were not up to the challenge physically or mentally, often getting befuddled on defense by Oklahoma's no-huddle offense.

Now, Florida State has to quickly regroup to play a Brigham Young team that will be primed to exact revenge when the Cougars visit Tallahassee. The BYU game last year was FSU's signature win.

FSU rookie head coach Jimbo Fisher faces his first big challenge in getting a team to regroup and improve to play another quality team. He said the players understood their shortcomings.

"They knew they didn't play well," Fisher said. "They weren't happy with themselves. They were not pleased. They were not content. But they weren't hanging their heads, either."

"This isn't what we were expecting at all," quarterback Christian Ponder said.

The game against Oklahoma was supposed to mark a upward turning point for the Seminoles. The national college football world was intrigued to see how Fisher would fare in his first big test, and whether this program was truly poised to return to an elite level.

Not now. Not after that game.

"I was honestly shocked," junior receiver Bert Reed said.

The way Oklahoma shredded the FSU defense Saturday was pretty shocking. The Sooners scored at will in the first half. Three of the first four TD drives went for 80 yards. The Seminoles trailed 34-7 at halftime, their largest deficit since 1985.

Meanwhile, former FSU coach Bobby Bowden was being treated like royalty as a guest at Saturday's Penn State-Alabama game. Bowden said he only watched "bits and pieces" of the FSU game, but reiterated the biggest issue with the program.

"It's all defense," said Bowden.

Offensively, quarterback Christian Ponder struggled through one of his worst games. He completed 11 of 28 attempts for 113 yards, with two interceptions.


--PK Dustin Hopkins continues where he left off from his freshman season. The sophomore has been solid in two games. Hopkins has kicked 69 percent (9 of 13) of his kickoffs for touchbacks and made both of his field goal attempts on the year. He has converted 11 of his last 13 field goal attempts.

--Not sure what coach Jimbo Fisher was thinking, but he didn't win any friends among Oklahoma fans, and likely the OU coaching staff, by calling a pair of timeouts as the Sooners were simply trying to fall down in the middle of the line of scrimmage to run out the clock. It led to FSU getting the ball back and backup quarterback E.J. Manuel throwing a 47-yard touchdown pass on the final play. More boos rained down after that.

"We weren't quitting," Fisher said. "I wanted to get a two-minute drive in and wanted to get E.J. in the game and wanted to show them I'm not quitting. That doesn't change the outcome of the game, but it helps them understand the parameters of how we are going to do things."

--Oklahoma has won five of the six meetings against FSU. The only victory Florida State has over Oklahoma came in 1965, when the Seminoles won 36-19 in the Gator Bowl. The loss Saturday was the Seminoles' worst defeat since losing 45-12 against Florida in 2007.

--LB Mister Alexander produced a career-high seven tackles. His performance came after coach Jimbo Fisher showed faith in Alexander earlier in the week following his arrest for failing to appear for a traffic ticket. Fisher understood it was a misunderstanding about a ticket from a year ago and he wasn't going to suspend Alexander.

GAME BALL GOES TO: TB Jermaine Thomas -- He was about the only productive player for the Seminoles, gaining 58 yards on 11 carries for a 5.3 yards-per-carry average, and he scored a first-quarter touchdown to tie the game. He also had the team's second-longest play with a 34-yard run. He caught two passes for 35 yards.

KEEP AN EYE ON: QB E.J. Manuel -- Not that FSU is considering a quarterback debate, but Manuel did play well in mop-up duty and showed he's fully recovered from shoulder surgery. He might tempt some spot duty in the first half of games, at least on certain plays, as the Seminoles try to get this offense going again.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's one football game. It's not the Super Bowl. ... It was one football game. We found out where we are and found out we have a lot of work to do in certain areas. And we have to get it fixed." -- Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher, on the effect of the Seminoles' blowout loss to Oklahoma.


LOOKING GOOD: The only thing FSU did well against Oklahoma is kick. Of course, punter Shaun Powell had plenty of chances. He was forced to punt seven times, attaining a solid 42.7 average that included two punts inside the 20. Placekicker Dustin Hopkins made his only field goal attempt, a 52-yarder, and had three touchbacks on kicks. Oklahoma did not have a kickoff return.

STILL NEEDS WORK: Where do you start? Offense or defense? Both were exposed for being less physical, less athletic, less experienced than Oklahoma. But it still goes back to FSU's defense. The Seminoles teased in the first game, avoiding big plays and looking like they were handling new defensive coordinator Mark Stoops' revamped scheme. Not now. The Seminoles yielded nearly 487 yards of total offense, and it could have been far worse if the Sooners had not eased off the accelerator in the second half. This looked like the same FSU defense that was so inept last year.


--There was one measure of good news for the Seminoles. They did not sustain a serious injury, and the depth chart should remain the same as it did before the Oklahoma game.

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