Christian Ponder: 11-21, 173 yards, 2/1
Coach Jimbo Fisher touched on Ponder's performance for more than a few moments in the post-game press conference. His point was simple, while he is not throwing for 300 yards, he is doing the things that need to be done to win.
He IS showing the leadership that you expect from your senior QB and he has done a great job of limiting mistakes. He did not get a lot of help from the wideouts either.
On the Smith TD, Ponder could have went to either side, he went to Smith against the sophomore Brandon McGee and it proved to be the right decision. The ball was perfect, but more importantly it was where FSU had the match-up advantage. The other side appeared to be Haulstead with Brandon Harris covering(Harris much better than McGee). It is a little thing that might go unnoticed, nevertheless a key decision.
FSU is running the ball at an astounding clip, Ponder is simply not needed to do more right now. There will come a time when he needs to pass the ball down the field and he will likely deliver. At the same time, expectations going forward should probably be in line with what we have seen the last four weeks.
Chris Thompson: 14-158, 1 TD
Jermaine Thomas: 16-78, 2 TD, 2-34, 1 TD
Lonnie Pryor: 3-45, 1 TD
The three headed monster was just two this week with an assist from Pryor. Thompson broke the big one late, but it was Thomas's first half play that ignited the offense. The junior has really responded to some early struggles.
Thompson is slippery and is showing some big play flair. He is getting comfortable with the speed of the game and he seems to possess quality vision. It was great to see Pryor making plays, he is yet another player that can step up if needed.
Overall FSU had 41 carries for 298 yards. Yes 298 yards on a Miami defense. Simply a stunning performance. We have gone from "nice game" to "rushing offense looks pretty good" to "hey we can run a little" to "we can jam the ball down your throat at will". A very nice progression.
Taiwan Easterling: 4-53
Beau Reliford: 2-27
Willie Haulstead: 1-20
Bert Reed: 1-18
Rodney Smith: 1-18, 1 TD
This unit clearly struggled. Reed has had better days, even his one catch was a bit of a fluke on a tipped ball. Easterling was his usual solid self. It was terrific to see Smith make a big, back-breaking TD catch to ice it.
Reliford had a couple catches, both on beautiful play calls. There are catches in this offense for the Tight End, but the TE needs to be able to consistently be a threat. Reliford is not quite there, but this was the second week in a row where he has been involved.
There is cause for concern going forward because there simply is not a big weapon here. Defensive Coordinator's are not worried about FSU's WRs and that allows them to play more aggressively.
Dominating performance. What do you get when you put together a 6'1 Center with a 6'2 Guard and a banged up Left Tackle. Apparently a pretty awesome offensive line. Legit.