It is safe to say that the Florida State offense was not nearly as good as was generally expected, in fact “disappointing” and “what the heck is going on?” are the common phrases that make message board fodder.
We certainly do not disagree-----FSU was clearly not crisp on Saturday night and quite frankly were lucky to escape with a win. But all the news is not bad.
Jameis Winston (25-40, 370 yards) would like a couple of throws back, we are sure he would like a couple of reads back, but all in all he was solid and there were some moments of greatness (the TD run, the dime to Greene). We expect him to get better, but he is going to need some help, well help from someone not named Rashad Greene (11-203).
Greene was his usual brilliant self, although Winston's second INT may be on him for a lack of---gasp---effort. He clearly was not expecting the ball, but he probably should have been. Other than that he did what he does----make plays. There was a Christian Green sighting (2-73) followed by a disappearance. Nick O'Leary (3-28) has to be a bigger part of the offense.
The running game was abysmal. Film study will probably answer for certain that a combination of poor blocking up front and Ok State stacking the box were the reasons for the poor results. Karlos Williams (23-66) was largely a non-factor and even when he had a TD, he stepped out of bounds. Not his best performance. The young man should be given a pass as he was dealing with a family issue. Mario Pender (3-31) played very well in limited duty, he showed some excellent instincts.
The problems on the offensive line appear to start at Center, but there was enough bad from each of the starters to be worrisome. Senioritis? Terrific game plan from Oklahoma State? Only time will tell, but the proverbial wake-up call has been delivered. Perhaps we see why Erving has trained some at Center.
It was the worst kind of defensive performance to analyze. There were plenty of good moments, but enough bad to really question what is going on. Again, did Oklahoma State have a great game plan? Did FSU just miss a few plays? (Certainly one was the uncovered TD). Does the unit need to gel? Is Charles Kelly the right man for the job?
A lot of questions, if there is a bright side it is that FSU started a little slow last year before becoming one of the best units in the country. We think Chris Casher was missed. The DL was not as dominant as we expected. Mario Edwards came to play and Eddie Goldman was solid, but they did not see to get much help.
One area where FSU must improve is against QB runs. Whether designed or off of broken plays enough yardage was given up to make it a point of emphasis going forward. The difference between Nate Andrews and Tyler Hunter is ball skills. Both have spent time at WR in their high school careers, but there is just a huge difference in the secondary. Andrews showed those skills on another game changing play and we though Hunter missed several opportunities for impact plays.
There is a lot of room for improvement.
In the world of college football you take the “W” every time you can get it and FSU escaped with that result. The winning streak is alive and FSU has cupcake city coming to town (the Citadel) before an off week and Clemson. This should provide ample time to iron out some of the kinks we saw tonight.
It is always important to remember that while the game is played ONCE, there are infinite possibilities of how that game could have been played. Tonight we saw an “off” FSU against a “better than average” performance from Oklahoma State. FSU was still good enough to win the game. <--------- This is important for margin of error as well as the obvious----FSU is not going to be “off” very often.
Perhaps the biggest hole on the team was punting where Cason Beatty makes average look unattainable. The 'Noles have been playing with fire there for over a season.