The quarterback situation at Florida State did not become any clearer, and actually may have gotten murkier, with the lack of a standout player on Saturday. Sean Maguire finished the day right at 50-percent and had two horrendous interceptions. J.J. Cosentino went 7/11 on the day for 177 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions, but on the two long passes that he threw the receivers had to come to nearly a full stop in order to catch the ball. De’Andre Johnson threw a couple very pretty balls and had better timing with the receivers, but Jimbo had to pull him out of the game and Johnson did not take it well. Johnson came to the bench area, threw his helmet at the bench, and sat by himself for a good bit.
The running backs were a much brighter spot with Dalvin Cook, Mario Pender, and Jacques Patrick all looking every bit as good as they were expected to. Pender showed elite speed and wiggle while rushing for 75 yards on just 10 carries. Dalvin Cook spent the beginning portion of the game in a non-contact jersey, but took it off when the officials kept calling him down every time he was touched. Once the non-contact jersey came off Cook was much more efficient and finished the game with two touchdowns. Jacques Patrick showed the way for the running backs with 16 carries for 81 yards and a touchdown. Patrick was an absolute load running through multiple defenders nearly every time he touched the ball and finished the game with an eleven yard touchdown run. He was physical and showed some very nice wiggle at times. Jonathan Vickers also had a great day catching the ball out of the backfield totaling 55 all-purpose yards.
The receivers had a very good day, and 5-star early enrollee George Campbell got it started with a 65-yard touchdown off a 10-yard curl route. Campbell out ran the entire defense showing speed that was lacking on last years receiving corps. Ja’Vonn Harrison worked with the first team in place of Ermon Lane and justified that move from the very beginning. Harrison continually got separation from the defensive backs and had the best catch of the day; a perfect throw by Maguire and a diving catch by Harrison. He finished the day with five receptions for 94 yards. Bobo Wilson also had a very good day leading the receivers with eight receptions for 114 yards. Tight end Mavin Saunders also had an excellent day catching the final touchdown of the game, a 17-yard pass from De’Andre Johnson. He showed why he is considered one of the best athletes on the team and finished the day with six receptions for 91 yards and a touchdown.
In order to talk about the offensive line we first have to talk about all the bad snaps by Alec Eberle and Corey Martinez. There wasn’t a possession that went by that there wasn’t at least one snap that went high or to the side of the quarterback. After the snap both of the centers blocked fairly well so they have that going for them. Rod Johnson continued his dominance from last season. Brock Ruble, who has been standing in for the injured Chad Mavety, held his own and, despite being 6-foot-8, he was able to get out of his stance with a quickness.
The first team defense had a great day allowing just two touchdowns, and no passing touchdowns, against the first team offense. Trey Marshall led the team with 10 tackles and he was all over the field. He had a sack and 1.5 tackles for loss as well. Lorenzo Featherston was also all over the field working with both the first and second team defenses due to the lack of numbers. He still needs to work on keeping contain, but was much better in that regard than he was that season and finished with 9 tackles, 2 sacks, and 3 tackles for loss. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Jalen Ramsey was also a standout with the praise that has been heaped upon him the last two seasons and this spring. He was everywhere again today with 7 tackles, a tackle for loss, a forced fumble, and a pass breakup. 5-star early enrollee Derwin James intercepted the second pass Sean Maguire threw and took it 41-yards to the endzone. He didn’t make much of an impact after that.
The team is filled with a ridiculous amount of talent and doesn’t need an elite quarterback to be successful. The running game will be the strength of the team, the exact opposite of last season, and Dalvin Cook is good enough to be a Heisman candidate if given the bulk of the carries. The defense was still not able to find much of a pass rush, but that may be because the Florida State offensive line is much better than everyone thinks combined with injuries to three defensive ends and only having two scholarship linebackers. It’s way too early to predict how good, or bad, this team will be, but that this team is filled with talent is unquestionable.