Coming into the Syracuse game, Florida State was one of the worst red zone offenses in the country. They had converted just 12 of their 25 red zone attempts into touchdowns, and nearly half of the plays they ran in the red zone had gone for a negative effect. The lack of production in the red zone finally caught up with the Seminoles in the loss to Georgia Tech, and Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher was not happy about it after the game.
"We can’t go out there and fool around," Fisher said. "We get in the red zone, we’ve got to score touchdowns. We did not do it.”
The Florida State offense came out this week and scored touchdowns on three of their four red zone possessions. True freshman running back Jacques Patrick had a lot to do with that. Patrick, 6-foot-1, 235-pounds, was able to punch in two touchdowns from inside the two-yardline, as well as a 28-yard touchdown run.
Coach Fisher had a lot of praise for his young running back, who was forced into the starting role with Dalvin Cook and Mario Pender both out.
"A lot of poise," Fisher said. "As the game went on, he just ran with more power, more confidence. These guys hitting me hard, but I'm still pretty big, too. You know what I mean? Getting that feel, getting back in there."
Patrick spent most of the game running through tacklers, and was very efficient in the red zone. He averaged 5.16 yards per red zone carry and that number jumps up 7 yards per red zone carry if the two touchdown runs are not included.
Some of the reason for the red zone performance by the Florida State offense can be attributed to the Syracuse defense, which struggled to stop the Seminoles all game long. Still, Florida State executed very well, which something that both coach Fisher and the Florida State players have harped on over the past few weeks. Having a power back like Patrick certainly helped.