Wayne McGahee III

Florida State Left Looking For Answers After Houston Loss

Florida State has a lot of questions to answer before the start of the 2016 season.

Florida State's loss to Houston wasn't pretty in nearly every facet of the game. The offense in particular struggled to get anything going, and that all started at the quarterback position. Both JJ Cosentino and Sean Maguire struggled, though in different ways. Maguire was injured early in the game, and came back to take back over the starting job. He threw four interceptions and completed just 50 percent of his passes. Cosentino on the other hand looked scared to throw the ball, and took two sacks on his first two plays from scrimmage. He completed just 1 pass for 5 yards. 

That doesn't bode well for next year for either quarterback. A lot can be said about Maguire playing though his injury, but toughness doesn't win games. Maguire made poor decisions with the football, and continually underthrew the Florida State receivers. Cosentino looked like a deer in the headlights, and while he was thrown into action, he wasn't even close with many of his throws. 

With Maguire and Cosentino struggling as much as they did it opens the door for freshman Deondre Francois, and maybe even early enrollee Malik Henry to win the job. There is no question that both of the younger quarterbacks are more talented than the two that played tonight, but will they be able to overcome the knowledge of the playbook that Maguire has? For the Florida State offense's sake, Francois or Henry had better be able to take the next step. 

The quarterbacks weren't the only unit that struggled on offense tonight though. The offensive line was putrid, especially when it came to run blocking. Running back Dalvin Cook was held to just 1.8 yards per carry against Houston because there were very few holes for him to run through. This is a unit that looked like they were making progress coming into this game after a rocky start to the season. Injuries have been an issue, but the players who sat out the Houston game with injuries struggled at times this season as well. Offensive line coach Rick Trickett will have his hands full putting together a unit that is up to his standards.

These were questions that Florida State was going to have regardless of whether they won this game or not. It's just one game, but that one game was a microcosm of the entire season with the play of each unit, and the issues are now much more glaring than they were before. There's no question that this team has the talent to be one of the better teams in the country in 2016, but if those two issues don't get fixed, the results will likely be the same. 


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