Grading The Noles
Even though Weatherford had very little help from his offensive line, he still was able to pass for 377 yards and a completion ratio of 59%. However, the redshirt freshman also threw three interceptions and he was erratic at times with his accuracy.
Once again another poor showing for the offensive line unit by allowing way too much pressure on the quarterback. There were also several key holding penalties, including one on a touchdown run by Leon Washington.
The running backs weren't given many changes and between Booker and Washington there were only 15 rushing attempts. However, when they did get a chance, they made the most of their opportunities. Booker had 58-yard touchdown run and Washington had a touchdown run erased by a holding penalty.
This unit played up and down for the majority of the game. They had plenty of good catches but also had a few key drops that would have helped out the offense. DeCody Fagg played well but left the game very early with an injury. Fred Rouse showed his immaturity when the coaches were unable to locate him on a play when he was needed. Because of this Florida State was forced to burn a much needed time out. Greg Carr once again played well as he came down with a jump ball, as well as a two-point conversion. Chris Davis had a nice touchdown but also a key drop, and Willie Reid made some clutch catches. Overall this unit was unable to make enough key plays because of the constant pressure on quarterback Drew Weatherford.
The guys up front knew that they faced a challenge coming into the game but there was no way to fathom that Marques Hagans would turn in the caliber of performance that he did. They did their best to contain a guy that was rolling out on every other play. When that started happening, Hagans found space in the middle. Credit a great game plan by Virginia.
Linebackers probably missed just as many plays as they made. AJ Nicholson's interception could have been a turning point in the game, but a roughing the passer penalty called against Ernie Sims nixed the pick. They didn't succeed in quieting Hagans, although Virginia's running backs were held to 20 yards. Some coverage assignments were poor.
Coverage was soft, assignments were missed and Florida State's secondary came unraveled when forced to maintain focus as Hagans scrambled and bought extra time. The Seminoles allowed a season-high 306 passing yard and two touchdowns. Tony Carter was finally outmatched by a player nearly six inches taller than him. Carter couldn't compensate for the size difference and had trouble rebounding from a mistake-filled first quarter.
Because of poor kick coverage, Virginia started drives at its own 37 and own 47 after two FSU scores that produced short-lived momentum. The Seminoles surrendered 129 kick returns on the night. Punter Chris Hall averaged just 29 yards on four kicks.
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