Florida State entered Saturday's match-up against South Florida 14 point favorites and riding a high coming off an impressive drubbing of BYU in Provo. FSU talked all week about focus and continuation, and how it was important to play at a high level after a big win.
USF wanted to come in to Saturday's game and prove they belong in the same group as Florida, Miami and FSU in-state. Riding first time starter B.J. Daniels and a defense that dominated FSU's offensive line, they showed today they are a force to be reckoned with.
Helping the Bulls Saturday was how inept the Seminoles were on the offensive side of the ball. Many fans were concerned about the defense for the ‘Noles, and those concerns were validated early as USF had numerous huge plays. Daniels had a 44 yard run (he ended up with 126 on the ground), and he completed passes of 77 and 73 yards as FSU's defense bit on play fakes, was out of position, and generally played some of the worst football seen ever seen from an FSU defense. Why players like Korey Mangum continue to start and get meaningful reps is beyond logic as he continues to struggle in pass coverage and general assignment football.
But, the offense, especially the play of the offensive line, is what contributed to the disaster we saw Saturday. USF's front 4 ate FSU's lunch today. There is simply no other way to put it. Christian Ponder was sacked 5 times, and they got pressure on him all game long. George Selvie and Jason Pierre-Paul lived in FSU's backfield as they were too much for the tackles of FSU to handle.
When the FSU offense was able to move the ball the either shot themselves in the foot with a penalty or a costly turnover. There were simply too many turnovers inside USF's territory, and it killed the offense. They were able to move the ball throughout, but when it counted most they couldn't capitalize. Those factors, combined with the 2-12 on 3rd down and 15 yards rushing, will never lead to a winning formula.
The defense played well in the second half as they were able to force 2 turnovers and keep the Seminoles in the game. Today boiled down to the simple fact USF came to Tallahassee and punched the Seminole offense in the mouth. They looked out of sync all day. Maybe some it was Ponder's knee, but FSU couldn't block, and they couldn't convert. USF came to play and they leave Tallahassee with a win that'll catapult them into the top 25.
Stay tuned to NoleDigest for much more on today's loss for the Seminoles.
Disaster in Doak
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