By: Nick O'Bryan
Saturday was set to be a great day of football, with awesome games all day. This being the first game I wasn’t in attendance for physically, I was excited to see the game from my living room. That excitement changed to terror after halftime when the wheels seemed to come off slowly but quite obviously. Did I have terrible nightmares all night? Yes. Was I devastated for the next 48 hours? Yes. Did my sadness quickly turn to rage? Yes. It was like going through the entire grieving process in 48 hours. Maybe I’m a little over the top, but talking to other folks from back home in Tallahassee, I wasn’t the only one.
What went wrong?
1. No matter who you are playing on the road it is still a home game for them and those fans that were silent by halftime, and that NC State team that went into the locker room didn’t get the memo that the game was over.
2. Game management is a big part of being a quarterback. Calling two timeouts on a single drive in the second half, only to be sacked for a 15 yard loss and take the Noles out of field goal range is not how to manage a close game. Those timeouts sure would have come in handy in the 4th quarter.
3. There are times when running an ultra-conservative offense is okay. An away game against a team with an upset history against FSU in the third quarter is NOT one of those times.
4. The threat of Florida State’s offense is the three running back system used to throw off defenses and keep a fresh running threat on the field. Someone needs to explain these numbers to me:
Chris Thompson- 25 Carries for 141 yards
James Wilder Jr.- 1 Carry for 0 yards
Lonnie Pryor- 1 Carry for -1 yard
Rashad Greene- 1 Carry for 1 yard
E.J. Manuel- 8 Carries for -16 yards
5. 5. One stat that Jimbo Fisher should have perhaps glanced at before going to a run-run-pass on third down offense is that even though the Noles were getting big plays in the first half, they were 2 of 6 on third down conversions. You can’t run that vanilla offense if you are struggling to convert on third down. If there is any doubt what happens when you resolve yourself to that conservative plan; 3 of 15 on third down conversions by the end of the game.
That’s the short story of what happened in that game. It was a game that should have been won by a big margin that just wasn’t.
Let me preface what I am about to say by stating that I am a huge fan of Jimbo Fisher and think he is a great coach. The post-game press conference was a pretty typical “losing” press conference. People in Tallahassee weren’t too pleased with that, but the Monday press conference is what has Jimbo Fisher on the hot seat. Jimbo Fisher stated that after reviewing the film, he wouldn’t have changed anything coaching the game if the game was played again. Chalking the game up to execution is NOT what fans and boosters were looking for. ANYONE who knows ANYTHING about football knows that mistakes were all around, but coaching was close to the top of the list for reasons for the loss.
As we look ahead to a very down Boston College program, there are few people I would want to be less than a Boston College fan this week. I can see this game being used to try to prove something to the country. You have to hope that losing to NC State will be a wakeup call for the team. As a player, just because you are talented and being talked about on ESPN doesn’t mean you can’t get embarrassed. As of right now, FSU will be known this year for losing to NC State unless they can win out, and to be honest anything less will have Nole fans and Boosters very displeased.
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