Alex Turko (@aturko_23)
The continuous slow starts on both sides of the ball should have Seminole fans shaking in their boots. Boston College went up 17 to 3 early into last Saturday’s showdown. Who knows what would have happen if Jameis Winston didn’t throw that miraculous Hail Mary to Kenny Shaw as time expired in the first half. This play made all of the highlight reels and headlined the talk shows, but the real storyline behind the Seminole football team this season has been the slow starts.
Once again the Noles came out flat and had everyone covering their eyes with the embarrassing display of football. Florida State’s defense was expected to have some trouble stopping Boston College’s bruising 230-pound running back, Andre Williams. But “some trouble” should not have meant giving 149 yards to a single player. Their offensive line was simply overpowering the Noles D-line for the majority of the game, and the amount of missed tackles were reminiscent to a pop warner game. We (including myself) continue to make excuses for FSU’s slow starts, but that must end now because a slow start against the bulk of the teams left on our schedule will end up resulting in a loss.
If it weren’t for Jameis Winston and the high-powered offense, this game could have easily been the dream shattering upset that Nole fans and media have come to expect from a Jimbo Fisher run team. The offense amassed 489 total yards with 330 of them coming from the arm of the talented freshman. While those numbers will fool a stat reader, the offense showed numerous areas where improvement will be essential. The offensive line play had me furious from start to finish. The telling stat of their poor execution is not only found in the four sacks that they allowed, but the fact that Jameis Winston was the teams’ leading rusher with only 67 yards. Winston was constantly running for his life, keeping plays alive with his feet. Not to knock Boston College, but to think that their talent level on the defensive line manhandled our veteran group of offensive lineman could be a huge weakness as the season progresses. The good news of the lines’ poor play is it seemed to stem from poor execution and not the talent that these guys have. Hopefully these problems can be fixed before it is too late.
Maryland couldn’t have come to town on a better weekend for both parties. For the Terrapins, they are coming off of a bye week, which gives them an extra week to prepare for one of the best opponents that they will face this season. Their offense is rolling and is 2nd in the ACC in total yards, ahead of the high-powered offense of Clemson. They also catch the Seminoles fresh off of a less than stellar performance against Boston College where a lot of weaknesses were brought to the surface.
For Florida State, facing the Terrapins before the dynamic Clemson Tigers offense should be extremely beneficial. Maryland has a decently mobile quarterback in C.J. Brown, who is efficient on the ground as well as through the air. This should give the Noles defense a dress rehearsal for the dual threat Heisman front-runner Tajh Boyd. Maryland will not only prepare the defense for Boyd, but it will also test their ability to cover dynamic playmakers at the receiver position. The Terps have Stefon Diggs who is an unbelievable playmaker and drew comparison to Percy Harvin out of high school. Diggs will give a preview to how the Noles will handle Sammy Watkins of Clemson, who is arguably the best playmaker in the nation.
Jimbo Fisher better have his troops firing on all cylinders from the first sound of the gun on Saturday, or the Seminoles could be in big trouble. It will be interesting to see how the offensive line handles a Maryland unit that is tied for the nations lead in sacks after struggling immensely against Boston College. With the schedule only getting harder, it is time for this team to make the necessary adjustments to become elite.
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