Instant Reaction – 2019 FSU-UVA

by | Sep 15, 2019 | Analysis, Football, Reactions, Sports

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So this week, the reaction isn’t quite as instant. There are enough hot takes about FSU Football going on from folks who both do and don’t know what they’re talking about. There are a lot of opinions out there, some valid, some invalid. I wanted to, instead, talk about some things we know and that we can actually point to after 3 games.

Offense:

  • This O-Line is not good. That being said, it’s way worse when your starting tackle (Jauan Williams) is out. Abdul Bello isn’t who you want guarding your QB’s blind side. Tempo helps the O-Line. Running tempo keeps defenses from sending in exotic blitzes and tires out defensive lines. It keeps us in games longer. Learn to love the tempo.
  • Cam Akers is still a beast. He ran very hard last night, and it showed. Otherwise, we need to not expose ourselves by running off-tackle. Quick-hitting runs are still our best option until defenses adjust and bring pressure up the middle.
  • James Blackman is who he is. He’s not a great quarterback, he’s not a bad quarterback. Is he having issues with the deep ball? Yeah. Should that spur the staff to make a change? Probably not.
  • All our quarterbacks are significantly flawed in a way that limits their ability within the system. James has decision-making issues and is a pro-style quarterback first. Hornibrook is nothing but a pro-style QB and would look like Drew Weatherford running this system. Jordan Travis has the best wheels, but has significant arm talent issues at this point that would significantly hamper the offense.
  • Kendal Briles is still a genius. The fake jet sweep halfback dive worked all night. Here’s the thing, though. He lives by speed and dies by speed. This offense, for good or bad, will always run tempo. It will never slow down. Embrace the speed. The more we score, the better.

Defense:

  • The defense looked better. Still not good, but better. It looked like we went back a little to last year’s run fits, and it seems to have suited the linebackers better, as they played with more intensity and triggered better.
  • We didn’t let the mobile quarterback have his way with our defense. The staff did a great job of preaching containment. Even though we didn’t sack him a lot, we influenced his throws and made him scramble – often unsuccessfully.
  • The defense needs to play more aggressively. We can’t allow long, sustained drives. Either give up a quick score or get a 3-and-out. We need to play less soft zone and dare the opposing QB to beat us deep. This won’t always be pleasant – but it’ll get the ball back to the offense.
  • This will have the effect of also keeping our defense fresh. Not that we weren’t last night, but it’ll help.
  • Got a lot of freshmen in the game that made freshman mistakes. That’s fine. That’s what we wanted. They can grow off of that.

Otherwise:

  • It seems to me that those who are the most up in arms this year are also the same ones who were the most optimistic about the season. This was not a 2-year change from 2017. This is not a reload. This is a full-on, 4-5 year rebuild. There are a lot of constraining factors here that keep our turnaround from happening in a quicker timeframe.
  • Have patience. You can critique the staff and their decisions/recruiting and still have an adequate amount of patience. Let the process work.
  • Hasty or reactionary moves will only make this process take longer. Let the process work.
  • Should we fire Harlon Barnett? Probably. Should we do it right now, this very instant? Probably not. Let the process work.
  • Did you know that basketball season starts in early November? Because I’m looking forward to it. Exhibition games start next month.

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