For the first time in my life, I watched Seminole fans leaving the stands at halftime en masse. Then, after the first Clemson touchdown in the third quarter, Seminole fans left in droves. The diehards who were left in the stadium witnessed the worst home loss in FSU history, and worst overall loss in FSU history since 1973. Today, Florida State had 20+ highly talented recruits on the sideline. They, too, witnessed this beat down, and I hope they see the potential of playing time. Anyways, check out the good, bad, and ugly of this shellacking.
Keyshawn Helton: The Freshman WR from Pensacola saw some action late in the game. He showed explosiveness and was the reception of the lone FSU touchdown today of 73 yards.
James Blackman: Yes, we know it was against Clemson’s third string guys, but he looked good out there. On the touchdown pass, he was able to extend the play with his legs, and still make a strong throw. The other completions, it looked like he made his reads fast enough and played with rhythm and pace. I am not calling for a QB change, but would love to see him get more chances.
Tamorrion Terry: He continues to be the only consistent vertical threat in the passing game. He is also the best gunner in the nation for punts.
Recruits: This could go under all three, but at least 20+ talented recruits saw a vision of immediate playing time.
Dropped Passes: Nyqwan Murray, Keith Gavin and Cam Akers all dropped crucial passes in the first half. They might not have led to touchdowns, but almost certainly would have extended drives. This would’ve led to flipping the field for our defense – giving them a chance to breathe and not play with their backs against the wall.
Fumbles: FSU fumbled the ball four times today. Luckily, they only lost one (the DJ Matthews botched punt return). People do not realize how much worse this game could have been.
Taggart’s Personnel Decisions: If Deondre Francois is really Willie Taggart’s guy, then why keep him in when the game is out of reach? Pull your starters and live to play another day.
The Defensive Secondary: FSU’s defensive secondary was like burnt toast today, giving up 404 yards in the game.
Stupidity: Receiver Nyqwan Murray and linebacker Zaquandre White were ejected for throwing punches. Additionally, Hamsah Nasrildeen was ejected for targeting. In the postgame press conference, Taggart claimed that was a “losers’ reaction,” and that they would face discipline for their actions.
Quitting: Both Taggart and Brian Burns said in their postgame interviews that some members of this team quit. Taggart went on to say that those who quit on their team would not see the field. We’ll see what Coach does after he sees the film.
FSU’s Rushing Attack: Clemson’s defensive end Christian Wilkins has one yard rushing for a touchdown. That one yard was enough to out rush the entire Florida State team. The Seminoles had -21 rushing yards today, including sack yardage.
Penalties: In the first half Florida State had 65 total yards, and 64 penalty yards.
Special Teams: They were atrocious. Penalties on most kick returns, a shanked punt, a muffed punt return, etc.
Guys, this was ugly. But this is also what we expected – maybe not with the self-inflicted wounds, but the final score was something that we said in the preview. This does not impact our views on whether or not FSU makes a bowl. The important thing for this team at this moment is to stay together and not fracture. Last year’s team would have fractured 6 weeks ago. Hopefully, Coach Taggart will stamp out the problem of players “quitting” on their teammates and will have this team focused and out for blood against NC State.