Florida State took the opening kick off and drove the length of the field to take a 7-0 lead. Sadly, it was the only offensive points of the night for either team. Pathetically, neither team would venture so far as the red zone until Florida State’s final possession of the night when they took a knee on the Boston College 15 as the clock ran out. With 7 points, 214 total yards and 4/13 on third down conversions, this was an inescapably bad offensive showing. If there was a silver lining, the offense is not turning it over and penalties were minimal. There is a sense that they are not far off from making plays and extending drives, but the struggle is real.
On the other side of the ball, Florida State put forth its best effort of the season pitching a shutout, creating two turnovers, injuring BC’s starting quarterback and scoring 7 points of their own.
Cook was held to 54 yards on 15 carries, and left the game with an upper body injury. Cook had two good runs on the night that accounted for most of his yardage, a 17 yarder on the scoring drive and a 28 yarder in the second quarter that ended prematurely when he stepped out of bounds on his way to a long touchdown. BC keyed on the FSU star and limited his running lanes. Cook looked a bit indecisive at times, which was uncharacteristic, and took several tackles for loss. The injury does not appear to be serious.
It was noteworthy that FSU seemingly did away with any pretense of a running back rotation as Mario Pender got very little work until Cook left with injury, and with the exception of on 14 yard burst up the middle on the game’s final drive, he was ineffective.
Golson started 5/5 on the opening drive and threw a stike to Travis Rudolf to finish the drive. He finished 15/24 for 119 yards, and was sans turnover for the third game running. Golson was interesting with his feet tonight. He had a couple of great escapes from pressure including one that prevented what appeared to be a certain safety, but at times he appeared slow in the open field and had a bizarre routine of slowing dramatically to change direction when running up the field. Based on tonight’s body of work, he has nice escape instincts laterally, but is not a fluid or particularly athletic runner beyond the line of scrimmage. Golson stuggled with pressure in his face which resulted in a turtle sack and a few short throws. I am further troubled by the rarity of hitting a receiver with space and time to run after the catch. I am not sure this is all on Golson, but it has an adverse impact on the offenses ability to break big plays.
Bobo Wilson was the best of the lot followed by Kermit Whitfield, but there was nothing special from this group again. As a whole, they do not do a good job of using physicality to create separation and lack awareness in scramble situations. Wilson was run out of bounds on a fade route with ease, and failed to attack a ball thrown in his area on a deep post while Ryan Izzo looked like an illegal man downfield on two Golson scramble throws in his direction.
This group was soundly outplayed. They conceded pressure and failed to create running lanes. A worthy argument could be put forth that their struggles were primarily responsible for the ineffectiveness of the offense as a whole. They must get tougher and better technically in a hurry or this season could be derailed.
BC runs the ball a lot, and I was happy to see our big guys up front respond and play in the backfield a little tonight. A number of different players made positive plays. Though it is never good to see a player injured, there is a harsh reality in football that hurting people helps the cause. Early in the fourth, FSU sacked the BC quarter back who rolled back awkwardly on his leg and left the game. With the game still in doubt, BC was relegated to a pair of back ups to mount a comeback and it did not happen.
Lemarcus Brutus had a pick and Terrance Smith forced a fumble that was returned for a touchdown by Jalen Ramsey.
Ramsey is interesting in the sense that he has not done all that much in the first three games at cornerback. Perhaps his coverage is solid and teams are not challenging him. Truth be told we have not faced a top level passing attack or individual receiver, and his true value there may be yet revealed. I am tempted to consider if his impact on games would be enhanced back at star.
Aguayo missed a 42 yard field goal. Bobo Wilson mishandled a punt, but we recovered. Cason Beatty was pretty damn good at punting. More bad than good overall.
I had significant concerns about this game as BC played the Noles well the last two times out. The game stayed within reach until midway through the fourth quarter, and this was a grinder. If the team improves, it will be remembered as an off night, if they don’t it will stand as an early sign of imminent decline. It is always better to win than to lose, and in doing so, FSU controls the narrative for another week.