Inside The Seminole Film Room: NC State Review (1st HALF done, now with pictures)

I have a busy weekend and have to do a lot of reading for class, so I will likely not be able to watch this tape from start to finish.  As a result, I'll continually update this thread with content, as I clear tape.  Check back throughout the weekend. 


1/10 at Fs21 Ponder, C pass complete to Parker, P for 9 yards to the FS30 (Leonard, R.).
2TE TWIN WR 1RB.  State clearly in Zone, LB not far out enough, Bubble for 9.
2/1 at Fs30 Smith, A rush for no gain to the FS30.
BAMA.  Run right, Smith trips.
3/1 at Fs30 Smith, A rush for 5 yards to the FS35, 1ST DOWN FS (Neal, J.;Michel, R.).
Heavy I.  Great block by Little on the seal.  
1/10 at Fs35 Ponder, C rush for 6 yards to the FS41 (Leonard, R.;Cash, A.).
KGUN.  Designed rollout, well blocked.  Nobody open.  Ponder really needs to slide here, as his style didn't net him anything extra
2/4 at Fs41 Sims, M rush for no gain to the FS41 (Leonard, R.;Cash, A.).
OFFSET Gun.  Caz is lined up as an Hback.  This is really just KGUN with the Z up and Caz back off the line.  Blitz comes, McMahon blocks nobody, Hudson has to try to grab his man, doesn't work.  You'll see a theme develop as this game goes along.
3/4 at Fs41 Ponder, C rush for 4 yards to the FS45, 1ST DOWN FS (McKeen, S.;Maddox, D.).
KGUN, stands in pocket, nobody open, pretty good coverage, Ponder w/ great leg drive on the scramble.  NOTE: NC State was ridiculous here, in literlly trucking Bert Reed as he ran his route over the middle.  That is a good reason for nobody being open.  
1/10 at Fs45 Ponder, C sacked for loss of 6 yards to the FS39 (Young, W.).
EYE.  This is what happenes when you have an 18yo playing tackle.  Willie Jones is a good pass rusher, Zebrie is on an island, and Jones gives him a nice move to the outside.  I talked about this last week, but you're nuts if you think this line ranks with some of the better lines in footall at this point.  They are very, very young.  Note:  This was not a blitz.
2/16 at Fs39 Ponder, C pass complete to Parker, P for 17 yards to the ST44, 1ST DOWN FS (Leonard, R.).
KGUN, designed rollout, strong job by Datko and Ant to block, Ponder throws a strike to Parker on the out route, and Parker turns it upfield for some extra yards.  Moving the pocket is a good idea.  NC State's version of the cover 3 was loose  Also, they were holding us like crazy in the first half.
1/10 at St44 Ponder, C pass incomplete to Carr, G.
BAMA.  The line doesn't sell the run fake very well.  PA, Ponder has to backpedal, throws way high for carr (Imagine that).  No opportunity to see who was open.
2/10 at St44 PENALTY FS holding (Furlong, W) 10 yards to the FS46.
BAMA.  This was a 4 yard run for Antone, but Furlong clearly held.  He's not a good player, and hurt his foot later in the game.
2/20 at Fs46 Smith, A rush for 7 yards to the ST47 (Michel, R.;Neal, J.).
EYE.  Lead Draw (think Dallas Cowboys with Emmit).  Hudson got a pancake block here.  
3/13 at St47 PENALTY FS false start (Sanders, Z.) 5 yards to the FS48.
4GUN.  Zebrie jumps here, but NC State did as well.  I think this might have been a bad call.  He had a bad night, but this might not have been his fault. 
3/18 at Fs48 Ponder, C sacked for loss of 7 yards to the FS41 (Cash, A.), PENALTY FS holding declined.
Coverage sack I believe.  Also, McMahon was beaten here, and called for holding, which NCState declined.  I'm surprised Ponder stays in the pocket as long as he does with our "protection".  With 6 men blocking 4, we really can't have this result.  
4/25 at Fs41 Powell, S. punt 45 yards to the ST14, Graham, T. return 7 yards to the ST21 (Wright, R).
Drive: 11 plays, 20 yards, TOP 06:33

On the first drive we saw the right 3 players on our OLine (McMahon, Furlong, and Sanders) get destroyed, Ponder make a good strike throw, scramble twice for yards, and 2 nice run after catch plays.  Jimbo noticed this stuff too, as will see later in the game, and gameplanned around these weaknesses.

I'll be out tonight, so check back tomorrow for the complete review.  GO NOLES!

Okay, I'm not going to comment on every play, since some of them would be quite repetitive. 

Here is an interesting Drive Chart:

Full Screen Version


Remember to view this page in full-mode.  

Here is NC State's first drive:

1/10 at St21 NC STATE drive start at 08:27.
1/10 at St21 Brown, A. rush for 13 yards to the ST34, 1ST DOWN ST (Rolle, M).
We only had 6 men in the box here, as someone might have been misaligned (LB).  Still, Nicholson foreshadows his horrible night with a missed tackle.  Had he made it, and he should have, it would be 2nd & 12.
1/10 at St34 Wilson, R. pass complete to Graham, T. for 2 yards to the ST36 (Smith, K;Mangum, K).
Good tackle
2/8 at St36 Eugene, J. rush for 14 yards to the 50 yardline, 1ST DOWN ST (Rolle, M).
We're in a man-2 look presnap, but shift into a safety blitz.  This was basically unlucky here.  Craig james made a good comment here:  Moffett pancaked the TE, but they ran in the proper gap and caught us.
1/10 at St50 Brown, A. rush for 10 yards to the FS40, 1ST DOWN ST (Verdell, T).
Mickey said that NC State totally went away from all tendencies and started pulling tackles and guards and what not.  Thacker got pancaked here and that blew up our defense.  Poor game from him.
1/10 at Fs40 Wilson, R. pass complete to Spencer, O. for 2 yards to the FS38 (Carter, T).
This is more like our look.  3WR Gun, we play man 1 with Rolle on the slot, but way off.  Bubble screen, Carter fights through the block for the tackle.  Great individual effort play.  If he misses this, we're gashed.
2/8 at Fs38 Wilson, R. pass complete to Gentry, T. for 25 yards to the FS13, 1ST DOWN ST (Carter, T).
Blitz 6, Rolle gets picked a tad, but still doesn't do a good job following the FB out of the backfield.  Good playcall, but a bust. 
1/10 at Fs13 Brown, A. rush for 5 yards to the FS8 (McClure, D;Rolle, M).
Heavy personnel, Watson gets dominated, ditto Mincey.  
2/5 at Fs08 Brown, A. rush for 1 yard to the FS7 (Verdell, T).
Paul Griffin and Moffett whoop their man, Everette makes a nice move to the inside then gets tripped and pancaked, but there is so much penetration, this play is dead.
3/4 at Fs07 Wilson, R. pass incomplete to Williams, J. (Mangum, K).
I have to take issue with the alignment here.  QB has a cannon arm and NO touch, yet you're playing man coverage 6 yards off the ball, with outside technique.   Slant.  Should be six.  Seriously doubt Mickey teaches that.  No Awareness from Mangum
4/4 at Fs07 Czajkowski, J. field goal attempt from 24 GOOD, clock 03:49.
Per this blogs philosophy, FG's are wins.  They showed different stuff on this series, and we needed time to adjust.
NC State 3, Florida State 0
Drive: 10 plays, 72 yards, TOP 04:38

Obviously, this was concerning.  Mickey needed to make adjustments on the fly, and we will see later if he did.

Here is the picture of Thacker getting dominated on the early run:


Photo Courtesy of Section Six.

This photo shows part of our early problem, we didn't play very well in the front 7.  NC State did show some different looks, and really surprised us by pulling linemen and running a lot of traps, but our middle guys (Thacker, Mincey, Griffin, Stewart, and LB Nicholson) didn't play well early.

I'm trying to decide which other drives to comment on.  More to come...

Here is our 2nd offensive drive.


Pierson, B. kickoff 68 yards to the FS2, Garvin, M return 27 yards to the FS29 (Goodman, R.).
1/10 at Fs29 FLORIDA STATE drive start at 03:43.
1/10 at Fs29 Ponder, C pass complete to Sims, M for 11 yards to the FS40, 1ST DOWN FS (Morgan, D.;Irving, N.), PENALTY ST personal foul 15 yards to the ST45, 1ST DOWN FS.
Official apology to Marcus Simms:  I am sorry.  You are a pretty good weapon, and if you'll learn to block, you could really do something special for us.  Strange looking PA, but the linemen sold it really well.  In a way, this was a screen.
1/10 at St45 Smith, A rush for 5 yards to the ST40 (Rieskamp, J.).
New formation.  NO Gun, 3 wr, and the TE to the 2WR side as an Hback.  Caz blocks this really well. 
2/5 at St40 Smith, A rush for loss of 3 yards to the ST43 (Holmes, A.).
Same formation.  Caz as Hback.  Same play, different side.  McMahon gets crushed 4 yards into the backfield.  Again.  Garbage.  McMahon killed this play.  Freshman All American is often solely a function of playing time.
3/8 at St43 PENALTY FS holding (Sanders, Z.) 10 yards to the FS47.
Gun 4WR.  3 man line.  Ponder checks.  5 man blitz.  Zebrie and Furlong beaten badly.  Ponder escapes and hits Parker.  Obvious hold on Zebrie.  Good looking ad-lib though.
3/18 at Fs47 Ponder, C pass incomplete to Parker, P, QB hurry by Young, W..
KGUN Hback.  Datko beaten inside.  Great job by Ponder to stand in and throw this ball in between 4 defenders.  He takes a hit.  Parker dropped this thing, at a time when he really needed to help out his QB.  ** See Photo**
4/18 at Fs47 Powell, S. punt 16 yards to the ST37, downed, ST ball on ST38.
Bad punt snap is an obvious continued concern.  **See Photo**
Drive: 4 plays, 18 yards, TOP 02:32

Here is the 3rd and 18, showing Ponder getting hurried.  He took a hit here, but Preston should have caught the ball.  Also, Zebrie is holding (not called)


Photo from

Here is the high punt snap.  We are a division 1 team, and we should be able to snap punts accurately.


The line problems will probably be here all season, and we have to continue to scheme around them.  Also, no bubble screens or runs by Ponder in this drive.  That would change.


NC State's second drive went for a TD.  This drive was more of the same from them.  We had continued problems losing contain, taking bad angles to the football, and really did a poor job of getting off blocks.  We still hadn't adjusted to the pulling linemen at this point.  We also didn't come off the ball very well.  This drive was all about the Noles losing first down.  Every yard gained on this drive came on first down, and this was easily our worst series of the year.  I'm not even mad about the TD play; it was a great call.  They had a double fake, and just sold it really well.  Nicholson had the bust, but this is going to happen sometimes.  They actually doubled Everette Brown with a tackle and a guard.  here is the chart, for anyone who cares:


1/10 at St38 NC STATE drive start at 01:11.
1/10 at St38 Eugene, J. rush for 18 yards to the FS44, 1ST DOWN ST (Rolle, M).
1/10 at Fs44 Wilson, R. pass complete to Spencer, O. for 13 yards to the FS31, 1ST DOWN ST (Verdell, T;Rolle, M).
Drive: 2 plays, 31 yards, TOP 01:59
NC State 3, Florida State 0
1/10 at Fs31 Start of 2nd quarter, clock 15:00.
1/10 at Fs31 Wilson, R. pass incomplete to Hill, A..
2/10 at Fs31 Eugene, J. rush for 11 yards to the FS20, 1ST DOWN ST (Verdell, T).
1/10 at Fs20 Timeout NC State, clock 14:18.
1/10 at Fs20 Wilson, R. pass complete to Hill, A. for 20 yards to the FS0, 1ST DOWN ST, TOUCHDOWN, clock 14:12.
Czajkowski, J. kick attempt good.
NC State 10, Florida State 0
Drive: 5 plays, 62 yards, TOP 01:59


At this point, FSU needed to respond.


Pierson, B. kickoff 70 yards to the FS0, Garvin, M return 31 yards to the FS31 (Johnson, C.).
1/10 at Fs31 FLORIDA STATE drive start at 14:04.
1/10 at Fs31 Smith, A rush for 3 yards to the FS34 (Young, W.).
NEW FORMATION:  Pistol.  I'm excited about this.  Credit Zebrie for not holding here, and credit Antone for dpoing a great job of turning the corner.
2/7 at Fs34 Ponder, C rush for 12 yards to the FS46, 1ST DOWN FS (Neal, J.).
PISTOL.  Option, Ponder makes a great read on the cutback, and he is crushed about 12 yards downfield.
1/10 at Fs46 Ponder, C pass complete to Reed, B for 19 yards to the ST35, 1ST DOWN FS (Byers, J.).
4WR GUN.  Bubble Screen.  We do this really well and should take it every time it is available.  State evem tried to bait us into this, and it was almost picked, but Reed made some great moves here.  Ponder throws such a catchable bubble pass.
1/10 at St35 Ponder, C pass complete to Parker, P for 15 yards to the ST20, 1ST DOWN FS (Irving, N.).
KGUN, Marcus Sims in.  Roll the pocket, Parker great route on comeback, throw in rhythm, good running after catch.  Excellent all around.  Squared his shoulders.  
1/10 at St20 Smith, A rush for 3 yards to the ST17 (Morgan, D.).
KGUN.  Zone read.  Antone Smith is an excellent back.  Rodney Hudson was dominated on this play, and that's maybe the first time I've seen that this year.
2/7 at St17 Ponder, C pass complete to Sims, M for loss of 2 yards to the ST19.
Play Action, really tough throw, can't float it enough, it's a bit short, Marcus has to change momentum, and falls as he catches it, for a loss.  Why was this tough?  Sanders and Furlong BOTH passed up the chance to block the DT in their shared gap.
Furlong is on crutches and Spurlock will take his place.  Spurlock has a lot more potential and doesn't have the medical issues that Furlong has.  Still though, we got even younger with that injury.
3/9 at St19 Ponder, C rush for no gain to the ST19 (McKeen, S.).
4WR gun.  Antone stays in to block.  Credit NC State here.  They went in a 3-2-5 defense, pinched the 3 to go to a bear look, then dropped the Nose into coverage and blitzed the outside.  
We had a huge space open over the middle, but no route in that area.  This is a product of their playcalling matchup up with ours.  This happens in football sometimes.  
Ponder didn't have anyone open, tried to scramble, and they were ready for it.  Sort of a coverage sack here.
4/9 at St19 Gano, G field goal attempt from 37 GOOD, clock 09:54.
NC State 10, Florida State 3
Drive: 8 plays, 50 yards, TOP 04:10

I was very encouraged by the speef with which we made our adjustments.  I'm also encouraged by the excellent play of Gano, the speed of Givens on special teams, and the no-nonsense return style of Garvin.  Garvin doesn't dance, he just gets it and sprints ahead.  I like this.  He might not break as many as he would dancing, but we aren't getting pinned inside of our own 20.



That drive also gave Mickey a shot to correct some things, and did he ever!

The first 2 drives: 15 plays for 134 yards (8.9 per play)  Insane.

The rest of the game: 32 plays for 99 yards (3.09 per play), and 1 play for 67.  

Mickey's adjustments worked immediately.  It's very encouraging to see this happen before halftime.

In the first 2 drives, the pack had 5 runs of 5+ yards on first down, 4 of which were 10+.  After that, we owned them on first downs.

So, what were the adjustments?  They were certainly motivational, but we also began to stack out LB's right behind the defensive linemen, as opposed to over an offensive lineman, which screwed with the defense's angles as well. 

NC State's 3rd drive went 5 plays for 30 yards, 25 of which were on a scramble by Wilson which was entirely the result of Nigel "Beast Mode" Bradham taking too sharp of an angle. 

So, Mickey made his adjustment's, would Jimbo?  You bet.


1/10 at Fs07 FLORIDA STATE drive start at 07:19, FS ball on FS7.
1/10 at Fs07 Sims, M rush for 6 yards to the FS13 (Kuhn, M.).
Quick hand to Simms, defense caught off guard, nice fakes by Antone and CP, and Hudson and McMahon get pancake blocks.  Nicely done. 
2/4 at Fs13 Ponder, C rush for loss of 4 yards to the FS9 (Holmes, A.).
I form TwinWR again.  Ponder checks at line.  We run into each other on the hand off.  I'm not sure who to put this on, but it was ugly.
3/8 at Fs09 Ponder, C rush for 8 yards to the FS17, 1ST DOWN FS (Neal, J.;Leonard, R.).
KGUN  Fakes the bubble very well, NC State bites, run up the middle.  Safe and effective, I like. 
1/10 at Fs17 Ponder, C rush for 2 yards to the FS19 (Leonard, R.).
KGUN.  Auto check at line turns this into a QB off tackle.  If it's there, and you have the numbers, I guess you take it.  McMahon again did a horrible job here, getting rocked into the backfield.
 It's quite sad they we have to game plan around our speed bump of a center.  UGH.  Also, the Spurlock was in here.  
2/8 at Fs19 Smith, A rush for loss of 6 yards to the FS13 (Holmes, A.;Neal, J.).
KGUN  Zone read.  Bad all around.  Bad blocks by: McMahon, Hudson, Caz (late off the ball), and Parker.  This was dead in the water.
3/14 at Fs13 Smith, A rush for 15 yards to the FS28, 1ST DOWN FS (Byers, J.).
I Form on 3rd n 14.  Great great job by Caz as he is a suction cup downfield.  The play: Dallas Cowboys Lead Draw, of course.  I like that we are able to do this on 3rd and 14.
1/10 at Fs28 Smith, A rush for no gain to the FS28 (Cash, A.).
4 WR Trips Overload Hawaii.  I think Ponder needs to check out of this.  We're blocking 7 with 5, and that doesn't add up.  Rhyan McMahon played the worst game of his life, as he is beaten again.  
Credit Datko for his aggressiveness here, his man was put on the ground.
2/10 at Fs28 PENALTY ST pass interference (Maddox, D.) 5 yards to the FS33, 1ST DOWN FS.
Ponder does an elaborate hot route audible to the left, then throws the ball to the right.  Credit the entire line for good protection here.
1/10 at Fs33 Ponder, C pass complete to Easterling, T for 7 yards to the FS40 (Young, W.;Maddox, D.).
4WR Hawaii overload, Middle Screen to Easterling, well throws.  Easterling should have cut this to the left, he might have had a 60 yard td.  Nice looking play. 
2/3 at Fs40 Ponder, C pass incomplete to Easterling, T.
4 WR.  Protection is eh, but not horrible.  Really bad pass on the out/ corner to Easterling.  This was one of 2 true screwups by Ponder.  Luckily, it went out of bounds
Note: I now believe Easterling ran this incorrectly.  Ponder threw to a spot where Easterling would have been open.  
Had Datko been able to block young, we would have had a huge gain to Antone, as he came open about a half second after Ponder threw, and nobody was within 10 yards of Deuce.
3/3 at Fs40 Ponder, C pass complete to Carr, G for 7 yards to the FS47, 1ST DOWN FS (Maddox, D.).
4 WR, Carr on the short in-cut.  Zebrie must chop these guys when they put their arms up.  Good throw.
1/10 at Fs47 Ponder, C pass complete to Carr, G for 6 yards to the ST47 (Gray, J.).
Ponder throwing in rhythm, good protection, Carr on the comeback. 
2/4 at St47 PENALTY FS holding 10 yards to the FS43.
4 WR gun,  Throw is high on the 20 yard out to Parker.  This is a super difficult throw, and made more difficult between 2 defenders and a lineman hitting Parker.
The hold on this play was ridiculous.  McMahon and Spurlock double this guy, he ragdolls Mcmahon, then swims over Spurlock.  That was pathetic. 
2/14 at Fs43 Ponder, C pass complete to Surrency, C. for 13 yards to the ST44 (Johnson, C.;Maddox, D.).
Middle Screen to Surrency, very well executed.  Ponder makes a GREAT throw here.  I love how he throws it where you can make the catch and keep going.  
We are one of the best screen teams in America.  
3/1 at St44 Timeout Florida State, clock 01:06.
Standing ovation for the coaches here, as we had all 3 timeouts.  This would NOT HAPPEN in previous years.
3/1 at St44 Sims, M rush for 5 yards to the ST39, 1ST DOWN FS (Maddox, D.).
Marcus Sims ran this thing crazily hard.  3 TE I-Form, we run a trap-type play, pulling Rodney.  I voiced concerns about our ability to pick up short yardage, and I am glad to see the coaches are finding ways to do it.
GREAT Blocking.  Spurlock, Caz, Datko and Zebrie all have their men on the ground, and Hudson and Holloway do a great job blocking on the move.
1/10 at St39 PENALTY FS holding 10 yards to the ST49.
This holding cost us 10 yards on the caoch, as Ponder hit Antone for a quick check down.  I want to see more throws to Antone.  Great throw too, high arm angle, gets it over a dlineman.
We're going to struggle all year with special edge rushers.  Willie Young is a good player.
1/20 at St49 Ponder, C sacked for loss of 11 yards to the FS40 (Young, W.).
We're going to struggle all year with special edge rushers.  Willie Young is a good player, and he crushes ponder here.  **See Photo**  Also, why wait so long to blow the whistle for "in the grasp"?
2/1 at Fs40 Timeout Florida State, clock 00:27.
Priase for coaches not wasting timeouts earlier in ballgame.  
2/1 at Fs40 Ponder, C pass complete to Smith, A for 10 yards to the 50 yardline (Cash, A.;Gray, J.), PENALTY ST offside declined.
4WR Trips, No overload.  Gun.  What do you call on 2nd and 31?  Something to get you to 3rd and 21.  In this case, a screen.  Datko herd here too.  Spurlock with a GREAT block downfield on the linebacker.  
3/21 at Fs50 Ponder, C pass complete to Surrency, C. for 31 yards to the ST19, 1ST DOWN FS (George, K.).
This was weird from the start.  Jermaine Thomas in the slot, then we motion to 4WR gun.  With 6 guys to block 3, we don't get any of them blocked.  
Ponder backpedals video game style, lofts the ball, and Surrency does a great job using his body to shield the defender while catching this pass at its highest point.
Surrency dropped some balls in this game, but he did a great job to catch this pass.  He is going to be a monster for us THIS YEAR.  I'm fully confident that he catches more big passes, he gets in the right position.
1/10 at St19 Timeout Florida State, clock 00:12.
We thought we had another timeout.
1/10 at St19 Ponder, C pass incomplete to Surrency, C. (Morgan, D.).
Surrency is a monster, but he needed to catch this deep fade.  Folks, he catches these in practice, and will do so in the game soon.  Fisher wouldn't have him out there if he didn't show it Monday-thurs.
2/10 at St19 Gano, G field goal attempt from 37 GOOD, clock 00:00.
NC State 10, Florida State 6

Here's the photo of the sack:


There were obvious holds all over the field.

Jimbo put Ponder on the Move, got the screen game working in the middle, and kept NC State off balance.  I was pretty confident we'd win at this point. 

That's it for the first half, folks, and I'll try to get the 2nd half up sometime soon.

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