I'm pouring over the results from last night. I'll update this throughout the day.
Everyone wants to discuss the 3rd down performance. Let's go deeper. This game was won (or lost) on 3rd and LONG. Advanced football metrics define 3rd and long as 3rd and 5 or more.
To be clear, you shouldn't expect an offense to succeed in 3rd and 5+ situations. The average conversion rate is a around 30%. Defenses strive to put their opponent in 3rd and long situations. That is the concept of leverage that we talked about last week. Let's take a look at how the Noles did with their 3rd down and long opportunities:
BC faced 3rd and 5+ on 7 occasions. They converted 5.
3RD-LONG RUN (2 RUN, 4 PASS)
3-12 B41 #1 14 up middle
3-10 F32 #41 8 over right guard (picked up the 4th-2 on the subsequent play)
3-9 B20 #10 to #82 16 [ ] CR
3-12 F14 #10 to #18 14 [ ] FL
3-12 B45 #10 to #2 20 [ ] PO
3-11 F46 #10 to #82 - [ ] PO
3-G (from 6) Incomplete Defensive Pass Interference (Carter, Tony)
Pathetic. 71% (and one of the non-conversions was converted on the resulting 4th down!) Andrews was badly out-schemed. That's not a talent issue. That type of performance is a coaching issue. It is Andrews being too stubborn to adjust. Again, remember that Tony Carter said that Crane knew where he was going with the ball before the play.
How about Florida State on 3rd and long?
8 opportunities. 1 Conversion.
3-5 B46 #7 to #86 14 [ ] CR
3-25 B46 #7 to #4 INT [ ] DP
3-9 F47 #7 to #86 - [ ] DP
3-13 B21 #7 to #86 - [ ] FL
3-7 F23 #7 to #6 2 [ ] SC
3-10 F40 #7 to #86 - [ ] SC
3-5 B33 #7 to #18 - [ ] SI
3-9 B32 #7 to #18 - [ ] SI
1-8 is a little bit worse than what you can expect to achieve on 3rd down (2-8 is more in line). That said, this team can't expect to do better than 1-8 on 3rd and long. As currently comprised, they aren't built to do that. As we've discussed before, this offensive line is not ready to protect for dropback passing. Ponder was late on several of these throws as well. Missing the wideouts hurt. The thing that disappointed me the most, though, was the play of the offensive tackles. We knew going in that we would struggle to pass block against Raji and Brace in the middle, but everyone figured that our tackles could handle the Boston College's ends. Datko and Sanders got bullrushed and BC was able to get pressure without blitzing.
...pass protections usually start out with the understanding that if the defense rushes five guys, you can pick them up, but your blockers will have to be able to block at least one defender (more likely 2) one-on-one. No pass protection scheme can count on double teaming all possible rushers. If you can’t handle anyone man-for-man, then a five man rush effectively becomes like a seven or eight man blitz, but also with sound coverage behind it._ Smartfootball.blogspot
BC's got the pressure of a 6 or 7 man blitz while rushing only 4. They played 7 in coverage all night and mixed their looks very well. FSU had 22 runs and 34 passes. BC ran 46 times and threw 28 times. I didn't love Jimbo's gameplan, but it was not horrible. He was handcuffed. Andrews had no excuses and must go after another underachieving effort from the men he leads. Jump on now or wait 2 weeks when UF comes in.
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