As always, this is a blend of our member's thoughts and my own. Thanks to all who contributed. We didn't have many differing opinions this week, which is unusual for a loss.
I'm still trying to digest this loss. Truly disgusting. People are going to make too much of the Marcus Sims fumble. The guy fumbled, and we shouldn't be surprised, as he did it last week. Fumbling one week isn't a reason to expect that it will occur the next. Sometimes these are random. He may have a fumbling issue, but we can't claim to have known that based off of 1 fumble in the VT game. Let's go easy on ripping Simms. He's not a good player and we know that. He is a slightly above average player who we've had to turn to because we can't run Christian every play, because Antone is really dinged, because Carlton Jones is a shell of his former self as a result of his type 1 diabetes (15lb+ loss since arriving), and because Jermaine Thomas can't run the ball every play. He is horrible in pass protection, but we will need Simms down the stretch. As for using him there on the goal line, Jimbo basically said that he is in our goal line package, and Thomas is not. That might change in the future, but discuss the entire game instead of one play out of 65.
Instead of talking about that fumble, let's talk about how the Noles were totally outclassed in this game. Let's talk about how we never stopped Georgia Tech.
I don't put this loss on Marcus Simms.
I put this loss on Mickey Andrews.
31 Points, 0 Turnovers, & 321 yards on 39 Plays.
8.2 yards per play. Up until GT's QB left the game, that's what they had done. 8.2 yards per play. I don't need to say anything more. 8.2 yards per play. Mickey's unit was ill-prepared. 8.2 yards per play. They played like garbage. 8.2 yards per play.
Some people are going to say that the Noles finally started to make adjustments. 8.2 yards per play. That is pure B.S. 8.2 yards per play. Do not buy that for a second. 8.2 yards per play. The Seminole defense didn't adjust to anything, rather Georgia Tech's QB rolled his own ankle. 8.2 yards per play. That is pathetic.
In a game that the defense was being counted on to carry the day, they were non-existent. Bad assignment football, strange formations with the 2 DT's, and poor angles meant 8.2 yards per play. In the back of every knowledgeable FSU fan's mind, we knew there was a chance that the defense could lay an egg against a team of this design. I dismissed that, telling myself that was silly, that Mickey wouldn't prepare these guys in a way that would allow such egg-laying, and that playing a running QB for the 3rd consecutive week would increase our familiarity. I was so very very wrong.
I like Mickey Andrews a lot. He is a good guy by all accounts, and has been excellent over the course of his career. Everybody can have a bad game. Let's consider this his bad game.
There are much deeper issues here, however, that we must eventually start to look at. Mickey's DB recruiting has been woeful over the past few years, specifically at the CB spot. We have a stud in Patrick Robinson, and an above average Senior in Tony Carter. I don't expect either to be back. I'm not a huge fan of our technique, and I am not speaking solely of this game. We could have major defensive issues next year, as Mangum and Jenjie are not anywhere close to starter level at a major D1 program.
Scheme wise, I tend to think that people are figuring out Mickey. That's not to say this can't be an excellent defense going forward. We can, if we execute.
Nobody should forget, however, that we were incredibly lucky to be in this game. We never stopped them with their QB in the game. They punted once. When you have defensive talent like this, you can't allow the opposing team to run all over you. Does anyone actually think the defense looked good in practice leading up to this game?
When one player plays poorly, I'll point that out. When the entire unit plays poorly, I'll point to the man in charge. We were so lucky to have their QB injure himself. That wasn't something we did. GTech was on their way to putting up FIFTY. Who would have stopped them? Not the Seminole defense.
The Yellow Jackets hadn't scored more than 27 points in an ACC game this season and had 31 on the board with 13:42 remaining in third quarter. _Steve Ellis
Look at this chart (in full-screen if you need to). Look at all the yellow going into our zone. There is a noticeable change after the GTech Fumble. This is just another example to show that we didn't adjust to anything and the only reason their offense stalled was the self-inflicted GT QB Injury.
Full Screen Version
I put this loss on Special Teams Coach Jodey Allen
Last week, I implored you to email the folks in charge and ask that Jodey Allen be relieved of his position. His unit is consistently horrible. He is not a kicking coach and should not receive credit for Graham Gano's amazing ability. Our kick coverage is some of the worst I have ever seen. GT had returns of 46 and 29 yards. Their total tally was 116 yards on 4 returns.
There is no way Jody Allen can feel safe in his job at this point. Many have called for his resignation before me. Our production at the defensive end spot has consistently declined since Allen replaced former DE Coach Jim Gladden.
When Jimbo finally takes over and cleans house, I'll take Amato or Allen in the "first to go" pool. Flip a coin.
The offense was shockingly decent
While Allen's guys were busy looking inept as usual, and Mickey's crew was doing less with more, Jimbo continued to prove, to me and other Tomahawk Nation members why we pay him so well. He did more with less. We didn't expect much and they delivered a ton.
The offensive line played slightly better in the passing game than I expected, allowing 5 sacks and a holding penalty. A sack rate of 15% is still terrible, but it wasn't disasterous for us. They really excelled in the running game. If you take out the sacks (college stats count sacks as rushing yardage), the Noles ran for 228 yards on 31 carries, or 7.3 per carry.
I was very impressed with Jermaine Thomas. He doesn't look explosive, and doesn't appear to have track speed. His best asset is his vision, and it is excellent. In trying to figure out a comprable back, all I can come up with is Ricky Watters.
It's great to see Preston Parker performing well. He is a key part of our offense, even if he's banged up.
Great job by the offensive staff to use all of their guys. They were giving us throws underneath, and we got them into the receiver's hands.
My thoughts on Ponder are mixed. I already think he is a good quarterback, but he also has a lot of room for improvement. The throw into the end zone was just bad. I just don't know how preoccupied he is with avoiding the pass rushers that beat our young offensive line on almost every play. Many members are concerned with him not leading receivers enough and throwing late (probably because of late recognition). There are several explanations for this. The first is that he isn't able to devote the proper amount of attention to down field because of the pressure in his face. The second is youth. The answer probably lies somewhere in-between. I lean to the former, however, because the pass protection is so poor. For anyone wondering, the pass blocking is much worse than in prior years.
The offense did their job. In the end, our defense asked the offense to do too much.
Insert a bunch of talk about how this team is tough and how they battle, etc. Whatever. The strength of our team was a huge liability.
Other Nole Writers React
- Scalpem says the Noles must put this loss behind them and get ready for Clemson, as it is a bigger test than GTech was. He's right, Clemson is better than their record indicates. The random thoughts are up as well.
- ChanrRant says the Nole's life on the edge style caught up with them. Good read.
- Ponder is definitely injured. I think he has cracked ribs. It's pretty amazing that our offense produced like it did with the young OLine and a major part of the offense limited due to injury.
- The Clemson game will almost certainly be a 3:30 ABC Regional split.
- Will we be ranked after today?
- We should and probably will beat all remaining ACC opponents.
- Florida is going to wipe the floor with this team.
- Dinnich is already writing us off, but Maryland still must beat us to secure the Atlantic. We really need Wake to drop another game.
- I accidentally deleted the copy of this game from my DVR, so unless someone sends me a copy, I can't do the film review.