Florida State v. Maryland Highlights & Press Conference Notes

[Note by FSUncensored, The basketball preview will be up around Noon Eastern. ]

Here are some highlights from Pbysh's youtube:

Of note:

  • The wide receiver blocking in this game was very good for the most part.
  • On Lonnie Pryor's long TD option run, the key is how E.J. runs past the 1st defender and then options off the 2nd defender.  That's really tremendous and made the whole play go.  Maryland was just outnumbered at that point!
  • I cannot say enough about Lonnie Pryor.  He needs to have a ton of tomahawks on his helmet!  The kid's blocking and hands are outstanding for a freshman.  Jimbo Fisher was all about this kid in his interview with Jeff Cameron.  Watch the block Pryor throws at the 7 minute mark!
  • We are spoiled by Ponder.  The difference in timing between him and EJ is noticeable.
  • I don't think EJ's issue lofting the ball as much as it is that he's not quite as decisive in his reads and his delivery still needs a bit of work.  There's also an optical illusion at work here.  Because he releases the ball so high, it looks like it is being lofted, but in actuality it is sometimes just coming down because it starts at such a high point.  Be mindful of that. 
  • 2 of the 3 interceptions Manuel threw were actually not his fault.  A receiver or tight end ran the wrong route or was not on the same page with Manuel. 

Some thoughts here:

  • It's really hard to say anything good about a defense that allows one of the worst offenses in the country to have a great day, and with 405+ yards and 37 minutes of possession time, that's what Maryland had.
  • That said, I am very impressed with the progress made by the young defensive tackles, particularly Jacobbi McDaniel (#99 freshman) and Everette Dawkins (#93 soph).  DT coach O'Dell Haggins is making a case to keep his job next year.  I am warming to the idea, but the ultimate call should rest with the new DC.
  • Andrew Carter and I talked about this via Twitter, but the play at 0:29 is becoming very predictable.  We both called it before it happened. 
  • #80 Jarmon Fortson had a noticeable drop in this game, but he also bailed Manuel out a few times.  And his drop wouldn't have happened had Manuel delivered the ball on-time or slightly late rather than way late.  This is a freshman QB, and he is growing.  
  • Throw and catch to the dependable senior #86 Rod Owens at the 1:45 mark is dangerous but also encouraging. 
  • The 2:26 block by Owens #86 on Reed's reverse TD was sensational.  Team work.
  • The move EJ Manuel makes at 4:45 is sick.  Great instincts. 
  • Look at Bert Reed #83's block at 5:05 on the LB #54.  Also, nice use of the pump fake by Manuel.
  • SITUATIONAL FOOTBALL.  IT IS WHAT BAMA DOES.  IT IS WHAT FSU DOES.  IT IS WHAT GOOD TEAMS DO.  And boy did it show at the end of this game  The whole team is composed.  They play urgency but without panic.  I can't tell you how encouraging that is to see from an offense with only two upperclassmen on the field.
  • Kudos to the coaches for not burning the timeouts earlier in the game.  FSU had them when and if they needed them.
  • Manuel's interview is pretty much everything you want.  Fisher has these guys practice their media skills.  Just as Ponder refused to blame Fortson for the drop against Miami even though it was obviously a well-thrown ball, Manuel here will not blame his tight end Reliford for turning the wrong way on two of the three interceptions.
  • And finally, Mickey Andrews is incredibly classy, and FSU couldn't have drawn up a better 25 years.  
  • Look at Fisher's smile at the 6:57 mark. 
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