Driving For Improvement: The 19 ACC Scoring Drives FSU Cannot Allow Again: #'s 19-14

Over the next few days we will be looking for areas in which Florida State can improve in the 2011 season.  Specifically, we are going to review 19 of the 43 scoring drives Florida State allowed in ACC play in order to highlight areas of potential improvement.  Later in the Summer we will offer our estimations of how much Florida State's defense can improve.  And the 88th-ranked defense has a lot of room for improvement.  Today we'll look back at drives 19-14

#19:  Greg Cooper's 3 yard run caps a 6-play, 59-yard drive to put Miami on top for good.

Um 1-10 at Um41 Harris, J. middle pass complete to James, J. for 7 yards to the UM48 (Carr, N), clock 03:50.
Um 2-3 at Um48 James, J. rush right for 2 yards to the 50 yardline (Carr, N;Robinson, P;Watson, D), clock 03:25.
Um 3-1 at Um50 Cooper, G. rush over right guard for 2 yards to the FS48, 1ST DOWN UM (Carr, N;Bradham, N), clock 03:03.
Um 1-10 at Fs48 Harris, J. middle pass complete to Hankerson, L. for 5 yards to the FS43, out-of-bounds (Reid, G), clock 02:32.
Um 2-5 at Fs43 Harris, J. flag pass complete to Benjamin, T. for 40 yards to the FS3, 1ST DOWN UM, out-of-bounds, clock 01:56.
Um 1-G at Fs03 Cooper, G. rush over right tackle for 3 yards to the FS0, TOUCHDOWN, clock 01:53.

One common theme in the worst 19 scoring drives FSU allowed in conference play is the inability to force 2nd and 8+ and 3rd and 5+ situations, also known as "passing downs."  That's important because the 'Noles were 100th in non-passing down defense, and 55th in passing-down and distance defense.  Here, FSU didn't force a single one and Miami went 59 yards in only 6 plays.  We covered Miami's 1st-down success in a few thousand words and pictures here.  And of course, FSU allowed a big play (40-yard pass).

Inside, see more trends develop as we examine drives 18-14

#18:  NC State ties FSU at 28 with a 7-play, 74-yard drive.

Ncs 1-10 at Ncs26 Wilson,R. sideline pass complete to Spencer,O. for 12 yards to the NCS38, 1ST DOWN NCS (Jenije, O), clock 10:18.
Ncs 1-10 at Ncs38 Baker,T. rush over left tackle for 5 yards to the NCS43 (McCray, M;Smith, K), clock 09:47.
Ncs 2-5 at Ncs43 Baker,T. rush left for 20 yards to the FS37, 1ST DOWN NCS (McCray, M), clock 09:24.
Ncs 1-10 at Fs37 Baker,T. rush over right tackle for loss of 1 yard to the FS38 (Jenkins, B), clock 08:49.
Ncs 2-11 at Fs38 Wilson,R. deep out pass incomplete to Bowens,D., clock 08:18.
Ncs 3-11 at Fs38 Wilson,R. post pass complete to Davis,D. for 32 yards to the FS6, 1ST DOWN NCS, out-of-bounds (Jenije, O), clock 08:06.
Ncs 1-G at Fs06 Wilson,R. flag pass complete to Williams,Ja. for 6 yards to the FS0, TOUCHDOWN

Here FSU, which was considerably better in passing downs than non-passing downs, actually manages to force two passing downs.  That's the good news.  The bad news was that the 'Noles surrendered a 32-yard completion on 3rd-and-11.  But FSU also allowed plays of 12, 5, 20, and 6 on the drive.  

 

#17  Javarris James 6-yard TD run caps a 7-play, 75 yard drive to put Miami ahead 14-10

Um 1-10 at Um25 Harris, J. crossing pass complete to Epps, D. for 19 yards to the UM44, 1ST DOWN UM (Robinson, J), clock 02:32.
Um 1-10 at Um44 Harris, J. deep in pass complete to Collier, T. for 18 yards to the FS38, 1ST DOWN UM (Reid, G), clock 02:10.
Um 1-10 at Fs38 James, J. rush over right tackle for 9 yards to the FS29 (Bradham, N), clock 01:47.
Um 2-1 at Fs29 Timeout Florida State, clock 01:46.
Um 2-1 at Fs29 James, J. rush right for 6 yards to the FS23, 1ST DOWN UM (Smith, K), clock 01:39.
Um 1-10 at Fs23 Harris, J. middle pass complete to Johnson, A. for 6 yards to the FS17 (Jenije, O), clock 01:11.
Um 2-4 at Fs17 Harris, J. sideline pass complete to Johnson, A. for 11 yards to the FS6, 1ST DOWN UM, out-of-bounds (Jenije, O), clock 00:55.
Um 1-G at Fs06 James, J. rush over right tackle for 6 yards to the FS0, TOUCHDOWN

Miami having success on 1st down?  Shocking.  The Cane didn't even face a 3rd down on the drive, and faced only a two 2nd downs (none of the 2nd and 8+ variety, of course)!  FSU did not force Miami into any passing downs on this drive.  This drive did not feature a 30+ yard play, but with plays of 6, 6, 9, 11, 11 18,  and 19, Miami didn't need the big one.

 

#16:  Boston College drives 65 yards in 6 plays to go up 21-3 before half.  

Bc 1-10 at Bc35 Shinskie, D pass complete to Gunnell, R for 11 yards to the BC46, 1ST DOWN BC, out-of-bounds (Robinson, J).
Bc 1-10 at Bc46 Harris, M rush for 3 yards to the BC49 (Carr, N).
Bc 2-7 at Bc49 Harris, M rush for 4 yards to the FS47 (Watson, D).
Bc 3-3 at Fs47 Shinskie, D pass complete to Larmond, Jr., C for 5 yards to the FS42, 1ST DOWN BC, out-of-bounds (Jenije, O).
Bc 1-10 at Fs42 Shinskie, D pass complete to Larmond, Jr., C for 4 yards to the FS38 (Reid, G).
Bc 2-6 at Fs38 Shinskie, D pass complete to Smith, J for 38 yards to the FS0, TOUCHDOWN, clock 00:59.

Florida State faced 6 plays on the drive and couldn't force a single passing down.  Every play gained at least 3 yards as the Eagles offense, anemic against most everyone, had no trouble marching on FSU.  

 

#15:  Clemson scores on its 7-play, 76-yard opening drive

Cu 1-10 at Cu24 Ford, J rush for 8 yards to the CU32 (Robinson, P;Bradham, N).
Cu 2-2 at Cu32 Spiller, C rush for 14 yards to the CU46, 1ST DOWN CU (Robinson, P).
Cu 1-10 at Cu46 Parker, K pass complete to Dye, X for 11 yards to the FS43, 1ST DOWN CU (Robinson, P).
Cu 1-10 at Fs43 Parker, K pass complete to Palmer, M for 5 yards to the FS38 (Robinson, P).
Cu 2-5 at Fs38 Spiller, C rush for loss of 2 yards to the FS40 (Watson, D;Smith, K).
Cu 3-7 at Fs40 Parker, K pass complete to Ford, J for 23 yards to the FS17, 1ST DOWN CU (Jenije, O).
Cu 1-10 at Fs17 Parker, K pass complete to Allen, D for 17 yards to the FS0, TOUCHDOWN 

Florida State forced a single passing down on this drive, but Clemson converted it.  The 'Noles allowed plays of 5, 8, 11, 14,  17, and 23 yards. 

 

 

#14:  Miami opens the scoring on a 6-play, 66 yard drive.  

Um 1-10 at Um34 PENALTY UM false start (Fox, J.) 5 yards to the UM29.
Um 1-15 at Um29 Harris, J. screen pass complete to James, J. for 20 yards to the UM49, 1ST DOWN UM (Mangum, K), clock 14:46.
Um 1-10 at Um49 Harris, J. sideline pass incomplete to Hankerson, L., clock 14:18.
Um 2-10 at Um49 James, J. rush over right tackle for 7 yards to the FS44 (Robinson, J;Smith, K), clock 14:00.
Um 3-3 at Fs44 James, J. rush up middle for 2 yards to the FS42 (White, M), clock 13:18.
Um 4-1 at Fs42 Timeout Miami, clock 12:45.
Um 4-1 at Fs42 James, J. rush over right guard for 3 yards to the FS39, 1ST DOWN UM (Bradham, N), clock 12:38.
Um 1-10 at Fs39 Harris, J. post pass complete to Benjamin, T. for 39 yards to the FS0, TOUCHDOWN, clock 12:02.

Here again, we covered this last September, but FSU got rocked on 1st down from the opening drive of the year until the final drive.  Miami faced only one passing down, and Mark Whipple ran to get into a more manageable 3rd down situation.

Analysis of the TD:

If you follow FSU football, you know that Mickey Andrews loved to play cover-1 on 1st down. That means P-Rob (bottom of screen, #21), is on a wideout. Our deep safety (off-screen) plays deep, Korey Mangum (#22) takes the slot receiver, Dekoda Watson takes one of the tight ends, and Jenijie takes another. Bradham takes the running back), and Kendal Smith looks to be mirroring the QB. I wish I could offer better analysis, but Mangum plays this so poorly that there just isn't much time to see the play. In any case, here's the look at the snap:

1st_down_pass_play__3__mangum_burnt_large

Mangum has the slot receiver, Travis Benjamin.

1st_down_pass_play__3__mangum_burnt_part_2_large 

Mangum is still not in the picture, which is disappointing.  Benjamin is extremely fast.  Where is Mangum?  

1st_down_pass_play__3__mangum_burnt_part_4_large

I had to rewind the tape ablout 10 times, but this is the first step Mangum took.  Literally, he stood there flat-footed until Benjamin's 6th step.  Benjamin has all the momentum, and he is faster than Mangum.  Mangum might think he can just turn Benjamin too the deep safety, but at this point, his technique is so bad that the safety will be of little help.  And that is exactly what happened:  

1st_down_pass_play__3__mangum_burnt_part_3_large

Yeah, that's Benjamin looking up for the ball, 4 yards past Manum even after slowing up.  Mangum showed possibly the worse technique ever displayed by a DB.  There is a chance that Mangum thought he was playing another coverage, but to be honest, I can't figure out what that would be.  And neither could his teammates.  Bradham and the other defenders ripped into Mangum, he tried to explain himself, they told him he was wrong, and I captured this image as Mangum says "my bad", while slapping his head.

Mangum_slaps_his_head

TD Miami and it was way too easy.  But there is also a Mickey Andrews problem here.  FSU simply cannot let a rover man-up on a receiver, much less an awful player like Mangum.  That's a mismatch.

 

 

 

Observations:

FSU did not take care of business on 1st and 2nd down:  The 'Noles faced 39 plays during these 6 drives.  Only three were of the 2nd & 8+ or 3rd & 5+ variety.  Because FSU did not force these teams into predictable down and distances, the 'Noles were kept off balance because the opposing offenses had the option to run or pass, which they did.

Big Plays:  This ties in with the point above, but when a defense puts itself in bad situations, it will surrender big plays.  Of the 39 plays FSU faced on these 6 drives, many resulted in big gains, including:  40, 39, 38, 32, 23, 20, 20, 19, 18, 17, 14, 12, 11, 11, and 11 yards.  An amazing 15 of 39 plays went for 10+ yards! 

What are your thoughts?  Do you notice any trends?  Think you know where we are going with this analysis?

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