Grading the 'Noles: FSU 41 - Maryland 16

Score 10 34
Plays 72 60
Yards/Play 3.72 7.23
FSU outgained MD by 94% per play
Field Position Own 21 Own 36
*Stats are pre-garbage time*

Many of you really enjoyed this column last week, so it will become a regular feature. We take the goals from the game preview, and then evaluate how FSU fared.

I hope this will help people keep perspective on the 'Noles.

The defense was tremendous, so we'll start there.

This isn't a statistical measure, but we stressed the need for FSU to be disciplined in defending the Maryland attack. They were incredibly disciplined. Have you ever seen an FSU defense play with that level of composure and discipline?

- Hold Maryland to no more than 5 yards/play before garbage time. 

Wow. What a defensive effort. 3.72 yards/play? Are you kidding me? Another offense goes up against the FSU defense and has its worst offensive day of the season. 25% better than goal is really, really some special defense.

- Hold Maryland to less than 50% TDs in the red zone

Pass/Fail. FSU held Maryland to 1 of 2 before garbage time, but did allow one in garbage time.

- Hold Maryland to no more than four plays over 20 yards & zero scores of more than 20 yards. (Allows FSU to go big in the red zone and use its size advantage).

Pass. Maryland had only three plays of more than 20 yards.

- Force Two Turnovers

Fail. FSU did not force a turnover. It was the only real blemish on an otherwise tremendous defensive performance. The defense does need to give the offense a short field more often, however.

Offensive Goals? Offensive goals.

- At least 6 2/3 yards/play before garbage time. 

Tremendous pass. 7.23 yards/play? That's 9% over goal. Well done.

- No more than 1 turnover

Pass. Only one turnover for FSU -- EJ's awful underthrow of Rodney Smith. No short fields for Maryland.

- 66% or better TDs in the red zone.

Fail. FSU was just 1-4 in the red zone before garbage time.

FSU outgained Maryland by 94% per-play before garbage time set in. No team has come close to doing that (next closest is 50%). You can say Maryland is a bad team. You might be correct, but FSU dominated that bad team from start to finish.

FSU also maintained its composure after getting hoses on three horrendous calls. Perhaps this team is maturing?

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