Grading the 'Noles: FSU 38 - BC 7

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 evaluate how FSU fared. This week we take a look at FSU's dominance over the Boston College Eagles. I hope this will help people keep perspective on the 'Noles.

The defense was tremendous, so we'll start there. How dominant was this performance? Really, really dominant. I thought I set some lofty goals for this defense against BC, but they obliterated all of them. FSU has an elite defense. Whether you choose to realize this fact is up to you.

FSU BC
Score 31 7
Plays 47 45
Yards/Play 5.79 3.76
FSU outgained BC by 54% per play
Field Position Own 45 Own 26
Stats are pre-garbage time
Hold BC to fewer than 4.3 yards/play before garbage time. This is a lofty goal for a road game, but BC's offense is not very good. FSU fans should not be satisfied with simply a decent defensive performance.

3.76 is well within the goal. Another dominant defensive performance.

Allow no more than 3 plays of 20+ yards. BC is not an explosive offense. More than likely BC will not be able to hit big plays against FSU unless the 'Noles are sloppy in tackling (uncharacteristic) or undisciplined and not assignment sound.

Win. FSU allowed two. 

Hold BC to less than 50% touchdowns in the red zone.

50% exactly. (1/2). Well done.

Force 2 or more Turnovers. You cannot blow out Boston College without generating turnovers and giving your offense good field position. It simply does not happen due to the conservative defense BC runs.

Not two, but four!

Offense

At least 6.25 yards/play before garbage time. This is not a great defense. I don't expect perfection from the group on short rest, but 6.25 is a good goal.

5.79 yards/play is simply not reaching that goal. 

I have to question if my goal was too lofty. Perhaps. But if I had set it at 6.0, FSU would have still missed it. Four days rest does not help an offense. 

Then I get to thinking about all the guys that this offense has lost since the Spring, and I am actually impressed. FSU played last night without starters RB Chris Thompson, LT Andrew Datko, C Bryan Stork, RG David Spurlock, WR Willie Haulstead, and reserves Rashad Greene, OL Blake Snider and OL Rhonne Sanderson. 

When you look at it like that, maybe we should be happy that the offense has scored 30 points in 6 straight games for the first time in a decade.

66%+ TDs in the red zone.

4/5 before garbage time gets it done. FSU's offense wasn't great by any means, but it did take advantage of its opportunities down close.

No more than 1 turnover. I said above that it's very tough to blowout BC without the defense generating a lot of turnovers to give the offense good field position. The flip side to that is that FSU won't lose this game unless BC's own defense generates a lot of turnovers.

I should give this a fail, because Manuel threw at least one ball that should have been intercepted, and Nick O'Leary appeared to fumble. But FSU did only turn it over one time.

No more than 2 operational penalties (false start, illegal motion, illegal formation).

Fail. The 'Noles had three called operational penalties and should have been flagged for several more.

While the 'Noles earned most everything on defense, FSU caught a ton of breaks last night on offense. An offensive effort like this might cut it against Miami, but it won't work in the Swamp.

Then again, I'm not used to analyzing a team with a defense this good. If FSU's offense played like this (simply good, but not great) in a previous year, BC would have smoked the 'Noles. Certainly not in the last decade. Film review to come Monday or Tuesday.

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