I am on record here as stating Notre Dame would in no way score more than 14 points. Well they scored 14 points. FSU had given up an average of 9.2 points per game in their last five games. Notre Dame I must add was given a gift of seven points due to Devonta Freeman's fumble which is unusual for him. He is the last guy you normally expect to make that kind of mistake.
As we all feared, the freshman offensive lineman began immediately with mistakes as Bobby Hart was called offsides virtually killing the initial FSU drive. The offensive line was virtually ineffective through the first half. E. J. Manuel was virtually having to run for his life and get rid of the ball very swiftly. Notre Dame took the lead and it appeared to be another one of (those games.)
In the second half something began to happen, the offensive line made up of four freshman began to provide a certain amount of protection to quarterback E. J. Manuel and he began hitting open receivers. There is a certain amount of optimism to be taken here. The lineman are young but lets not forget very highly rated. I was not totally disappointed here. Offensive line coach Rick Trickett has taken a certain amount of criticism here lately but I think most of us would agree when a lineman steps on the field for coach Trickett he is in top condition. I think this showed in the second half of the Notre Dame game. The young FSU line began to tire the Notre Dame defense.
I think this group of offensive lineman have a chance to be much better next year. A year under Vic Viloria should do wonders for them. The key is to play as well in the first half of games as they did the last half of the Notre Dame game.
A 9-4 year will send the team into the off season with a certain amount of confidence. It ensures a top 25 finish this season. That is not all bad but not what most of us expected including myself as I thought FSU would have 10 to 11 wins. I think most would agree it took some extraordinary key injuries and perhaps a curse to lose games to Wake and Virginia. With a break here and there FSU could have won one or both the OU and Clemson games. This however is water over the bridge at this point.
The real question next year remains, can the offensive line round into shape and provide some blocking and pass protection. This game provides a little hope that yes just maybe it can.
I can't believe the season is over already and yes I am looking forward to the Clemson game next year.