This week's film review will be short as we are forward-looking to the Oklahoma game. You can learn a few things from this game, but for the most part, there isn't much new to know about FSU. What did our staff see from the Seminoles' 62-10 stomping of CSU?
- FSU did prep a lot last week for Oklahoma, and even though the coaches told the players to take CSU seriously, it didn't appear the message took. Honestly, how could it? You prep for one team for 80% of the practice only to turn around and play the team for which you used 20% of practice time.
- The crowd support was excellent for this game. We were thinking 60,000 people. We were wrong.
- Jimbo again had the shackles on EJ. He did not have any designed runs. We're not against this strategy, because he absolutely needs to rep the passing game. It's just important to note that the running game is entirely different when EJ is a real threat to run (especially for the backs because an additional defender is accounted for due to the defense needing to check EJ). In big games, he will run more than ever before.
- EJ definitely stared down his receivers at times. I do think this is understated and it is very difficult to tell which receiver he is looking at when he is looking to one side of the field featuring more than one receiver. The majority of his throws were good, and his misses were OK for the most part.
- The interior of the offensive line did not play well. Jacob Fahrenkrug looked quite poor at center, again, and seemed to lack intensity. FSU swapped Bryan Stork (guard) and Krug early in the second half. This move seemed to work. On the first play at guard, Fahrenkrug got an enormous pancake block. I bet this sticks even though FSU's depth chart didn't reflect it tiday. Still, Fahrenkrug and Spurlock must step up the intensity. We think they will. We're not so sure about the cohesiveness of a group that has not played together all that much so far this season.
- They definitely missed some run calls. Had to have. Some of these plays just don't make sense otherwise from a numbers and angles standpoint. These mental errors should not be tolerated, but it's better to have them now so that the staff can get them fixed.
- The receivers played well and continue to progress. Kudos to coach Dawsey. Rashad Greene is going to be a star for Florida State. The whole young group of skill guys really impressed (O'Leary, Greene, Green, Freeman) and FSU is in very good hands.
- The running backs were not great, but again, you have to wonder about the intensity. At least they didn't get EJ killed and did take care of blitz protection.
- This is a very talented defense. Like the offense, however, it didn't seem to play with great intensity and focus. There were a few QB read plays hat CSU moved, but not many.
- It was great to see the young players get a lot of run in this game. They did play with good intensity and CSU didn't drive the ball all that well.
- The defense didn't force a turnover, but had few opportunities to do so as CSU didn't throw many balls.
In their own words...
Nole Thru & Thru
I was really encouraged by the WR unit as a whole. Routes were run well for the most part and the downfield blocking was definitely a bright spot. In fact the WR blocking was so obviously good that the "announcers" even commented on it. Rodney Smith was my player of the game based on his catches and TD, his ability to run good routes and get open all game long, and particluarly his judgement on when to throw blocks and when to avoid blocking in the back, something a lot of collegiate WRs fall prey to.
Kenny Shaw looked great- he reminds me so much of Kez McCorvey in his route running and his awareness. I've long felt like Rashad Greene would outshine Kelvin Benjamin at FSU and he looks like he'll be a very good one down the line. Bert Reed was dependable, Haggins and Dent made plays, even Christian Green got into the act and showed some speed (but not endurance).
I know others are going to rave about Jernigan so I won't elaborate much on him, though I do believe he has an excellent chance to go down in FSU history as one of the most dominant DL we've had. I bet those Nole fans who believed he would redshirt feel silly now having seen him in action (albeit in practice and against weak competition). I was also quite impressed with Terrance Brooks and Dan Hicks. Brooks is showing that he can really hit and position himself well and he looks to be a solid contributor at the safety position. Hicks is flying under the radar once again and will prove to be an asset as he spells Jenkins. He's such a hard worker and proof that under a competent coach, hard work can translate into solid contributions.
Now on to the not so good- I will only touch on these as I am sure others will do much more thorough analyzation:
-EJ concerns me with how often he stares down his WRs. CSU dropped at least 3 more surefire INTs in addition to the one that lead to their TD. I'm sure the OU gameplan will look much different but EJ isn't ready to be a dropback pocket passer. We all know his strength is mobility and I know we will see a lot of it, but I'm still concerned. He needs to position his feet better on medium-long range throws as well.
-OL needs to gel better, particularly on the interior. Fahrenkrug got beat like a drum several times at C, I think he may be better suited at G with Stork at C.
-I wasnt particularly impressed with any of the RBs not named Lonnie Pryor. FSU is really going to miss Lonnie when he graduates, hell of a talent and team player.
Dr. Kenneth Noisewater
In general, we didn't learn much from these pre-season games other than we've still got questions on the interior OL and EJ's not yet the world's greatest passer. I'm really excited about our next crop of WR's, some really good players will come out of that group. Keeping my fingers crossed that Bert and Rodney can be as dependable and consistent in the real games as they have been the last two weeks. I'm afraid we may not have any really dominant interior DL just yet. They're all big and good, but may not have a shining star this year. Can't wait to see how Jernigan does against real competition and still holding out hope that Dawkins will take over a game or two.
Oh, one more thought about the preseason. I'm not nearly as worried about our backup QB situation as I was a month ago.
Mabye somebody smart than me can convince me otherwise but if we lose to OU by less than 10 I'll be impressed. I'm very worried about the fact that our line does such a poor job of run blocking. I'm sure it won't look so bad with EJ running the ball because you are schematically blocking a defender but I'm worried we will be stuck in 3rd and long for most of the game. I only really watched the first half but our run blocking was atrocious. I don't know if it's lack of chemistry or poor technique but we should have been able to run pretty much every down against this team and that didn't happen. Count me as pessimistic about next week.
The "What to Watch" section from the game previews should be taken very literally and these past two games should be looked at through those lenses. I have to remind myself this as I unrealistically expect every CSU DL to be blown off the ball every snap. Unfortunately, the things we were hoping for, sharpness and execution, were obviously lacking at certain points of the game by the Oline and EJ's passing.
Krug had at least 2 holding calls in the first half. Another time he almost whiffed a DT (still didn't get a good block and allowed penetration. I'm pretty concerned about him once he goes up against elite talent. Shedding a tear for the lack of Hudson right now.
EJ had some accuracy issues and stared down a WR that led to our pick and the end of our shutout. What is going to happen when the defense is fielded with better talent and better coaching? As I try to console myself: we've seen EJ play better against tougher competition. Once teams are forced to respect his legs I think we'll see better production from the Offense. Even though the teams had been loading the box to stop the run against us, there's a difference between spying and loading the box against the run... at least i'm hoping we have that for us in the upcoming game.
Looked to me like Jimbo wanted to work on slant routes in the endzone, we had a good bit of them, some successful some not.
I don't want to sound negative, but FSU should consider not running any inside zone runs this year.
Everyone knows Greene was burning a horrible team, but it looks like he has at least earned a few snaps with the starters, even against OU. Would like to see him stay on the kick off return team at a minimum. Receivers over all looked fine.
EJ still has some timing and decision issues. Sometimes looks like he trusts his arm too much.
The o-line with Krug at center is a mess. Krug doesn't mess up on every play but when he does, it is God awful. Run blocking is of course much worse than pass blocking. I would not doubt at all that Stork stays at center. While a small set of data, the drive with Krug back at guard and Stork at center, everything at least looked serviceable. Krug's strength can be seen on display and Stork's snaps were much better.
Jermaine Thomas probably earned some quality playing time in this game. He will still be a factor in the run game as the year wears on. Wilder wasn't a super star but for a guy getting first game reps with the second team o-line I think he did just fine. Think he will be a great change up to the other backs and at this point I see no reason to think the coaches won't let him try at least another year at RB.
I'm surprised at this point O'Leary hasn't got more time with the 1s. Think it is possible we might have to wait on him having big receiving games for a bit into the season. Unless he is truly is the secret weapon this Saturday.
Defense will of course be tested next week. Was encouraging to see that every time CSU QB dropped back to pass the d-ends were headed his way in a hurry. We'll see if they can repeat that against a real o-line with a QB that can get rid of the ball ridiculously quick. Should point out Werner and Jernigan win the award for "Big Guys That Run Fast." In two weeks of action we have had a chance to see the FSU db's do almost nothing. They have not been tested, at all. Could be a rude awakening this weekend but hopefully they will be prepared and able to stick with talented WRs for longer than a few seconds. We have seen enough from the d-line and the linebackers to believe that OU will have an even tougher time against the run than they did last year. But we all know that isn't exactly their bread and butter.
Really don't think we learned very much from this game other than the fact that the coaches, of course, are aware of the problems on the o-line. Evidence in the shuffling in the second half. Not sure if anyone one saw it, but I saw a #24 hobbling off the field in pain after the last EJ touchdown x-point. There are two #24's, Lonnie Pryor and Terrance Smith. Nothing against T. Smith but I hope it was him in pain walking off the field.
Don't really have any thoughts on the CS game that haven't been articulated. My mind started wandering to thoughts on how to scheme OU.
It seems pretty clear that I formation/shotgun zone read handoffs are not going to be very successful.
This game reminds me of some old Bowden-era games where we passed to set up the run (thinking about 1980 Pitt game in particular). I would expect to see a very high percentage of first-down passing in this game. I must say, I've been blown away by our receivers' play -- at least in term of drops (or the lack thereof).
Was very disappointed in D. Freeman's play Saturday. Not that it shouldn't be expected, given his youth, but he missed some great cutback opportunities. Thompson looks gimpy and Ty just isn't very explosive. We're going to have to throw to win --running success will probably come from EJ.
Defensively, in addition to turnovers, which is always on the list, the other huge key to this game will be red zone defense. Got to make them kick at least a couple FGs down there, and hopefully force a turnover.
Definitely like Stork at center and Krug at guard, but I really don't know what to think about this o'line yet. Yeah, they've looked bad at times against the respective competition, but I really can't tell if that's because they are trying to hammer a square peg into a round hole or not. It's almost like the coaches are just calling plays to practice them, not calling plays they think will take the defense off guard or have a higher percentage win rate at the LOS.
Same goes for the passing game. I'm sure EJ still has check downs, but it almost looks like they are predetermining at least what type of throw they want him to make on each play.
Still sticking with my Freeman is the Future campaign, however the kid didn't have a stellar game against CSU. It was nice to see Wilder get some reps too and he succeeded in at least not breaking their 174lb linebacker.