Every week, we grade the Florida State Seminoles on their performance based on our pre-game goals.
A refresher: garbage time is when the opponent, even if it had scored a touchdown and a two-point conversion on all remaining drives, plus an assumed onside kick, could not have tied the game.
It was over when... Florida State scored to go up 41-13. Pitt would have only two more drives, and even if had gone TD & 2pt (8) twice, then did the same on the onside kick, that would still not have been enough to send the game into overtime.
More than 5.0 yards a play before garbage time (300 yards on 60 plays, 350 yards on 70 plays)
FSU ran 63 plays for 554 yards overall, which is good for 8.5 yards/play. But 8 of those plays and 30 of those yards were in garbage time.
In regular time, FSU went for 503 yards on 55 plays, which is a ridiculous 9.2/play.
Florida State exceeded the goal by 84-percent, which is just ridiculous.
Pitt did not have a special defense. But it does have several NFL players, and returned nine starters from a good 2012 defense. That wasn't a slouch unit Florida State played.
No more than 1 turnover
Zero turnovers. Winston did fumble once but it did not turn into a turnover.
60% or greater TDs in the red zone
Five trips and three touchdowns. That's 60-percent, which meets, but does not exceed the goal.
Overall, it was an awesome night for the offense.
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I cannot say the same for the defense. The unit was both undisciplined and slow to react. They were clearly thinking and not reacting. This is something we warned about in the defensive season preview, given the new scheme and coaching staff.
Florida State lost the edge several times, it failed to line up properly in others, it telegraphed its blitzes at times, and at times coverage was spotty.
Less than 4.3 yards/play before garbage time (260 on 60 plays, 300 on 70)
Pitt gained 233 yards on 45 plays before garbage time. That's 5.2 yards/play, which is 20% more than the max we thought this defense should be giving up.
I'll grant that Pitt's No. 2 receiver Boyd was very good for a freshman, and that Tom Savage made some nice throws, but overall, Florida State played bad defense. At least by Florida State's standards.
Far too many times FSU did not squeeze routes or blocks, jumped out of gaps, or did not communicate well. And on plays when FSU was giving Pitt the underneath throw, defenders were too far away.
Overall, there was poor attention to detail. At least one of Pitt's long runs was because the defense did not align correctly to the strength and was completely outflanked. That is inexcusable and senior linebackers like Christian Jones and Telvin Smith absolutely must see that and tell the edge guys to widen or adjust.
Now, one might point out that Tyler Boyd's rushes of 18, 20, and 16 are the main cause of FSU missing this goal by the amount it did.
But end-arounds still count. The best offenses FSU will see (Clemson, Maryland, Miami) run them a lot.
The same goes for the idea of the defense "settling down." It is true that the defense did settle down, but the touchdown given up on the opening drive still counts.
I'm not giving up on this defense, but that was not a promising start.
Force 2 turnovers
At least they got this goal. Jalen Ramsey had an interception, as did Terrence Brooks. Brooks also dropped an incredibly easy pick after making a great read and break on the football. For some reason, he feels the need to jump unnecessarily for the football when it is thrown at chest level.
50% or less TDs in the red zone
This was met, but not exceeded. Pitt had two trips into the red zone before garbage time, and scored one touchdown.
There are 46 days until FSU heads to Clemson. This defense needs to make the best of every one.