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FSU film review: Some positive signs on offense at N.C. State

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Bad throws and dropped passes slowed down FSU in Raleigh.

Every play broken down, with video and analysis. This content is best viewed on a computer or tablet, not a phone. Please share this on facebook.

The emergence of Auden Tate has helped FSU use Travis Rudolph more and more in the slot. This is very similar to what FSU did with Rashad Greene in his later years. Having Rudolph as a #2 or #3 receiver helps get FSU better matchups. Rudolph has not become a true No. 1, but his body catching can be less of a hindrance in the slot, because receivers are bracing for contact in traffic.

Mavin Saunders is getting better and better as an inline blocker, but too often misses easy blocks in pulling type scenarios. Lot of yards lost on some Counter Treys where his pulls don't do much.

FSU ran more pin-&-pull zone in this game than normal. This is likely a good mix with Counter Trey, building off the look and making reads more difficult for defenders.

Deondre Francois doesn't seem to be improving with regards to changing his arm angle. Not sure it's a skill he does well. I don’t know if that can be learned, and don’t know how much his shoulder injury is impacting him.

Francois accuracy issues are not improving game to game. There are very few glaring decision making errors, but his birdshot-like throwing patterns are just killing too many drives.

For some reason, Francois just plays better and throws more accurately in the second half of games. So he is kind of like Jameis Winston! Just not in the ways you want him to be.

Nyquan Murray is very, very good. I’m hesitant to say he’s better than Kenny Shaw at the slot role yet, but his ceiling is higher. Looking forward to seeing more from him in the coming years. Murray is going to be Francois’ outlet for the next couple seasons.

Building a lot off Trips to field. Pass concepts include Two Man, Tunnel screens, bubble package, and some others. Also adding pistol variations of it helping the run game, too.

D-D At Form Play Analysis
1-10 at Fs07 FLORIDA STATE drive start at 11:27.
1-10 at Fs07 21 Pony Deondre Francois pass complete to Dalvin Cook for 9 yards to the FS16 (Wright, Dra.). Closed formation to boundary. Designed flare to Dalvin. Nice toss and run.
2-1 at Fs16 21 I Dalvin Cook rush for 3 yards to the FS19, 1ST DOWN FS (Moore, A.;Fernandez, J.). OZ left to field in short yardage. Stevenson blocks the unblocked end and it's an easy first down.
1-10 at Fs19 11 Gun Deondre Francois pass incomplete to Travis Rudolph. Francois recognizes inside leverage on Rudolph, tries to put the ball on the outside shoulder. But he throws it well out of bounds. Poor throw under no pressure.
2-10 at Fs19 11 Gun Deondre Francois pass incomplete to Kermit Whitfield. Two Man out concept. Francois makes a good throw, but Kermit plum drops it. One of 5 drops on night.
3-10 at Fs19 11 Gun Deondre Francois pass complete to Dalvin Cook for 8 yards to the FS27 (Moore, A.). 3 verticals. Francois reads this way too slow and progresses from Tate to the check down. Kermit is wide open on the post on playside and Francois doesn't even see him. Dalvin catches it and nearly bails them out.
4-2 at Fs27 Logan Tyler punt 40 yards to the ST33, downed.
Drive: 5 plays, 20 yards, TOP 02:04 Poop emoji.
1-10 at Fs20 FLORIDA STATE drive start at 07:04.
1-10 at Fs20 FS ball on FS21.
1-10 at Fs21 12 Tight Dalvin Cook rush for 6 yards to the FS27 (Stevens, Mi.). Counter Trey. Tate turns his down block loose way too easy, which forces Dalvin wide and dooms the play.
2-4 at Fs27 12 Tight Dalvin Cook rush for 1 yard to the FS28 (Jones, Jo.). Outside zone right to field, too much playside penetration forces Dalvin into the wash in the middle.
3-3 at Fs28 10 Gun Deondre Francois pass incomplete to Kermit Whitfield. Trips left. This is a bad throw without pressure, but Kermit rounds out the route too much. And with the DB leverage, Kermit needs to flatten this out and take the space.
4-3 at Fs28 Logan Tyler punt 43 yards to the ST29, fair catch by Cherry, B..
Drive: 3 plays, 7 yards, TOP 01:25 Poop emoji x 2
1-10 at Fs35 FLORIDA STATE drive start at 01:52.
1-10 at Fs35 11 Empty Deondre Francois pass incomplete to Travis Rudolph. Trips to field. Can't see a darn thing with terrible camera work, but Rudolph runs an out from the #3 receiver spot. Francois makes a good throw and Rudolph just drops it.
2-10 at Fs35 12 Tight Deondre Francois pass complete to Travis Rudolph for 11 yards to the FS46, 1ST DOWN FS (Moore, A.). Curl flat. Rudolph finds a hole in the zone, Francois hits him nicely and it's an easy first down on the curl.
1-10 at Fs46 21 I Dalvin Cook rush for 2 yards to the FS48 (Fernandez, J.;Jones, Ju.). This looks like a pin and pull zone blocked sweep. Eberle pulls, but both he and Stevenson miss their blocks. Doesn't get far from there.
2-8 at Fs48 11 Gun Deondre Francois pass complete to Nyqwan Murray for 7 yards to the ST45 (Wright, Dra.). 3x1 to field, Two Man outs. Good throw and catch on the out to Murray.
3-1 at St45 22 I Dalvin Cook rush for 2 yards to the ST43, 1ST DOWN FS (Roseboro, D.;Fernandez, J.). Zone left, FSU mashes and Cook finds the hole for the first.
1-10 at St43 Start of 2nd quarter, clock 15:00.
1-10 at St43 12 Tight Dalvin Cook rush for 9 yards to the ST34 (Boone, S.). Counter Trey to field, Mavin Saunders' pull block just doesn't get there. Cook's speed is enough that it simply doesn't matter.
2-1 at St34 12 Gun Dalvin Cook rush for 2 yards to the ST32, 1ST DOWN FS (Fernandez, J.;Wright, Dra.). IZ right, good push playside and easy first down.
1-10 at St32 10 Gun Deondre Francois pass complete to Nyqwan Murray for 20 yards to the ST12, 1ST DOWN FS (Boone, S.). Smash, Francois quickly makes the good decision to hit wide open Murray on the corner. Terrible throw, and Murray bails it out with a phenomenal catch.
1-10 at St12 22 I Dalvin Cook rush for loss of 3 yards to the ST15 (Chubb, B.;Moore, A.). On coaches show, Fisher said missed strength declaration and ran to the wrong side. I'm not sure I agree 100%, numbers on this Counter Trey weren't bad and it's a field side run, giving Dalvin more room. Poor blocking from Are and Izzo in space doom it and Dalvin slips.
2-13 at St15 11 Pistol Deondre Francois pass incomplete to Ryan Izzo. Jimbo says missed PI call, but Francois threw this so poorly it didn't matter. Good play call and correct decision/read from Francois. Smash, Izzo runs corner from inline position on boundary side.
3-13 at St15 00 Empty Deondre Francois pass incomplete to Auden Tate. Should have been thrown back shoulder. Francois misses Tate who would have been wide open on this back shoulder were it thrown.
4-13 at St15 Ricky Aguayo field goal attempt from 32 GOOD, clock 12:36.
NC State 7, Florida State 3
Drive: 12 plays, 50 yards, TOP 04:16 Strong drive wasted in the red zone. Francois accuracy turned 7 to 3
1-10 at Fs20 FLORIDA STATE drive start at 08:41.
1-10 at Fs20 21 I Dalvin Cook rush for loss of 3 yards to the FS17 (Jones, Ju.). Pin n Pull, backside blitzer isn't identified and as such is left unblocked. Can't have two unblocked backside or you'll end up getting stuff, like FSU did here.
2-13 at Fs17 10 Gun Deondre Francois pass incomplete (Street, K.). Trips to field, Rudolph in #3 slot. Rudolph runs a curl and is wide open. Francois doesn't seem to be improving with regards to arm angle. Not sure it's a skill he does well.
3-13 at Fs17 PENALTY FS holding declined.
3-13 at Fs17 10 Gun Deondre Francois pass incomplete to Nyqwan Murray. Francois does a great job hitting Murray in the hands (for once) and Murray just plum drops it. Murray runs a spot route well, but the drop hurts.
4-13 at Fs17 Logan Tyler punt 29 yards to the FS46, out-of-bounds.
Drive: 3 plays, minus 3 yards, TOP 00:58
1-10 at Fs25 FLORIDA STATE drive start at 03:54.
1-10 at Fs25 11 Gun Deondre Francois pass incomplete (Hill, BJ). Another example of not changing arm angles/not seeing throwing lanes from Francois. Rudolph does a nice job getting open on the whip route, and the ball is tipped at the line.
2-10 at Fs25 11 Pistol Deondre Francois pass complete to Ryan Izzo for 9 yards to the FS34 (Jones, Jo.). Interesting route combo here. Switch from outside receivers with an out run under it by Izzo. Francois hits him. The man beater of all man beaters - switch and rub. Throw is behind Izzo, which prevents him from turning up field.
3-1 at Fs34 22 I Dalvin Cook rush for 1 yard to the FS35, 1ST DOWN FS (Fernandez, J.). Zone left. Good push and Dalvin works the first down.
1-10 at Fs35 12 Tight Deondre Francois pass incomplete to Travis Rudolph. 3 Verts, Rudolph is well past his man. Francois just plain overthrows this. This is an easy TD.
2-10 at Fs35 21 Pony Kermit Whitfield rush for 12 yards to the FS47, 1ST DOWN FS (Fernandez, J.;Jones, Jo.). Reverse off zone action. Nice call, but a missed cut from Stevenson forces Whitfield to cut up inside and slow his momentum instead of being able to use speed to turn the corner.
1-10 at Fs47 21 Pony Deondre Francois pass complete to Auden Tate for 38 yards to the ST15, 1ST DOWN FS. Play action, 7 man protection. Shot play. Tate gets one on one, Francois tosses it up for a 50/50 ball with a good matchup. Needs to be thrown more inside, butTate gets up and grabs it.
1-10 at St15 22 I PENALTY ST pass interference (Jones, Jo.) 13 yards to the ST2, 1ST DOWN FS. Toss to Patrick, who sets and throws a nice ball to Izzo, who isn't able to bring inside. Interference call puts FSU on the goal line. Better accuracy from Patrick than many of Francois' throws.
1-G at St02 GL Jacques Patrick rush for 2 yards to the ST0, TOUCHDOWN, clock 01:20. Power, FSU mashes harder than NCSU. Patrick powers it in. Good goal line offense.
Ricky Aguayo kick attempt good.
Florida State 10, NC State 10
Drive: 7 plays, 75 yards, TOP 02:39 Great drive.
1-10 at Fs29 FLORIDA STATE drive start at 00:01.
1-10 at Fs29 Dalvin Cook rush for 9 yards to the FS38 (Street, K.;Boone, S.). Always worth at least handing it to Dalvin.
2-1 at Fs38 End of half, clock 00:00.
Drive: 1 plays, 9 yards, TOP 00:01 TERRIBLE DRIVE (kidding).
NC State 13, Florida State 10
2-1 at Fs38 Start of 3rd quarter, clock 15:00, ST ball on ST35.
Bambard, K. kickoff 62 yards to the FS3, Kermit Whitfield return 24 yards to the FS27 (Boone, S.).
1-10 at Fs27 FLORIDA STATE drive start at 14:52.
1-10 at Fs27 11 Empty Deondre Francois pass complete to Ryan Izzo for 4 yards to the FS31 (Moore, A.). Two man, Francois hits Izzo on the out. Good throw and catch.
2-6 at Fs31 11 Gun Deondre Francois pass complete to Nyqwan Murray for 12 yards to the FS43, 1ST DOWN FS (Wright, Dra.). Smash field side, slant/flat backside. Nice throw from Francois to Murray on the corner. Good protection.
1-10 at Fs43 21 Pony Deondre Francois sacked for loss of 8 yards to the FS35 (Jones, Ju.). NCSU shifts presnap to an under front. OL doesn't slide down and 6 men can't block 5 when the 5 ain't sliding the right way.
2-18 at Fs35 10 Gun Deondre Francois pass complete to Auden Tate for 17 yards to the ST48, fumble forced by Moore, A., fumble by Auden Tate recovered by ST Moore, A. at ST46. Successful tunnel screen. But OL downfield miss their blocks, and Tate's ball security is poor. Cannot lose the ball like this
Drive: 4 plays, 27 yards, TOP 01:52 Don't fumble, pretty please.
1-10 at Fs22 FLORIDA STATE drive start at 12:08.
1-10 at Fs22 12 Tight Pistol Dalvin Cook rush for 7 yards to the FS29 (Wright, Dra.). Zone right to boundary, Cook cuts this back to field and uses his speed to get to the edge, make a guy miss and turn it into positive yards. Cherish this kid.
2-3 at Fs29 21 I Dalvin Cook rush for 1 yard to the FS30 (Wright, Dra.;Fernandez, J.). IZ, FSU mashes. Poor blocks from Stevenson and Tate and Dalvin's cut back can't go anywhere. Blatant hands to the face uncalled.
3-2 at Fs30 11 Gun Deondre Francois pass complete to Nyqwan Murray for 5 yards to the FS35, 1ST DOWN FS (Wright, Dra.). Roll to field side, switch gives Francois options on sideline and upfield. He hits Murray on the out for the easy first. Nice 3rd down call.
1-10 at Fs35 21 I Dalvin Cook rush for 1 yard to the FS36 (Jones, Jo.;Hill, BJ). Zone right blocking, toss left to Cook. Backer for NCSU does a great job recognizing this. Good play by them. This play call generally isn't predictable and tends to work, but well played.
2-9 at Fs36 11 Gun Deondre Francois pass incomplete to Nyqwan Murray. Smash left, slant/flat right. Francois overcooks the corner route to Murray. Gotta throw this better.
3-9 at Fs36 Timeout Florida State, clock 09:38.
3-9 at Fs36 PENALTY FS false start (Roderick Johnson) 5 yards to the FS31. Believe it or not, this is the ONLY instance of a false start after an FSU timeout this season, per Kman numbers. Feels like more.
3-14 at Fs31 Timeout NC State, clock 09:38.
3-14 at Fs31 01 Empty Deondre Francois pass complete to Nyqwan Murray for 25 yards to the ST44, 1ST DOWN FS (Tocho, J.). Can't see camera angles, but looks like 4 verts, Murray tapers it inside in the hole in the zone. Great throw and catch. Way to work against an 8 man drop.
1-10 at St44 10 Gun Dalvin Cook rush for loss of 6 yards to the 50 yardline (Chubb, B.). Bubble/zone read package. Francois holds backside defender with keep. Correct decision to give. Guard must step with tackle here on the overcall, tackle may have set too wide. B gap defender is in the backfield immediately and nowhere to go on this.
2-16 at Fs50 10 Gun Deondre Francois pass complete to Auden Tate for 11 yards to the ST39 (Jones, Ju.;Wright, Dex.). Trips to field. Tunnel screen again. Well run this time. This is pretty impressive - multiple successful tunnel screens in a year is an accomplishment for FSU. Now multiple in a game? That's cooking with fire!
3-5 at St39 10 Gun Deondre Francois pass incomplete to Nyqwan Murray, QB hurry by Wright, Dex.. Trips to field, Two Man playside, Murray runs a comeback backside. Francois is pressured and just tried to get this one out quick. This is a missed sight adjustment by Murray. Murray and Francois both point out the backside corner, who blitzes. But Murray doesn't run the 6-7 yard sight adjust behind the blitz that he should. His 12 yard route takes way too long and Francois can't get it out. Murray is still young.
4-5 at St39 Logan Tyler punt 35 yards to the ST4, downed.
Drive: 9 plays, 39 yards, TOP 04:24 Up and down drive.
1-10 at Fs30 FLORIDA STATE drive start at 03:00.
1-10 at Fs30 10 Gun Deondre Francois pass incomplete to Travis Rudolph (Jones, Jo.), QB hurry by Bryant, E.. 2x2. Slant/whip on boundary side. #1 corner is jamming Murray so well he can't get off the line and it disrupts the throwing lane on the whip route to Rudolph. Francois has to wait and by then pressure develops. A rarity for me to criticize RoJo much here - but this is on him for allowing his man to get inside him and hurry Francois.
2-10 at Fs30 11 Gun Deondre Francois pass complete to Nyqwan Murray for 16 yards to the FS46, 1ST DOWN FS (Boone, S.). Snag concept. Great throw from Francois to Murray on the corner. Good recognition and throw.
1-10 at Fs46 11 Ace Deondre Francois pass complete to Nyqwan Murray for 14 yards to the ST40, 1ST DOWN FS (Wright, Dra.). PA, 7 man protection. NCSU sends 5 with another coming on a green dog. Shot play, 2 verticals with Murray on the over. Good recognition and throw by Francois to Murray.
1-10 at St40 11 Ace Dalvin Cook rush for 9 yards to the ST31 (Fernandez, J.;Boone, S.). Zone left, toss right. This time it works. Good stuff.
2-1 at St31 11 Ace Dalvin Cook rush for 14 yards to the ST17, 1ST DOWN FS (Tocho, J.). Stretch right to boundary. Cook does some magic here. Turns a first down into 14 after making multiple defenders miss. Like I said, enjoy this kid.
1-10 at St17 11 Gun Deondre Francois pass complete to Kermit Whitfield for 7 yards to the ST10 (Clark, N.). Designed play for Kermit. Tate is blocking this all the way. If he can make this block, decent chance this goes for 6 with Kermit's moves.
2-3 at St10 10 Gun Dalvin Cook rush for 10 yards to the ST0, 1ST DOWN FS, TOUCHDOWN, clock 00:00. After not running it for a couple quarters, Jimbo calls the Counter Trey and even I could have walked this one in. Perfectly timed play call. Great blocking.
Ricky Aguayo kick attempt good.
NC State 20, Florida State 17
Drive: 7 plays, 70 yards, TOP 03:06 Very nice drive.
1-G at Fs35 Start of 4th quarter, clock 15:00.
Logan Tyler kickoff 60 yards to the ST5, Hines, N. return 22 yards to the ST27 (Jared Jackson;Jacob Pugh).
1-10 at Fs03 FLORIDA STATE drive start at 10:37.
1-10 at Fs03 FS ball on FS4.
1-10 at Fs04 11 Gun Deondre Francois pass complete to Ryan Izzo for 6 yards to the FS10 (Fernandez, J.). Two Man outs, Francois hits Izzo for easy 6 yards on the out.
2-4 at Fs10 11 Gun Deondre Francois pass complete to Travis Rudolph for 9 yards to the FS19, 1ST DOWN FS (Stevens, Mi.). All Curls, quick pass to Rudolph gets the first down. Dalvin goes for the chip, Fisher says this is on Dalvin for not knowing the tackle was going to be cutting him.
1-10 at Fs19 PENALTY FS illegal cut (Dalvin Cook) 9 yards to the FS10.
1-19 at Fs10 11 Gun Deondre Francois pass incomplete to Nyqwan Murray (Boone, S.). Snag concept. Poor throw on the corner from Francois, and into double coverage. Whole play was well covered by NCSU.
2-19 at Fs10 11 Gun Deondre Francois pass complete to Nyqwan Murray for 17 yards to the FS27 (Fernandez, J.;Jones, Jo.). Trips right, same play with Murray on the deep crosser as earlier. Just isn't enough to get the first down.
3-2 at Fs27 Timeout Florida State, clock 08:17.
3-2 at Fs27 10 Gun Deondre Francois pass incomplete to Nyqwan Murray. Trips right, slants/bubble. Murray quits on his route. Francois made the right throw, but Murray didn't run out the route. Cannot do that.
4-2 at Fs27 Logan Tyler punt 38 yards to the ST35, downed.
Drive: 5 plays, 23 yards, TOP 02:33 Not good.
1-10 at Fs17 FLORIDA STATE drive start at 04:37.
1-10 at Fs17 10 Gun Deondre Francois pass incomplete to Travis Rudolph. Trips right, Rudolph runs a whip route from #3 slot. Just plum drops it. Bad time in the game to get the dropsies.
2-10 at Fs17 10 Gun Deondre Francois pass complete to Kermit Whitfield for 27 yards to the FS44, 1ST DOWN FS (Wright, Dra.). Trips right, fantastic back shoulder throw to Kermit. Francois throwing a perfect ball for Kermit here and Kermit doing a great job adjusting and getting back to it.
1-10 at Fs44 Deondre Francois pass complete to Nyqwan Murray for 37 yards to the ST19, 1ST DOWN FS (Jones, Jo.). Play is not on cut up.
1-10 at St19 12 Tight Gun Deondre Francois pass incomplete to Travis Rudolph (Boone, S.). Francois doesn't see the hook zone defender and nearly lost the game. Terrible decision on first down.
2-10 at St19 11 Gun Deondre Francois pass complete to Travis Rudolph for 19 yards to the ST0, 1ST DOWN FS, TOUCHDOWN, clock 03:09. Deep Switch. Are misses a block, but Francois backs up and does a great job throwing to a spot on this. Rudolph finds it, and turns around and gets the game winning touchdown. Francois shows toughness and some sticktoitiveness here.
Ricky Aguayo kick attempt good.
Florida State 24, NC State 20
Drive: 5 plays, 83 yards, TOP 01:28 Narrow escapes in Carter Finley.