Just as promised, this episode was entirely painful to watch for FSU fans. Knowing the result of the Louisville game made ‘Noles count down the minutes until the episode ended, and there was nothing to do to stop the pain.
Although getting through it was tough, there are some major takeaways to walk away with after watching this week’s episode.
- The emotional roller-coaster of the first two weeks of the season proved to be too much for this team. Facing large deficits, injuries, and adjustments, this squad was simply unable to mentally or physically overcome its adversities. While coaches and players did spend a lot of time emphasizing Lamar Jackson’s abilities in preparation for the game, there were many distractions that seemed to creep into practice each step of the way. Even at the last practice before hitting the road, Josh Sweat suffered a questionable fall that left a lot of player’s and coach’s wondering if he was even going to make the flight and play in the game. With the already looming loss of Derwin James, the added stress from another possible key injury kept everyone from focusing on the game ahead.
- It was a bit concerning that neither the players nor coaching staff looked concerned at any point in time during the game. While I’m all about keeping it cool and staying focused, there is a point when you expect a player’s/coach’s frustration or passion to reveal itself on the field. Whether this is the team’s emphasis on composure or a lack of passion is the big question here, as the answers to each of these questions bring starkly different concerns.
- There’s still a lot of football to be played left, just as Jimbo said at the end of the episode. He understands that with the struggles this team has faced early in the season, there will need to be more adjustments in leadership, starting with the coaching staff and trickling down to the players. Jimbo hopes to instill that championship mentality that FSU needs to get this season back on track. With other formidable opponents looming, like Miami and Clemson, this team will still have its opportunity to prove itself.
Before FSU gets to those game, they will need to direct their attention this week to USF. Given its most recent performance, the Seminoles most certainly need to be squarely focused if they plan to keep this season alive.