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The blame game: How much of FSU’s issues are the offensive line’s fault?

After breaking down every play, who is truly to blame for FSU’s offensive failures?

Every week Tomahawk Nation breaks down the FSU game in our Florida State Film Review series. We are the only outlet to do so. It’s an exhaustive process and we’re thankful to have former players and coaches assisting us. But we are aware that many do not read it.

So following a 63-20 loss in which the offense had just 160 yards and 10 points before Louisville pulled its starters after three quarters, we are re-purposing the content. Our hope is that it will help FSU fans realize which units are truly struggling and, if all are, which are struggling most. To do that, critical errors have been separated by position. Some plays fit in multiple categories.

The skill positions made a ton of critical errors

The blocking from running backs and tight ends was horrible, and judging from the comment section and feedback on social media, those errors are being attributed to the offensive line. Erroneous comments on the broadcast have furthered this misconception. Receiver blocking also prevented a few decent runs from turning into long runs. At least two of Florida State’s sacks were on FSU’s running backs, tight ends and receivers.

In all, this was one of the worst games by backs and tight ends that we have ever analyzed and it’s understandable that fans would attribute this to the offensive line while watching live.

Francois is still a freshman

It’s possible that many more errors including pre-snap checks are on Francois, but it is tough to tell without being in the meeting room so we have erred on the side of caution. The fumble that turned the game was Francois’ fault, and he had quite a few misfires when not under pressure as well.

Credit Louisville

Louisville clearly prepared better for this game than FSU did and it had the Seminoles’ tendencies down pat. Several times FSU seemed to tip the eventual play with motion and the defensive adjustment was perfect. And sometimes the defensive call is just perfect and not the fault of the offense.

FSU might look to run gap plays a bit more because Louisville played the zone runs very well and FSU had success with the gap calls.

The offensive line was bad

The main culprits were the right side, with true freshman Landon Dickerson and converted defensive lineman Rick Leonard, who has been replaced this week in practice. Most of the issues were mental or technique issues, though at times the line got beat physically. At times the playcall was very difficult to execute. While not technically a missed assignment, there were a lack of dominant blocks, though to be fair other positions had little dominance, either.

But the idea that the offensive line is the only problem, or by far the biggest problem is just not accurate. Only one of the sacks were clearly on the line. The skill positions were just as bad and arguably worse. In any case, with a freshman quarterback all of the positions around him must be better.

Did you enjoy the film review data being broken down in this way? If so, let us know and be sure to share it on social media.