After struggling to capitalize on defensive success and field position against Miami last week, Florida State did much of the same against Duke, failing to score over 26 points for the fifth time this season.
James Blackman had another game mixed with success and freshman mistakes, playing tall in the pocket and delivering tough throws but also throwing two costly interceptions. The first came on a miscommunication with Noonie Murray early in the second quarter with the Seminoles driving down the field, the other on an attempted throwaway at the very end of the third.
He started the game 7/7, helping Florida State get not only its first opening drive touchdown of the season, but its first first quarter touchdown as well. The Seminoles rode strong rushing from Jacques Patrick and Cam Akers on that drive, with their 40 combined yards setting up a Blackman to Auden Tate 20-yard touchdown.
Akers had his second straight 100-yard game, and scored his first touchdown of his career on a 42-yard run in the fourth.
It seemed early on that Jimbo Fisher was putting emphasis on keeping past face, which was very thoroughly covered by our Bud Elliott earlier this week, though Fisher not going for it on fourth down from Duke’s 6-yard line could be looked at as questionable. On the following drive, Duke took the ball 75 yards to tie up the game, eliminating Florida State’s largest lead of the season (seven points).
While the Seminoles failed to put up as many points as they should’ve based on production, it seems as if their freshman are starting to find their groove. Though Blackman had two picks, he finished the day completing 18 of his 21 passes for 197 yards, and Akers once again flashed more of the talent that made him one of the most coveted recruits in the 2017 recruiting class.
Florida State outgained Duke in overall yards 425 to 315, and controlled time of possession, 36:44 to 23:16.
The Seminoles averaged 9.4 yards per pass and 5.7 per rush.
The 17 points scored by FSU are the lowest ever scored against Duke.