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Offensive observations from FSU’s loss to Miami

The good and bad from Florida State’s offense.

NCAA Football: Miami at Florida State Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

At times, Florida State’s offense struggled. Miami’s defensive line was able to get penetration and stuff several runs in the backfield. James Blackman, making his third start, threw the first two interceptions of his career.

But at other times, FSU’s offense was great.

After several weeks of waiting, the run game emerged in a dramatic way in Florida State’s 24-20 loss to Miami. Jacques Patrick and Cam Akers combined for 212 yards on the ground, averaging 6.8 yards per carry. Akers flashed his elite talent, trucking a Miami defender early in the game and then later breaking off a 46-yard run to give the offense a spark.

The offensive line contributed in a big way, opening up holes for the running backs and providing Blackman with ample time to throw. Granted, Miami’s defensive line still won their share of the battles, but it was a nice step forward for Alec Eberle and company after an underwhelming performance last week.

Speaking of Blackman, the true freshman quarterback looked overwhelmed at times. He tossed the first two interceptions of his career in this game, both on poor decisions more than anything else. Blackman also took off from a clean pocket rather than testing anything down the field.

But to his credit, Blackman made plays when it mattered the most.

Facing a third and 10 early in the fourth quarter, the freshman hit tight end Ryan Izzo over the middle for a touchdown to tie the game. Later in the game, Blackman found receiver Auden Tate for a 20-yard touchdown that nearly clinched the game for the Seminoles.

Despite still suffering from a shoulder injury, Tate gave FSU’s offense a play when they needed it. He caught three passes in this game, all in the fourth quarter with the game on the line. He might be playing with only one working arm, but there’s no doubting the fact that Tate is putting a Herculean effort on the field.

Meanwhile, Keith Gavin left this game with an injury. We’ll continue to provide updates on his status.

Finally, the tights end position made its triumphant return. After only being targeted once in the past two games, Ryan Izzo caught four passes for 54 yards and the aforementioned touchdown. It’s clear that Izzo will continue to be a part of this offense as Blackman gets more comfortable throwing over the middle.

Florida State moves to a disappointing 1-3 on the season following this loss. But the offensive side of the ball gave fans some hope for the future. Blackman is progressing, the run game is emerging, and the line played well at times.

Next week, FSU takes on Duke for a chance to get its second win of the season.