While it was Florida State’s defensive unit that stole the show in a victory at Florida, the offense had some bright spots of its own.
True freshman QB James Blackman had a solid performance despite what the deceiving box score says. The Belle Glade, Fla. native threw for 128 yards on 10-21 passing and two touchdowns. His lone interception was off a deflected pass and the yardage number was low due to lack of opportunities. With Florida State’s defense scoring twice, the ’Noles ran fewer plays on offense. Its 55 plays run were the lowest all season.
Blackman was hitting his receivers in stride on Saturday, something he had struggled to do for most of 2017, and even had a beautiful 39-yard pass to Ermon Lane which set Florida State up for a touchdown.
All of those drops had a similarity in that the majority were committed by upperclassmen. Junior Nyqwan Murray committed multiple drops with junior Ryan Izzo dropping a key third down pass near midfield that would have been enough for a first. Junior Auden Tate also contributed to that total. Sophomore Keith Gavin also had a drop or two. Of Blackman’s 10 completions, only six were to wide receivers.
Running back Jacques Patrick showed off both his elusiveness and physicality on Saturday, especially on a clutch third and 14 rush that he converted in the fourth quarter.
Patrick first eludes a defender at the line of scrimmage, cuts down the sideline and barrels through three Florida defenders to reach the first down marker. The ’Noles would score just three plays later.
Cam Akers had another slow day, rushing 10 times for 34 yards. There still isn’t anything that should cause panic as Akers never was able to get into rhythm, however, it is something to look for in next week’s game vs. ULM.
The offensive line played average, giving Blackman enough time in the pocket on most of his drop backs, but did have a few plays where the pocket collapsed quickly, leading to Blackman being sacked twice.