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Tate it ain't so: 'Noles miss top WR in red zone during loss to Wolfpack

A big loss— but for how long?

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

Collarbone. Separated shoulder. Likely not wrist, as ESPN Announcer Anthony Becht intimated.

FSU star wide receiver Auden Tate hurt an upper extremity with 13:19 remaining in the third quarter. The FSU pass offense was never the same, unable to muster a red zone touchdown — or one of any kind — after Tate’s shoulder injury.

Tate is FSU’s best red-zone pass target, without question. With Bradley Chubb anchoring one of the best defensive lines FSU will see, running in the red zone was bound to be sparse. Losing the top receiving target compounded this issue.

Prior to Tate’s injury, ’Noles QB James Blackman was 16/22 for 190 yards - a solid average of 8.6 yards per pass attempt. Tate accounted for 138 of these 190 yards. The red zone trips were also decidedly successful, with 1 TD and 2 FGs in 3 trips.

Auden Tate leaving the field left the Seminoles’ offense in a lurch. Blackman completed 6 passes of 16 attempts for 88 yards, a decidedly poor average of 5.5 yards per attempt. To illustrate just how important the injury was, 60 of those 88 yards came on one pass play to George Campbell.

If Tate’s injury put FSU’s offense on the ropes, it knocked the red zone offense out cold. Two red zone trips followed the injury, and Blackman completed just 1 pass on 3 attempts for 2 yards. And, again, no more TDs.

James Blackman and FSU’s passing offense were put in a tough position against a strong NCSU defensive line. Losing Auden Tate put the nail in the coffin for the FSU offense.