130th place. Out of 130 teams. That’s where Florida State football finds itself after an 0-2 start to the 2017 season. And no, the category is not punting, thanks in large part to the impressive comeback achieved by Logan Tyler in the Seminoles’ loss to NC State on Saturday.
What are we talking about? Takeaways— aka, turnovers forced. If it feels like you haven’t heard those terms much lately, that’s for good reason: FSU is the only FBS team in the country that has not yet snagged an interception or recovered an opponent’s fumble.
Coming into this weekend’s play, the Seminoles were one of just three FBS teams without a takeaway. And the other two took care of that inauspicious designation. Indiana got on the board by collecting a trio of Georgia Southern fumbles. Georgia State made a pair of picks against Charlotte to join the club. Which leaves FSU alone among FBS teams with zero takeaways.
No, Florida State has not played as many games as almost all other FBS teams. But it also boasts a substantial talent gap over a lot of those teams. And while luck does factor in largely with regard to turnovers, the Seminoles are not making much luck for themselves. Up front, they’re not getting home on opposing QBs to force fumbles. When they can’t get to the passer, they’re failing to bat passes away for possible INTs. Regarding run defense, we’ve yet to see enough of the gang tackling that allows defenders to strip the ball. And on the back end, the secondary has not closed to its potential to generate picks.
Turnovers can certainly swing wildly from one week to the next, but if FSU doesn’t improve on this number, and soon, its win total could remain dangerously close to its cumulative takeaways.