Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois missed last week’s game against NC State after being injured towards the end of the Clemson game. He was subsequently unable to practice fully throughout the week, which lead to the first start of the year for sophomore QB James Blackman.
Despite the loss, Blackman threw for 421 yards, four touchdowns, and an interception—good enough to earn the honor of the ACC’s quarterback of the week.(Francois earned the same honor against Wake Forest.)
While Blackman was successful in his stead, Francois expects to be the starter when the team travels to Notre Dame.
“I’m still the number one guy,” Francois said. “Coach Taggart continues to make that clear. James understands that, but James is always ready. He’s always ready to go if anything happens to me—god forbid—we got a guy who can go in there and throw for 400 on any given day. It’s just nice to have two guys who can go in there and play. It’s a great situation for both of us.”
Willie Taggart hasn’t announced officially who will get the start against the Irish. We likely won’t know the answer to that question until around kickoff on Saturday. Regardless of who starts, Blackman says both quarterbacks are experienced in-game, as well as supporting one another from the sideline.
“Me and him really had to switch roles,” Blackman said. “He had to be me on the sidelines and I had to be him in the game. Just being able to be calm when things didn’t go my way and keep everybody together.”
Blackman continued and said Francois’ support played a major role in why he was able to perform at such a high level.
“Most definitely, he was just making sure I was seeing everything correctly—understanding everything that was going on,” Blackman said. “He just made sure I was okay as I went out there. To be honest he played a big role in me performing the way I performed.”