It was a tough day at the office for Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois. When he wasn’t being peeled of the Carrier Dome turf, sailed balls and untimely drops were the common occurrence. Francois finished the day completing 18 of 36 passes for 178 yards and an interception, averaging a measly 4.9 yards per throw.
Despite the poor offensive performance, Francois insisted Syracuse didn’t do anything FSU wasn’t expecting, and the ’Noles need to be more in-sync in order to stop stalling drives.
“They were doing the same thing they were doing on film all week,” Francois said. “They kept it simple, and they played harder than us.”
“We keep taking turns making mistakes at every position,” Francois said. “We have to come in-sync, and we have to be one unit and move together. Right now we’re just making little mistakes and keep taking turns, whether it’s receivers, quarterbacks, running backs, tight ends, or O-line. We just keep taking turns, and that keeps ending our drives.”
After a shocking 1-2 start for the Seminoles, the coaching staff is already coming under fire. Francois maintains he still has confidence in Willie Taggart and the staff to turn things around.
“I have the utmost confidence in Coach Taggart. Like I said, each week he is preparing us for whatever team we play, and he’s doing a great job. He’s making us understand scheme. He’s making us understand what they are going to do and when they’re going to do it. It’s up to us as players to execute.”
The defense held strong in the 1st half, but ran out of gas after the break. However, like Francois, linebacker Dontavious Jackson didn’t make any excuses for his unit’s performance.
“They had 30 at the end of the day.” Jackson stated. “So that’s on us.”
When asked about his level of frustration with the team’s current situation, Jackson had this to offer.
“With me, there’s no frustration. I understand what we got to get better at, and it’s just going to work and staying together. At this point, this is where a lot of teams see a divide. We just got to stay together.”
Putting it mildly, the offensive line was the group that disappointed the most Saturday afternoon. Center Alec Eberle talked about the unit’s inconsistency against the Orange.
“It’s just like a constant battle, you know?” Eberle explained. “Get some good plays, and then make a dumb mistake. Can’t get the momentum going, or once you do...penalty.”
Although the team, and the offensive line in particular, is being met with a barrage of doubt, Eberle retains hope.
“I still have confidence in this team.” Eberle said. “Like I said in August or over summer, I still think we can be one of the best teams in the ACC. I still think we can have a dominant O-line. I think we just got to put the little things together, and we got to keep getting better each week.”