Florida State’s offense was bad in the red zone Monday night in a loss to Virginia Tech.
Really, really bad.
As in four trips and no touchdowns bad. Three points bad. Embarrassingly bad.
I have not had time to review the game yet, but here are the plays from the four drives which entered the red zone.
There were the obvious missed blocks, bad reads, and bad throws, and a crucial drop.
Perhaps there is a theme. Coach Taggart did not believe so, other than that players repeatedly lost 1v1 matchups. He said that he has to put them in a better position to succeed.
Cam Akers rush left for loss of 5 yards to the VT18 (Ricky Walker), clock 13:47.
Cam Akers rush over right tackle for 3 yards to the VT15 (Dylan Rivers), clock 13:21.
Deondre Francois crossing pass incomplete to Keith Gavin, clock 12:51.
Ricky Aguayo field goal attempt from 32 MISSED - wide left, spot at VT20, clock 12:47
Cam Akers rush over left tackle for loss of 1 yard to the VT21 (Reggie Floyd), clock 01:59.
PENALTY FS false start (Landon Dickerson) 5 yards to the VT6, clock 08:54
Deondre Francois SH pass complete to Nyqwan Murray for no gain to the VT6 (Rayshard Ashby;TyJuan Garbutt), Previous play was a shovel pass to wide receiver.Injured player for VT is #43-Burke. Walks off the field.
Deondre Francois rush over right end for 1 yard to the VT5 (Reggie Floyd), clock 08:00
Deondre Francois sideline pass incomplete to Tamorrion Terry, QB hurry by Jarrod Hewitt, clock 07:29.3GVT05
Cam Akers rush up middle for no gain to the VT6 (Emmanuel Belmar;Rayshard Ashby), clock 10:52.1
Deondre Francois sideline pass complete to Tre’ McKitty for loss of 4 yards to the VT10 (Reggie Floyd), clock 10:17.2 Timeout Florida State
Cam Akers at QB for Florida State. Cam Akers rush up middle for loss of 5 yards to the VT15, fumble by Cam Akers recovered by VT Houshun Gaines at VT15.
I was curious.
Have red zone struggles been a common theme for Willie Taggart offenses?
So I looked up his record on CFBStats.com.
To keep opponent quality consistent relative to the spot he coaches, I limited the query to conference games only, since he implemented the Gulf Coast Offense in 2015 at USF.
In 2017, despite losing their QB to injury, Taggart’s offense was No. 1 in red zone touchdowns at Oregon. 22 touchdowns in 31 trips.
And at USF, Taggart’s offenses were 5th (2016) and 7th (2015) at scoring touchdowns in the red zone.
That’s an average of fourth, and never a finish in the bottom third.
To say that having four trips end without touchdown is unusual is an understatement.
But those plays count. Some of it is randomness, to be sure, but if there is an actual issue causing the team to execute differently in the red zone than other areas, and it is not remedied, then more losses will be coming.