It took a while for James Blackman and Florida State’s passing offense to get going against Virginia.
In an uncharacteristically slow start, Blackman was inaccurate on his first couple of throws. After a 28-yard completion to Tamorrion Terry, Blackman missed on his next five throws.
It wasn’t as if Florida State was running concepts that were unfamiliar to the sophomore quarterback. Many of the incompletions were just bad throws that were off target.
To his credit, Blackman eventually got back into a rhythm. He made some nice throws over the course of the game, but had some poor misses as well.
A few of those misses turned out to be at critical points in the game.
Blackman missed Tre’ McKitty on third down in the fourth quarter. It was a simple curl route by the tight end, but Blackman threw it low and away from McKitty.
Blackman and Terry then failed to connect on a deep pass down the right sideline in the fourth quarter that would have resulted in a touchdown. Terry had beat his man, but the pass from Blackman was too far.
Florida State loves to run the stop route from Terry on the right side, but it wasn’t working in this game. Blackman targeted Terry five times on these routes, but only completed one of them.
It was another bad performance from FSU’s deep passing game. Blackman targeted Terry three times down the right sideline and only completed one of them (which was his first pass in the game).
Blackman and Warren Thompson also had a miscommunication on a deep ball. Thompson ran a stop route, but Blackman threw the go route.
The sophomore quarterback was accurate on intermediate throws in this game (5-6 on 11-20 yard throws), but it is strange they haven’t been able to take advantage of the deep ball more.
Is this because no receiver has stepped up on the left side?
Ontaria Wilson has taken over as the primary option on the left side and Keith Gavin’s role has slowly been diminished. Meanwhile, players like Keyshawn Helton and Treshaun Harrison are primarily working as slot options.
Wilson is a solid player, but he doesn’t have the raw athleticism like Thompson or Harrison possess. Can either of those players step up and become a consistent option on the left side? If so, then perhaps that will free up Terry on the other side.
Ultimately, it was a good, but not great, performance from Blackman. He made some good throws, but had some head-scratching misses as well. He did not turn over the ball and did not force the ball into coverage.
Up next: Louisville and a secondary that FSU should be able to take advantage of.