Pre-Game Spread: Florida State -13, Over/Under 50.5
Player of the Game (Offense): N/A
Player of the Game (Defense): This one wasn’t even close. Junior defensive back Asante Samuel Jr. lived up to his namesake, carrying the FSU defense with 2 interceptions and several more pass breakups. Both of Samuel’s first-half picks interrupted Tech drives deep into scoring territory.
Key Statistic: 3. Florida State blocked not one, not two, but three kicks against the Yellow Jackets. Senior Marvin Wilson helped force a first-half shutout with two momentum-saving blocked field goals. Then, with FSU on its heels after a Jeff Sims touchdown with thirteen minutes remaining in the game, the Noles improbably remained tied at 13-13 when senior Janarius Robinson burst through the line for block #3. The performance from the special teams was even more impressive considering the importance placed on the unit from head coach Mike Norvell since his hiring in December.
Offensive Play of the Game: N/A
Defensive Play of the Game: Considering the wild, rain-delayed start to the game, Samuel’s interception was crucial to the Noles maintaining a lead the first 50 minutes of the game. Florida State’s lone touchdown of the first three quarters resulted from the budding star cornerback’s turnover.
Unsung Hero: In an ultimate battle of attrition, the only starting member of the offensive line to avoid injury this afternoon was right guard Baveon Johnson. The senior also played some center before and after redshirt freshman Maurice Smith was injured. Johnson’s biggest moment of the game came when redshirt junior quarterback James Blackman was stripped and fumbled the football, leaving Tech with a wide-open lane for a walk-in defensive score. Johnson showed tremendous hustle to tackle the Georgia Tech defender, save four points, and keep his team in the game.
Game-Clinching Moment: On Florida State’s failed final drive, Blackman failed to convert a fourth-and-2 with 1:16 remaining in the fourth quarter on their own 25-yard line.
What Do They Need To Do?: Florida State could clearly use a few adjustments following a disappointing 16-13 loss. Highest priority on the list for Mike Norvell should lie within the offense after the sputtering following the initial drives. Norvell will need to immediately address the situations at offensive line and quarterback if he hopes for improvement in 2020.