For those looking for excitement on the final weekend of the regular season, rivalry week did not disappoint.
The same held true for Florida State vs. Florida, which saw the Gators storm to a lead but then FSU found its footing and ended up covering in a 24-15 win.
It was an up-and-down game for the offense, who struggled to find any sort of success for most of the first half. But in the end, they were good enough to seal the game and secure an undefeated regular season.
The start they got off to could not have been worse, between negative plays, a safety, and a terrible field position they could not get anything going.
But they stayed patient and turned it around in the second half behind a trio of Trey Benson touchdowns and some key conversions.
Where else did FSU find success, and what needs to be fixed before next week’s matchup vs. the Louisville Cardinals in the ACC Championship?
Let’s dive in.
What Went Right
Not a lot went right for the Seminoles in the first half on offense. The 90-yard drive to end the half is what really brought life back to the offense which was lifeless and disappointing before that.
Rodemaker found Johnny Wilson early and often throughout the game with him being targeted 12 times out of 26 total targets. Wilson had a bad drop later on, but he made up the majority of the passing offense throughout most of the game.
In the second half, they stuck with their game plan, were patient, and found some rhythm.
Benson and the offense opened up the second half with a great drive. Tate found Keon Coleman for a huge chunk gain and then Trey punched it in on a 36-yard house call.
Benson had a bad first half with a lot of negative plays, but he responded with not one but two back-breaking second-half touchdowns. The second touchdown sealed the game (but we’ll get to that later), and he finished with 19 rushing attempts for 95 yards and three touchdowns.
While Keon Coleman and Jaheim Bell did not light up the box score they both had crucial plays down the stretch to help the ‘Noles.
The targeting on Rodemaker nearly sealed the game for the Seminoles, Brock Glenn had to come in and run the offense for a few downs before Tate came back and Benson punched in the kill shot.
Benson was electric in the second half, he showed up when the lights were the brightest and when the Seminoles needed a play.
Rodemaker did not have a perfect game but he did not turn the ball over and did a good job with an offensive line that was struggling against the physical Florida front.
What Went Wrong
It was a rough start on offense in the first two quarters, while Rodemaker was not making plays neither were his teammates. Rodemaker started 4/8 for 30 yards up until the last drive of the half.
The negative plays and mistakes just kept adding up and putting more and more pressure on Rodemaker in the half.
That led to a safety on Rodemaker where he looked frazzled and bad under pressure.
Outside of the touchdown drive from Trey Benson, the offense had 27 plays for -5 yards.
Benson and the run game could not get going in that half. The offensive line was not perfect but Benson had way too many negative plays and had poor vision. He finished the first half with 5 carries, 2 yards and a touchdown.
The first-half struggles were made up for by this team in the second half.
But the offensive line struggles continued to hold this team back, they were not holding up in pass protection and were inconsistent in the run. If FSU does not reach the CFP it will be because of the offensive line.
With how high of a bar I hold Keon Coleman to, he should have caught the fade that Rodemaker overthrew to him in the endzone — he has made that catch all year.