A win’s a win.
While the Florida State Seminoles’ offense didn’t play up to their normal standard, they took care of business and played smart sound football against Pitt to take home a 24-7 win.
The storyline of the game was both Keon Coleman and Johnny Wilson being out and what the Florida State offense would look like without their top playmakers.
It was not perfect against the Pittsburgh Panthers (rather, far from it), but they only turned the ball over once, and after the slow start put up more than enough points.
The ‘Noles ended their consecutive streak of scoring thirty points but they continued their win streak and stayed alive for the College Football Playoff.
What is there to take away from Florida State’s performance?
Here are some observations on what went right and what went wrong in the win.
What Went Right
Without their top two receivers, the offense was struggling to get going and sustain drives.
The Seminoles offense only put up 10 points in the first half, but even with the lack of points they produced 297 net yards of offense.
After a very slow start and six drives without a touchdown or a field goal, they were able to salvage the game and put Pitt away.
Once the offense got going Travis heated up and started making key plays. While it was not his best performance he played a very clean game and stayed patient throughout.
He finished the game with 360 yards one passing touchdown, and one rushing touchdown.
The leading receiver of the game was Ja’Khi Douglas who finished the game with 6 receptions, and 115 yards. No other wide receiver finished with more than one reception.
Florida State’s tight ends came up big, Jaheim Bell, Kyle Morlock and Markeston Douglas combined for 12 receptions, 144 yards, and a receiving touchdown.
Trey Benson was struggling along with the rest of the backfield for most of the game. But then he ran away from the Panthers defense untouched on a 55-yard touchdown that gave the Seminoles a three-score lead.
Later on, you will read about the offensive line’s poor performance but they set up Benson on that long run and did a very good job in the screen game all night.
The screen game was key for the offense with all of the struggles on the ground, early on it was the only part of the offense that was able to keep drives alive.
What Went Wrong
The offense played their worst stretch of the season against Pittsburgh in the first half. They scored just 10 points in the first half and were out of rhythm and disjointed.
A huge part of that was due to Johnny Wilson and Keon Coleman missing the game due to injuries. But even taking that into consideration the slow start was very concerning.
The Seminole's first six possessions did not result in scores with key situational missed opportunities.
They had a fumble on the opening drive of the game and followed that up with a failed 4th down conversion.
On the next four drives, they had four straight punts with three of those being three and outs.
Without the Seminoles key weapons on the outside Pittsburgh’s game plan was to sell out for the run and try to get pressure on Jordan Travis.
It worked well through the first half, they ran the ball 20 times for only 66 yards. The offensive line was getting beat up front consistently and the run game could not get going until the end of the game.
Mike Norvell was not able to get Jordan Travis going in the run game which was concerning, but they were able to be so good through the air that it did not matter in the end.