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Defensive observations from FSU’s loss at NC State

Former FSU QB Bailey Hockman torches the Seminoles’ secondary.

Florida State football once again fell in blowout fashion, this time at the hands of N.C. State and former FSU QB, Bailey Hockman. The Seminoles’ defense once again had trouble getting their opponent off the field and out of the end zone. The Wolf Pack put up 416 total yards in a 38-22 win in Raleigh on Saturday night. FSU has allowed 30+ points in five of seven FBS games this season. Here are our defensive observations from the loss:

  • Florida State’s secondary had one of, if not their worst night of the season. Time after time, Hockman was able to find open receivers down the field. There weren’t many times that Hockman had to complete passes in tight spaces. Hockman came into the night completing 61% of his passes, with the same number of TD’s as interceptions. He ended the night with 265 yards through the air on 24-34 passing with three TD’s and an INT. WR Thayer Thomas put up career highs with 11 receptions, 135 yards, and 2 TD’s on 12 targets.
  • Florida State once again put on a poor display of tackling in the open field, which has been a theme of the season. We saw it early on, as NC State’s first TD came on two missed tackles. Another late TD came after Brendan Gant over ran (or ran right past) a WR screen, that broke for a TD. Countless times this season, FSU has lost one on one battles that has led to explosive plays.
  • Most of the night, FSU’s biggest hole was the middle third of the field. Florida State’s safeties and linebackers struggled to cover any of the Wolfpack’s slot wideouts or tight ends. Hockman wasn’t forced to make many tough throws to the sidelines, as it was clear NC St. wanted to attack the middle all night.
  • Florida State’s defensive line had one of their better nights of the season. The Seminoles held NC State to just 2.2 yards per rush in the first half, which often put the Wolfpack behind the chains. Janarius Robinson had one of his better games of the season. He came up with 2.5 TFL and a big sack. The team as a whole had 6 TFL. Emmett Rice also had a nice night in run defense, as he had 12 total tackles and 1.5 TFL.
  • Florida State’s biggest issue on the night was third down defense. As mentioned before, FSU actually did get NC State in long down and distances many times on the night, they just couldn’t capitalize. The Wolfpack were 10-14 on third downs, despite having an average of six yards to convert. They put up a 9.4 yards per play on third down. They were also 8-10 for 113 yards on third down passing.
  • Hamsah Nasirildeen finally made his long awaited return tonight. Nasirildeen suited up and was FSU’s captain on the night. On his very first play of the season, he came up with a tackle for loss. You could immediately see the difference he made as a run stopper in the back end of the defense. But Nasirildeen seemed to be playing every other series, and didn’t see much action in the second half. On the night, he had four tackles and a TFL.
  • Jarvis Brownlee made the play of the night. The red-shirt freshman cornerback saw more action at boundary corner tonight, after playing mostly nickel this season. In the fourth quarter, the DB came up with a between-the-legs INT on a fade route. Brownlee pinned the ball in between his legs and somehow managed to keep his body in bounds at the same time. Brownlee is one player that is seemingly bought in to the program. and plays hard every snap.