TALLAHSSEE FL- The Seminoles lose their first game of the season 31 -21 vs Wake Forest at home. This was a disappointing game for the offense, they moved the ball well at times but also did not score on all of the opportunities they created.
The playmakers did their part but the offensive line struggled along with Jordan Travis in the first half and the lead that Wake Forest built up was just too much to overcome.
What went right
I have to start with Mycah Pittman who finished the game with 5 catches, 85 yards and 2 TDs. I wrote about this WR group saying each guy will have their games and moments and this was Pittman’s best performance.
He was the standout guy tonight and made some plays on special teams as well...
Mycah Pittman capping off a great drive with his 2nd TD pic.twitter.com/DsNHATRFgq— Ben Meyerson (@ByBenMeyerson) October 1, 2022
Mycah Pittman with a nice return pic.twitter.com/9XKF6ZEAnp— Ben Meyerson (@ByBenMeyerson) October 1, 2022
While I felt Jordan Travis did struggle in the passing game this receiving room has been the biggest improvement of any position on this team. With Johnny Wilson, Pittman, Ontaria Wilson, Poitier, and McClain they have depth and consistency that was lacking last season.
Wilson also had a good game finishing with 6 receptions for 85 yards and 1 TD with 10 targets, him and Mycah are the top two guys at the moment.
This running back room is still very good too, Ward had the best game with the most opportunities with 13 carries for 87 yards. He was the only runner who had a play that he gained at least 10+ yards on.
This team is loaded with all kinds of playmakers at RB and WR who can do different things well - so matchup to matchup they can take advantage of the opportunities that a defense gives them.
In the second half the offense was able to put together a few nice drives and move the ball well. But this Seminoles squad could not convert on those drives and finish them.
What went wrong
The offense started off hot in the game with a 6-play drive for a TD and then struggled until the second half. They had one drive over 5 plays for the rest of the half and it was their last possession before halftime 13-play drive that resulted in the missed 29-yard field goal.
While they were able to move the ball well (at times) falling behind 21-7 at half was just too big of lead to recover from, especially with Wake scoring out of the gate in the second half to take a three score lead.
Wake controlled the pace of the game especially in the first half. FSU averaged almost a whole yard per play more than Wake in the first half but Wake had 50 plays while the ‘Noles had 31. They dominated time of possession - 18:40 vs 11:20.
The biggest reason that they struggled was because of this lackluster offensive line that was outmatched against Wake.
They were not able to sustain consistent play there were sloppy penalties, an inability to move the ball on the ground or good pass protection. The line was built to sustain injuries but with so many players out it was only so long until it would catch up with them and it did.
The ‘Noles finished the game with more passing attempts (35) than rushing attempts (28). They just could not get control of the tempo of the game. They had 4 different drives where the were in Wake’s territory and did not score a point.
At the end of the day they showed that they can move the ball but going 4-11 on third down is just not good enough, some of these things can be fixed (like Jordan playing better) while I fear that the offensive line issue will persist.
This offense is much better than they were last season and put up points consistently but this is the first loss of the season so I wanna give them an opportunity to bounce back and see how they respond vs NC State.