The Florida State Seminoles dropped to 0-3 in the month of October and their offense was able to move the ball but they also stalled in the most crucial moments of the game.
The offense produced in terms of the stat sheet and the box score but did not score for six straight possessions after scoring on two of their first three possessions.
It looked better at times but when they needed their offense to score toward the end of the half they just did not show up.
What went right
FSU came out swinging against the Clemson Tigers utilizing the screen game and their effective running backs to set up a 20-yard zone read TD run from Jordan Travis, that drive was an excellent opening script from Mike Norvell.
On the ‘Noles third drive they started from their own 7-yard line and drove the length of the field to score on 4th and goal via a DJ Lundy TD from the fullback position. They scored 14 points in their first three drives.
In the first half even counting sacks against their rushing total the team was averaging 6 yards per carry with Trey Benson averaging 11.5 yards per carry.
In the second half the offense was not able to show up when they were needed most instead they scored the last two possessions of the game.
They finished the game with 460 total yards on offense and four touchdown drives but also failed to score for 6 straight drives.
What went wrong
After their first three drives and 2 TDs they were able to continue moving the ball well in the first half, but failed to convert on 4th down on a long attempt to Johnny Wilson that could have been a potential INT.
The first half ended disastrously with the ‘Noles failing to score after going up 14-7 with 14:55 left in the second quarter. Jordan Travis got hit hard on his blindside that led to a sack.
While the Seminoles offensive line was performing well at times they collapsed after their second TD especially in pass protection. The Seminoles moved the ball effectively for the most part in the first half.
But they failed to convert on a drive in Clemson’s territory and then the very next drive on that allowed pressure from LT Robert Scott Clemson recovered the fumble to swing the game even more in their favor.
Those back to back failed drives led to Clemson taking a commanding lead and with possession coming out of halftime. The FSU offense did some things well in that half but they were just not good enough against an elite opponent.
Their offense just stalled at the worst moments and that has been a consistent theme with these Mike Norvell led offenses, they can move the ball but do not show up when they are needed most.
The box score looks good the offense can have good moments but they have no put together a full game against a quality opponent they always stall or lose their rhythm.
Tonight the turning point of the game was the second quarter when they were 2-6 on drop back passing situations - they were averaging 7.4 yards per carry on the ground but dropped back on 4th and 2.
They should have kept running the ball and dominating on the ground, it was giving them the best opportunity to control and potentially win this game.
Moving the ball well is a skill but sound situational football is the most important skill a coaching staff can have and the Seminoles under Norvell have dropped the ball consistently in that area against better teams.
That is the difference between a good coach and a great one, the greats overcome talent gaps with good situational decision making. This team had situational opportunities to beat more talented better coached teams and just did not show up over these last three games.
This regime/staff has raised the floor of this team, they beat who they are supposed too (at least this year) but they cannot overcome the talent gap with these top acc teams. Even when they do get chances they cannot push this team over the top.