Through seven games, the Florida State Seminoles offense has looked good (even great) at times and produced well but there has just been something missing with them. The squad can move the ball down the field at will but often fail to convert in scoring positions.
If this staff can adjust to games better on the fly and improve finishing when in scoring opportunities there are a lot of things that they do well already.
Here’s a look at various stats, what they tell us about the offense and what can be done moving forward.
Florida State Seminoles football scoring by quarter
- 1Q: 8.2 ppq (26th of 131)
- 2Q: 6.8 ppq (79th of 131)
- 3Q: 4.8 ppq (77th of 131)
- 4Q: 8.3 ppq (38th of 131)
In the first quarter, the team scored on 12 of 20 offensive drives through 7 games at a 60% conversion rate. The Seminoles’ opening offensive script and some of the preceding offensive series have been extremely efficient.
But, they have tended to stall after the opening script of the offense, in their last 3 games they have scored an average of 10 ppg in the second and third quarters combined. The offense starts strong then struggles to build on that momentum.
Ultimately they have finished games strong from a production perspective, unfortunately in their last 3 games (that were all loses) they ran out of steam as an offense. Against Clemson, they scored a TD on 2 of their first 3 possessions then failed to score on 6 straight possessions.
This offense has proven that they can beat inferior opponents and coaches but cannot yet overcome a talent deficit. They need to be better situationally and put their foot on the gas pedal in the middle of these games.
From a scoring perspective, they put together an effective offensive game plan but need to be able to adjust and score making quicker in-game adjustments.
One key factor that is really encouraging though is how they have been able to move the ball in spite of the infrequent scoring.
Moving the ball
- 6.4 yards per play (23rd of 131)
- 47.5% 3rd conversion rate (22nd of 131)
- 13.3 3rd downs per game (78th of 131)
This offense has been very effective at moving the ball, converting third downs at a high rate, and not having to get to third down as often as other teams.
As I already covered their offense tends to run out of steam - because of this they have held the ball less than other teams with 67.7 offensive plays per game which ranks 92nd of 131 teams. With so few offensive plays per game, they need to be better at extending drives in key situations.
So while they do move the chains they also can often stall on offense. In their last two games, they went 3 and out on 7 offensive drives - that just isn’t complementary football.
They are having to get to 3rd down less than most teams and move the ball at a near-elite rate in college football. But they are only scoring 28.2 ppg which ranks 62nd of 131 teams, because of those lulls in their offense.
One area that they could improve on is being able to finish the opportunities they do have to score they need to turn their focus on finishing drives…
- 69.23% red zone conversion rate (FG or TD) (118th of 131)
- 4.3 red zone possessions per game (33rd of 131)
- 27.27% 4th down conversion rate (123rd of 131)
This team is getting red-zone opportunities at a high rate - that is not a problem with their red-zone offense. The problem is how often they actually score with those opportunities.
The Seminoles score about 70% of the time they are inside the 20-yard line which ranks among the worst in all of college football, this red zone offense just does not work well.
Now that number is particularly low because they have gone for it on 4th down often in the red zone and failed to score. They rank even worse in their 4th down conversion percentage than they do in red zone conversion rate.
But that happens to be because of the staff’s lack of confidence in their special teams unit to convert those drives into field goals.
So they get opportunities often to score, but score at an extremely low rate because they go for it often due to a lack of confidence in their kicker. The fix?
Trust your players, and have confidence in your players' abilities. This offense moves the ball well but falls apart when they put themselves in positions to score. They need to simplify the offense and score points.