Tallahassee FL- For the Florida State Seminoles this game was a beat-down from the jump with a 35-point first half from Jordan Travis and the first-team offense. The Seminoles continued leaning on their dominant run attack scoring on three straight offensive drives to open up the game.
In the second half, the ‘Noles were able to get their true freshman QB some experience with him scoring his first career TD on Saturday.
The present is bright for FSU and so is the future - this game was representative of how far they have come since starting 0-4 last season and losing to an FCS school.
What Went Right
Mike Norvell has been extremely successful in opening offensive drives this season, and that did not change against Louisiana as the Seminoles drove 75 yards in 2:31 for another opening-drive TD.
That opening drive was the return of Treshaun Ward in the endzone...
36 yards to the house for Treshaun Ward #FSU pic.twitter.com/KTz41G7qrR— Tomahawk Nation (@TomahawkNation) November 19, 2022
With that first score, the Seminoles have now scored an opening-drive touchdown in 8 of their 11 games this season.
After their first two initial drives against the Ragin’ Cajuns, they had already gained 128 yards on the ground. Jordan Travis has been elite this season but the team has been able to take pressure off him through the ground game.
The ‘Noles scored on all three opening drives, more than anything they were very efficient converting all five third-down opportunities and scoring touchdowns on each redzone possession.
Since coming off the bye this team has been excellent in both of those areas (redzone, third down) and that has been the difference with the Seminoles offense.
They finished the first half with 35 points on six offensive possessions and 206 rushing yards on the ground. That marks the ‘Noles 6th game in a row with at least 200+ rushing yards.
There was no Johnny Wilson in this game but it was good to see other receivers get opportunities like Malik McClain who scored a TD in his second straight game after a lackluster start to the season.
Malik had a very acrobatic touchdown...
Malik McClain with an absolute ridiculous grab to put #FSU up 35-0 over Louisiana pic.twitter.com/XDnsGgkR6c— Tomahawk Nation (@TomahawkNation) November 19, 2022
Before the ‘Noles last game against Syracuse he had only had 8 receptions for 96 yards and 1 TD on 16 targets. Over the last two games, he has 6 receptions, 52 yards, and 2 TDs on 9 targets.
This team has been great at moving the ball all season even when their offense wasn’t at its best - but recently they have been elite at converting when needed.
The offense has not changed drastically, but the conversions in key third-down and goal-to-go scenarios have made this offense elite.
In the second half, Mike Norvell was able to get both of his backup quarterbacks an opportunity to get some snaps.
Tate Rodemaker came in and had a nice explosive 45-yard pass to Kentron Poitier that would eventually set up a goal to go touchdown for Trey Benson.
But the backup QB everyone had their eyes on was true freshman QB AJ Duffy who came in and scored on his very first drive with a TD to Markeston Douglas on 3rd and 8 from the 16-yard line...
AJ Duffy’s First TD of his #FSU career pic.twitter.com/Ze2gYdd6Q3— Ben Meyerson (@ByBenMeyerson) November 19, 2022
Duffy’s first career TD was good to see and so was his play in the third and fourth quarters. He was able to avoid pressure well in the pocket and limit mistakes and only had one notable mistake where he overthrew his receiver who would have gotten a holding or DPI if it had been catchable.
What Went Wrong
This is the hard part of this article, the Seminoles did not do much wrong on the offensive side of the ball.
Early on they had a few drops and failed to convert one third down on 3rd and 2. But that would be the only third down the offense did not convert in the first half.
Malik McClain and Camm McDonald were responsible for those early drops, with Malik making it up later as he scored his second touchdown on two straight Saturdays.
This receiver core could have been a little better but I am really just nitpicking, it is incredible to see how far that room has come since last season.
I wanted to note here that I have been very critical of the ‘Noles offensive line this season, but since they have had the same line they have played very consistently and were dominant up front against the Ragin Cajuns.