FLORIDA STATE- The Seminoles won against Duquesne 47-7 on Saturday in Tallahassee to get the ‘Noles their first season-opening win since 2016 (that’s a depressing stat).
With the dust settled, let’s take a look at how Florida State’s offense performed in its opening matchup.
What went right?
The Seminoles were able to run the ball very efficiently against the Dukes finishing the game with 406 yards on the ground and three running backs with 100+ yards each (Ward, Benson, Toafili) averaging 7.5 yards per carry as a team.
I still think Benson is the best back on this team, but they will not need to lean on one running back in any game.
Trey Benson is a human highlight reel...
This will be the Seminoles identity, running the ball and leaning on Jordan Travis to make plays when necessary but only if it is absolutely necessary.
Speaking of Jordan Travis he was excellent on Saturday, he only finished with 15 passing attempts but still had over 200 passing yards. He had two 45+ yard completions to Wilson and Portier.
This game plan is the ideal plan for the Seminoles, limiting the risk of him getting hurt is key. He can make a few big plays for you and then they can control the game through the ground attack.
Here he showed off his deep throwing ability...
I still think he can show a lot more as a passer when given the opportunity, but with how many injuries the offensive line had it’s understandable why they limited him to so few attempts.
We also got a good look at two of the Seminoles top receivers with Pittman and Wilson. Johnny Wilson exited the game (likely out of caution) after the 51-yard catch. But he showed what he did in camp, the big play ability along with some inconsistency with drops.
Pittman will lead this team in targets, mostly because of how many targets he will get around the line of scrimmage. I thought Portier played very well too.
Overall this receiver room is the most improved group this off-season, Winston Wright has the highest upside but improving to even average receiver play is such an upgrade from the last two seasons.
AJ Duffy had a few nice moments as well before the game ended, and I’m curious too see more from him.
What went wrong?
While the Seminoles' offense was playing very efficient football the team still has some major questions along the offensive line. At times the line played well and opened up some lanes for Ward and Toafili, but you also saw the plays where Trey Benson had to break multiple tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
On this play, Benson was great but the offensive line cannot repeat this against better opponents...
Wow Trey Benson, what a first down pic.twitter.com/Tu968QCl2X— Ben Meyerson (@ByBenMeyerson) August 27, 2022
The Seminoles had to move Dillan Gibbons to center out of necessity, we saw Robert Scott and Darius Washington leave the game. Bryson Estes took over at left guard and Jazston Turnetine took over at right tackle with Bless Harris shifting over to left tackle.
I like the Seminoles depth along the offensive line but it’s not ideal that they are already having to use second-string linemen. If there are any more injuries along the line things could get really ugly.
The center position is the most worrying at the moment
Tate Rodemaker only had one completion far beyond the line of scrimmage but more than anything his one interception and another near interception were ugly.
The Seminoles would have shut out the Dukes if not for his near-pick-six...
4th and 7 on your own 32, just cannot make this mistake pic.twitter.com/UQVGUGd3Wa— Ben Meyerson (@ByBenMeyerson) August 28, 2022
He finished the game 2/6 for 15 yards and one interception. While there has been some buzz around his improvement, I have not seen that in any practices throughout fall or spring.
His performance on Saturday did not show that and it may have opened up a path for Duffy to supplant him already as QB2. This was a perfect opportunity for Rodemaker to show his ability and he may not get many more snaps to prove that he deserves to be QB2.