The Seminoles’ back half of the season started with a satisfying win against a conference foe. Wake Forest came to Doak Campbell stadium facing an FSU team that has been playing without consistency. FSU was also dealing with a hurricane that wrecked Florida’s panhandle and cut short bye week practices.
It was clear in the first few drives of the game that rust still needed to be knocked off. Fans saw more of what they’ve consistently seen this season: slow starts on offense and defense.
Trailing 10-0 in the first quarter had folks thinking upset.
Then something happened which fans have been waiting for all season: “Lethal Simplicity” clicked.
Willie Taggart’s offense was not executed perfectly, but compared to what has been shown the first six games, it was the best offensive output seen so far.
As I wrote before the season, this offense is predicted on how well the quarterback reads defenses and his decision making when choosing to run or pass. After the first three drives, Deondre Francois ran effectively, making good decisions for the most part. He went 29-for-40 through the air with two touchdowns and 353 yards; more effective was the running game with Cam Akers showing flashes of what we saw in 2017.
The real bright spot in this game was the defense.
Brian Burns has been quietly playing well all season, but was dominant leading the team in QB pressures as well as being tied for sacks. I was surprised by how well the defensive line unit played in general. You saw Joshua Kaindoh and Emmit Rice provide sacks, look back at the game film and you’ll see Cory Durden and Janarius Robinson shine as well.
More names making plays should create more problems for opposing offensive coordinators, taking their focus off Burns, providing him more opportunities to make plays.
This FSU team isn’t there yet, but seeing progress is refreshing. This is the first full game FSU has played as a team. If it continues taking these steps, maybe the bowl streak will remain, maybe it could be more.
Saturday demonstrated an exciting brand of football which can’t be dismissed by belittling the opposition because last year’s team almost lost to Wake Forest.
Article Originally Appeared on Gridiron Now: http://gridironnow.com/florida-state-plays-its-first-complete-game-of-the-season-beat-wake-forest/