Oct 1, 2016; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles defensive end DeMarcus Walker (44) and defensive end Jamarcus Robinson (11) along with defensive coordinator Charles Kelly look on during the game against the North Carolina Tarheels at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
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FSU football suffered a heartbreaking 37-35 loss against the UNC Tarheels on Saturday.
FSU football was an 11 point betting favorite against the visiting UNC Tarheels on Saturday. They probably should have beaten FSU by that many points an more.
The same defense that showed up the last four games, showed up on Saturday, and promptly allowed the Tarheels to average 7.68 yard per play.
That’s worse than the terrible 2009 defense that FSU football trotted on the field, but with way less talented compared to this 2016 team
However, the UNC Tarheels only punted ONCE all day and gave FSU new life when they had an awful penalty for roughing the punter.
UNC had a critical turnover right before halftime and missed a field goal on their first possession in the third quarter.
Despite all of that, FSU football held a 35-34 lead with 23 seconds to go in the game. A game they should have won, but didn’t deserve to win.
Let’s look at three reasons why FSU football didn’t deserve the win against UNC.
Sep 5, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles place kicker Ricky Aguayo (23) kicks a field goal against the Mississippi Rebels during the first half at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Missed Field Goals
The FSU football team left nine points on the field when true freshman kicker Ricky Aguayo missed three field goals in the FIRST quarter.
Aguayo missed the first field goal by a mile to the left from 45 yards. However, Jimbo Fisher continued to trot him out there to kick field goals, knowing the defense has not been able to get stops.
Aguayo had one kick blocked from 52 yards and then missed another kick from 45 yards.
Every fan in the stadium knew that the FSU offense was going to need touchdowns to win the game against UNC.
Yet, Fisher continued to settle for them. He called the second and third down plays like he knew he had a field goal in his back pocket.
It cost them as he should have played like he was in four down territory, knowing the defense was not going to be able to get stops.
Nov 14, 2015; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles running back Dalvin Cook (4) celebrates a touchdown with offensive lineman Alec Eberle (54) and offensive lineman Chad Mavety (55) during the second half of the game against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
FSU could not get out of their own way as they committed 13 penalties for 120 yards. It was a combination of multiple false starts(what else is new), holding calls and personal fouls.
In fact, a pass interference play for 15 yards is a penalty that ultimately put UNC in position to kick the 54 yard game winning field goal.
Elite or even good teams don’t commit penalties at that rate.
In fact, these penalties are re-occurring and at some point you have to look at coaching. How many years have fans been angered about false starts?
The pass interference play by McFadden was terrible as the receiver had no shot of even catching the pass.
What’s even worse than the interference play was the 23 yard pass given up by the defense on first down.
I wasn’t surprised, the ‘Noles have been giving up explosive plays all season so it was only fitting for that to happen as well which brings us to our next point.
Dec 31, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Florida State Seminoles defensive back Jalen Ramsey (8) celebrates with defensive end DeMarcus Walker (44) against the Houston Cougars in the third quarter in the 2015 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl at the Georgia Dome. The Cougars won 38-24. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
The FSU defense is full of four and five-star recruits. I’m fully on-board the fire Charles Kelly bandwagon now.
Dec 31, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Florida State Seminoles defensive coordinator Charles Kelly coaches against the Houston Cougars in the second quarter in the 2015 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
It’s time for changes on defense. If not, it’s time for Jimbo Fisher to to start calling offensive plays like they don’t plan on punting.
Because it doesn’t matter where opposing offenses get the ball, they are going to score on this FSU defense.
FSU is allowing teams to score over 35 points per game. I can’t remember the last time that has happened, and it’s worse than the 2009 defense that allowed 30 points per game.
Prior to the season, I expected FSU to have maybe one loss after five games and confident they would beat Miami coming up.
However, Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya has lit up FSU the past two years in a losing effort. He threw for over 300 yards in 2014, and threw for over 400 yards in 2015.
How many yards do think he’ll throw for against this FSU defense next week?
Don’t get me wrong, I would have taken it had FSU gotten the stop on UNC’s last possession. However, it still wouldn’t mask that changes need to be made on defense, and it wouldn’t have masked that FSU didn’t deserve to win that game the way they played.