Oct 29, 2016; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher speaks with the referees during the game against the Clemson Tigers at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
FSU football had to beat the NC State Wolfpack and the referees Saturday night on the road. We give you the top three reasons how they did it.
Oct 15, 2016; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Deondre Francois (12) throws the ball during the game against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
The Wolfpack had more total yards than the ‘Noles, but it was the ‘Noles that had the edge when it came to explosive plays.
The FSU defense allowed NC State to gain 5.71 yards per play. However, the FSU offense was able to gain 6.23 yards per play.
That’s 9.1 percent more yards per play.
FSU quarterback Deondre Francois consistently was able to target receivers down field in one on one situations, and the FSU receivers won the majority of those battles for huge plays.
Nyqwan Murray’s longest reception went for 37 yards. Auden Tate’s longest reception went for 38 yards. Travis Rudolph’s longest reception went for 19 yards. Kermit Whitfield’s longest reception went for 27 yards.
That’s 37 percent of Francois’s passing yardage on four plays.
Sep 17, 2016; Louisville, KY, USA; Florida State Seminoles wide receiver Auden Tate (18) scores a touchdown against the Louisville Cardinals during the second quarter at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports
FSU football had nine real offensive possessions(removing end of first half and end of game possessions), and scored on four of them (three touchdowns and a field goal).
NC State had 11 offensive possessions and scored on four of them (two touchdowns and two field goals).
The two field goals NC State made were from 39 and 20 yards. They also missed a chip shot field goal from 31 yards.
FSU was more efficient on offense once they were able to move the ball into NC State territory on the night. The ‘Noles scored on every possession except one when they were able to move past the 50 yard line.
NC State had two turnovers in FSU territory (counting fourth down stop at end of the game), and punted from near mid-field or in FSU territory three times.
Sep 13, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack head coach Dave Doeren talks to a referee during the second half against the South Florida Bulls at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
Dave Doeren Isn’t Very Smart
It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of NC State head coach Dave Doeren. It never takes blame for his mistakes and is always throwing others under the bus.
However, his decision to kick a 20 yard field goal probably cost his team a win on Saturday night.
The NC State kicker has struggled all season, even their fans made jokes about it leading up to the game(he missed the kick to beat Clemson a few weeks ago).
He had just missed a 31 yard field goal that would have put NC State up 10-3 on their last possession. NC State forced a punt on FSU’s next possession and got the ball on the FSU 46 yard line.
The Wolfpack drove down to the FSU 7 yard line. They gain five yards on first down to make it second down and goal from the 2 yard line.
The FSU defense holds on third down forcing fourth down and 2, and Dave Doeren decides to kick a 20 yard field goal.
The FSU offense had only managed 77 yards of offense and three points up to that point. If you go for it on fourth and 2 and don’t get it FSU has to drive 98 yards to score a touchdown.
FSU is on the road and it’s still early in the game with NC State being able to move the ball pretty well against the FSU defense.