Analysis of FSU Football’s loss in Florida and what the Offseason team holds
1 – There was a path to victory for FSU, but this was not the case
Many of us expected Florida State to win Saturday’s game, but it wasn’t necessarily because we thought Noles’ team was better overall — not from an individual’s point of view, anyway.
The Gators, who has had the same coaching staff in place for the past four years, has a mature roster built mostly through top 10 recruitment classes and also through the acquisition of quality players through the transfer portal. Meanwhile, the FA is still trying to solidify the smashed roster with two coaching changes within 24 months.
So I think most of us know the Gators would have an overall advantage in size, strength, speed, and playmaking ability. This is why the UF was at one point one of the top 10 teams this season and how it was playing for Alabama two months ago.
The reason we thought FSU could – and probably should – win was because of everything else. Training upset with Dan Mullen’s expulsion. The lack of discipline the Gators have shown throughout the season, and the fact that they have put themselves down at times.
Jordan Travis’ loss for much of the first half–he basically missed three of FSU’s first dives–was a hole on the Seminoles’ road to victory. Rather than get out to the early lead and see if the Gators really wanted to compete for four quarters, FSU was hanging on for dear life and was honestly lucky to be in the tiebreaker in the first half.
Then things went south in the third quarter when Noles made two special team mistakes in the space of about six minutes, the biggest mistake being Ontaria Wilson’s return from the penalty spot. These mistakes gave UF two short fields to work with, and suddenly FSU found itself in a 10-point hole.
This was the opposite of what this game had to play with Mike Norville and his buddies to win.
Florida State’s strength in the second half of the season was its ability to play cleaner football – limiting fouls, penalties and turnovers – and by competing aggressively for all four seasons. I thought they were still playing hard on Saturday, but they didn’t play cleanly and they didn’t play smart.
And when they didn’t get a lead in the first half, and especially when they trailed by two goals in the second half, they didn’t give the Gators a chance to fall apart as they had done so many times before.
Which brings us to Note #2…