beer, it sucks being a fan sometimes, especially when you feel your program is actually taking the next step and the hype is justified. drink some beer for your name's sake....i know i'm about 1/3 of the way into this beam.
i don't feel fsu has been an elite team since '99. sure, that was the year they won a nat'l title after going 12-0 so you could say that's an easy choice. thing is, i don't even expect a nat'l title right now...i do at least expect to run the table and get there
though or at the very least, quit losing to unranked teams. it's just getting annoying to say, 'wait till next year'. with all these top 10 recruiting classes being pulled in, that's hard to keep repeating. clemson's defense sucks but they're young. they'll be better next year. UF looks like they're on their way up.
i don't know how to feel. i don't think the playcalling was awful but it sure didn't deliver late. i don't understand why you would run a bootleg for manuel on 3rd & 9 when you're basically in FG range. to make it worse, EJ ate a sack a possession before that when he should have thrown the ball away. he has to be able to recognize that. if that were ponder, they'd have him throw, even if it ended in an INT. that just tells me the coaching staff doesn't trust manuel to throw...which is crazy for a 5th year senior QB. that's where my love/hate relationship with him goes. great at the read option, throws a decent intermediate ball but not so good pre-snap and taking that sack was a freshman QB mistake. i expect better. you cannot absorb that sort of sack on 3rd down when you're practically in FG range. that's utter shit.
i wasn't overwhelmed by ponder as a prospect and i've seen some draft boards shoot up on manuel's stock. i'd advise against it. he has too many collapses and his deep ball still floats too much. ponder may not be much more than a good game manager, but at least he can read defenses pre-snap. i also think he's a good leader, better than manuel. ponder is more decisive in the intermediate game. he just can't chuck it when he has to....his arm strength is pretty limited. i'd have to say he's already a bit better than i thought he'd be. manuel has the superior physical tools. ponder has the poise and IQ.
fisher loves to say that manuel steps up whenever needed, but he sure as hell didn't show confidence in him tonight. why not try a quick slant? it seemed like they were playing to not lose instead of playing to win. they were protecting their lead and their playcalling went super conservative.
i know thompson is a stud but just air it out a bit. are you that afraid of an INT? manuel hit benjamin twice, he dropped one other and one was ruled incomplete. it was still mostly working. make nc state know that sending a blitz package was a bad idea because manuel would make you pay.
there was a screen pass that if it got to thompson, he would have gained 50 yards or a TD. the o-line had rolled out in unison in a jumbo set and he had 4-5 blockers ahead of him. i have no doubt that would have been a huge gain. EJ just overthrew it since nc state got pressure. i can't criticize that playcall. if EJ connected, that shit was a home run.
execution was terribly off and that's what falls on jimbo. i don't know if he can juggle being both the de facto OC and HC. it just sucks...i like the guy a lot. he actually seems genuine and doesn't feed you bullshit. the locker room loves the guy. the recruits are there but they're not being put in a position to succeed. he's dealing with a lot of personal shit....not an excuse but it's legit.
that's why i could never be an AD. it's easy to fire an incompetent scumbag. i don't think jimbo is in the hot seat by those who matter but this trend of losing to unranked teams has to change fast. no way he gets fired though...fsu would have to go like 8-4 for that to happen.
i do have to say that rhodes had one of his worst games. dude was getting beat off the breaks and didn't have his hips open to recover. werner was blatantly held a few times. the defensive line only getting one sack on that patchwork o-line is also not something to commend. those DT's are just not stepping up.
the last play nc state ran was a pick route. the initial guy bumped jones out of the way and the underneath guy emerged late. the defense actually held up but didn't recognize that playcall right away. it was a good call but they should have just never been in that situation. glennon's going to the NFL. i thought this before the game but i think he proved his worth even more. fsu should have probably blitzed on that last play but again, you can't keep giving teams first ****ing downs.
so where does that leave us? did they take nc state lightly? is jimbo out of his realm in pre game preparedness vs. inferior opponents? has manuel tuned him out? i don't think he's lost his players at all but he will lose the fans. five losses to unranked teams. it's crazy. it's one thing to lose toss up games or have letdowns vs. good teams on the road but these?
everyone was talking about taking it one game a time. it felt different...it felt like this sort of letdown was in the past. yet, here we are again. i mean, really? this one hurts more than the any of the past decade. just given the schedule, it looked like a real chance to run the table.
now people can just claim fsu was overrated again. i can't even really counter it. losing to another unranked team does that. i can talk about potential all i want...but shit has to show up on the field.
why should i invest in this team this much? why should i feel the hype is warranted? i think i should just go back to super low expectations so as to not get disappointed.
the game changing plays:
- blocked punt
- the missed screen pass
- the terrible 15ish yard sack EJ ate
- that QB draw on 3rd & 9
- the missed RZ opportunity right before the half that resulted in a FG. great teams score there
- poor clock management where they had to burn a TO on miscommunication + a challenge. don't burn a challenge on that and not even let EJ throw later. that's counterproductive
- the benjamin catch. i realize that it was hard to overturn but damn if they didn't allow a similar but worse catch later. that one catch by nc state for the first down was questionable too. bobbled all the way down and no real angle to see if it hit the ground. basically just scooped it up at the last second. at least benjamin got his left foot down on contact. then his right foot went out of bounds with him still having the ball. he only bumbled it a bit after that. should be full control but they have that control after ground contact rule. just lame....look at those two catches and tell me one is way superior to the other.
i'm probably forgetting a couple things, but i just had to vent. i'll still be here though. when this team plays at its best, few teams will want to mess. i don't have a hardline stance on the future right now but i'm not a fairweather fan. go damn noles!