Grading the 'Noles following their 24-20 loss to Miami

By: Kevin Keane | WCTV Eyewitness Sports
October 10, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The Florida State Seminoles had a win taken from their grasps on Saturday against the Miami Hurricanes, as FSU fell to 1-3 on the season.

Let's take a look at how each unit performed in the 24-20 defeat.

Offense: C-

Another week, another less-than-stellar performance by the Noles’ offense.

On Saturday, Florida State managed just three points through three quarters. Once again, the pressure was on James Blackman, and again, the Noles found themselves struggling to control the line of scrimmage against Miami’s front-four.

Despite their lack of pass protection, the line showed improvement in the run game, allowing Cam Akers and Jacques Patrick to rush for over 200 combined yards. Unfortunately (especially in the first quarter), FSU wasn’t able to cash any of those yards in for touchdowns.

After sputtering through three quarters that included two Blackman interceptions, the freshman signal-caller caught fire late. Blackman connected on touchdowns to Ryan Izzo and Auden Tate in the fourth quarter, giving the Noles a 20-17 lead late in the game.

While Blackman’s late success was impressive, it’s concerning that this is yet another game we’ve seen him take three quarters to finally find his groove. Play-calling in several third-down situations certainly didn’t help the young quarterback’s case last weekend, either.

Defense: C

Flip-flop everything I just wrote about FSU’s offensive performance, and apply it to their defense.

Florida State played downright dominant D in the first three quarters of Saturday’s game. They allowed Miami only ten points through three quarters, weren’t allowing deep balls and played excellent against the run.

In the fourth quarter, that all changed.

Miami’s Malik Rosier torched FSU’s secondary, leading the Canes to a pair of back-to-back 75 yard touchdown drives in the fourth quarter to win the game.

If you’re DC Charles Kelly, you can’t allow that type of collapse to happen late in the game.

Special Teams: B

Ricky Aguayo was perfect once again Saturday, connecting on two field goals.

But, the Noles return game was less than impressive, especially in punt returns. Tarvarus McFadden had one return for -4 yards. It’s head-scratching why he’s still the man returning for the Noles, and according to Jimbo, that doesn’t seem like it’s going to change.

FSU made the decision to punt twice while inside Miami’s 40-yard line, another head-scratching move.

Overall: C-

The bads evened out the goods, once again, in the Noles' loss to Miami.

How would you grade the 'Noles following Saturday's game? Let us know in a comment, on Facebook or on Twitter.

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