With UCF not playing South Carolina State until September 1, it’s a good time to shed some thoughts on Florida State’s resounding win over Duquesne and why I think it bodes well for the Noles as well as the three other majors is programs in the state of Florida.
Go ahead and say it. The Seminoles played Duquesne! Who cares!
OK. It’s good. This is a team that is overwhelmed. Well, that’s what people have thought about a lot of Florida State opponents over the past five seasons. That doesn’t mean the Noles ran them over. That makes Saturday’s euphemism for Duquesne significantly different, on both sides of football.
Here’s my take on the state of Florida, offense in particular, and why it’s important to move forward.
FSU rushed for a whopping 406 yards and six touchdowns. Perhaps most importantly, there were a number of runners making plays. Three running backs — Treshaun Ward, Trey Benson and Lawrence Toafili — all surpassed the on-site century mark.
That doesn’t even take into account that quarterback Jordan Travis, himself a born runner, has only carried 11 yards four times. When FSU can manage football so well without Travis being a main ball carrier, it means five other players are also doing a much better job than they have in recent seasons.
That would be the Florida State offensive linemen. Regardless of opponent, running 406 yards without a big runner like Travis shows the Noles are fundamentally healthy. This has been an albatross for half a decade. The passing game also improved.
Travis went 11 of 15 for 207 yards. His efficiency makes it difficult to slow down the FSU, and his efforts are obviously aided by ground play. It’s the classic situation where the fast attack plays off the pass attack. A few additional points on Florida State’s offense.
*33 total first downs.
*Five out of 10 on third descents.
*Travis averaged 13.8 yards per pass.
*FSU held the football for 35:13, controlled the clock and the game.
On defense, Florida State held off an opponent with a total of seven points. Either way, this is a good start to the season. A few stats in defense of the FSU:
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*Only one sack, but Duquesne passed for just 71 yards.
*Hold Duquesne at 93 yards rushing.
*Six different Seminoles have lost at least one half fight.
*No player recorded more than four total tackles as the Noles switched players in and out of the lineup fairly frequently.
*Duquesne was held to one of ten on-third-down conversions.
Aside from my own opinion on what impressed me about head coach Mike Norvell and Florida State, I asked Fan Nation NoleGameday writer Dustin Lewis which players impressed him. He had a hard time finding just three like I originally intended.
“Jordan Travis. Treshaun Ward or Trey Benson or Lawrance Toafili. Jared Verse or Jammie Robinson for defense.”
That’s a quarterback, three running backs, a defensive end, and a safety. FSU’s efforts have been widespread and they will need similar efforts to move forward.
Can the Noles continue against a talented LSU team that has underperformed over the past two seasons when they meet in New Orleans next weekend? If FSU wins, it would be an even clearer sign that they’re going to be making noise this season and that the program is headed in the right direction.
Projected UCF offensive depth map: State of South Carolina
Predicted UCF defensive depth map: State of South Carolina
2022 UCF football schedule
2023 UCF Commitment Schedule
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