What Does Florida State Do At Quarterback Moving Forward?

Following Florida State’s 19 point loss to N.C. State Saturday night, it’s clear that this needs to become James Blackman’s offense. At least for the final three games of the season.

We know redshirt junior Deondre Francois has what it takes to be a very good college quarterback. Unfortunately, his skill set simply doesn’t match well with Willie Taggart’s Gulf Coast Offense.

The Seminole offense has shown little to no improvement through eight weeks with Francois at quarterback A myriad of factors come into play here from poor offensive line play to what seems like countless pre-snap miscues week after week.

There are things within Francois’ control that just hasn’t been taking place though. From making the wrong pre-snap reads to refusing to move in the pocket or take the ball and run, Francois is hampering an already limited offensive attack. Unless the Seminoles can find some offensive tackles ready to play from day one in 2019, there’s no reason to think the offense would look any different next year with Francois still taking snaps.

These next three games should help give some clarity at the position though. Either James Blackman makes strides and shows that he is a possible candidate to run this offense in 2019, or he shows that he too is nothing more than a square peg trying to be shoved into a round hole.

In his only start of 2018, Blackman threw for 421 yards completing 29 of his 46 attempts. He found the end zone four times while throwing one interception on the day. Due to playing from behind most of the day, Florida State was forced to abandon the run game early which allowed Francois to air it out for the majority of the game. Blackman would end up connecting with seven different targets on the afternoon.

We didn’t get a chance to really see how Blackman will do in the RPO aspects of this offense but there will be plenty of time for that in the final three weeks of the season.

While Florida State is likely to be the underdog in their final three contests, it is important for Willie Taggart and Walt Bell to use the final month of the season to figure out what this offense could potentially be with James Blackman running it on a week-to-week basis. Either he gives you something to work with this spring or it could be the telling sign that the quarterback of the future just isn’t on campus right now.

Four-star quarterback Sam Howell from just outside of Charlotte, NC might just be what this offense needs. The blue-chip FSU commit will graduate from high school next month and plans to enroll at Florida State in January when things could really get interesting in the Seminoles’ quarterback room.

Should Florida State end this season with more uncertainty at quarterback than they started the year with, there could be some major shakeups moving forward.

Before getting too far ahead of ourselves though, let’s see what Blackman looks like to end this season and if he will be a viable candidate as QB1 beyond the final month of the 2018 season.


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