Three Up, Three Down: Miami

Saturday night’s nationally televised Florida State vs Miami game left a lot to be desired for Seminole fans all over. In this installment of 3 Up, 3 Down we look at what stood out to us, both good and bad.

52-10, and it wasn’t that close. Florida State comes out of its game vs rival Miami with more questions than answers. Simply put, the game was ugly, the effort was poor, and this team is years away from being the sort of competitive that the program has become used to.

First, we will look at the three things we can take away as positives.

1. The young players

We now know more than ever that the upperclassmen on this team aren’t going to be the players to get the ship righted. Throughout the late summer/fall camp timeline we heard how there were younger players emerging. After the Miami game, the time is now to go that route and not look back. Young starters like Amari Gainer, Travis Jay, Renardo Green have flashed in the first two games. FSU looked absolutely atrocious on both sides of the ball, but the offense showed some heart and want to in the second half once the young players were put in. Chubba Purdy, Tate Rodemaker, Lawrence Toafili, Kentron Poitier, Bryan Robinson, Ja’Khi Douglas and some of the other youth need to be the focus moving forward. 

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2. Lawrance Toafili

FSU may have found its primary ball carrier. Toafili had a good camp and has carried that into the season. He ran his tail off, showed really good vision and anticipation, and is also a threat in the passing game. While Jashaun Corbin played well, Toafili has earned the right to get more carries.

3. Jordan Travis

Travis isn’t a quarterback – after the costly interception following a Miami turnover we all have to come to grips with that. What FSU does have is a swiss army knife in Jordan. The scripted first series was the way that FSU needs to utilize Travis for the remainder of the season. 

While there are a litany of things to not like from this game, here the three that stand out 24 hours later.

1. Defense

The defense is god awful. We kind of knew it coming off of the Georgia Tech game, but there’s no question about it now. Sure, there’s some left to be desired with the scheme, but fans have to really understand just how bad the pieces are. FSU’s staff is handcuffed. There’s no pass rush, the defensive line has been an abject failure, the linebackers continue to struggle in space, and that combo is leaving a talented secondary to pick up the pieces. But 52 points, 517 yards of offense, 11 of 16 3rd downs allowed, and 3 of 4 4th fourth downs allowed showed just how incapable they are of nutting up and getting it done. Defense is all about the TEAM – pieces can’t get it done if the whole isn’t working together. Time and time again this unit isn’t able to make a play when it’s needed, nor are they able to get off of the field. 

2. The upperclassmen

I will really question Mike Norvell if there is a group of players that play major minutes moving forward. If you listened to the post-game Instant Reaction Podcast you know who we are talking about. But, the upperclassmen quit Saturday, they showed little effort throughout, and they are simply holding this team back. Adios muchachos!

3. The yapping after plays 

It’s hard to fathom that this team is oblivious to the fact that they’re getting their butts handed to them weekly, yet they continue to talk smack and yap to the other team. The Cory Durden play where he makes his first TFL of the season, then follows that up on a fourth and short and gets BLOWN BACK the next play as they run right at him, is embarrassing and needs to go. I’ve never seen a team down 42 talk as much as this one. Enough already.

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