A long list of problems have contributed to Florida State’s disappointing run this season, but coaches stressed this week playing from behind has a negative impact on the entire team.
The Seminoles trailed at the half during five of their past six games and have only won two of them.
FSU offensive coordinator Walt Bell said that the deficits puts added pressure on the quarterbacks and alters the play calling.
“When you play from behind, you feel like you have to press to make a big play and get yourself back in the game,” he said. “That’s why there’s always been such a huge emphasis on the start. If we can start fast, you can play ahead and now all of a sudden you get more chances to run the football.”
FSU gained 100 rushing yards during just four games this season, two of those coming against nonconference opponents.
To add injury to insult, FSU has been putting itself in these tough situations unnecessarily. Against Notre Dame, Deondre Francois threw an interception on the second play of the game, which eventually led to an Irish touchdown. Against NC State, Jacques Patrick fumbled on FSU’s first drive. The Seminoles played Clemson pretty evenly in the first quarter before things quickly got out of hand.
“We do things. Those turnovers that happen. We work on those daily — taking care of the football,” FSU coach Willie Taggart said Thursday. “But our guys have got to do it. It’s got to be a want to and prideful thing. Just don’t turn the football over, especially fumbles, and then don’t throw the football to an opposing team.”
Florida State (4-6, 2-5 ACC) is working to get back on track against No. 20 Boston College (7-3, 4-2), with the Eagles ranked fifth in the ACC in total defense, as well as scoring defense.
The Seminoles need a win if they hope to extend their 36-year bowl streak, so eliminating mistakes becomes even more important this week.
Taggart is still in the process of installing his Gulf Coast offense and it appears he would like to see that through rather than abandon it in favor of a win-now approach.
However, the Seminoles can’t truly run the Gulf Coast attack when they face early deficits each game.
“It changes a lot, especially with where we’re trying to get to and you’ve got an offense that hasn’t been very productive like we need it to be,” he said. “So when you get down and you’re one dimensional, that causes a lot of problems for you, but also from a mental standpoint. When you’re down and things aren’t going your way, sometimes you need a little juice to start your offense. It can change a lot of things for you. I think for our football team, that is definitely needed for us to start fast.”
The defense could help by slowing down Boston College star running back AJ Dillon. Dillon, along with starting quarterback Anthony Brown, have been listed as day-to-day after suffering injuries against Clemson.