The Florida State offense had a lot of positive takeaways from Saturday’s win over Boston College. Offensive coordinator Walt Bell said Tuesday morning while different areas shined, it was the offensive line that made it happen.
“More than anything else, just so proud of those guys up front. They have taken abuse from anyone and everyone in, outside or around the program,” he said.
“For those guys to come and have a really good day against a really good D-line, to out-rush Boston College, knowing what they do offensively, knowing how good they are running the football — that’s a huge accomplishment.”
He added that slight modifications to the scheme allowed a unit that has seen nine different starting lineups get some cohesion and, in turn, build confidence.
Quarterback Deondre Francois, running back Cam Akers and wide receiver Tamorrion Terry all had 100-plus yard days, which had been expected and was celebrated.
Bell called Francois’ reads of the defense a key component in helping the offense to get back on track after first-half interceptions.
“For him, he’s taken a lot of flak for some of his decisions, but he did a really nice job in terms of his decision-making,” Bell said. “Knowing when to run, when to throw. Because a lot of those things, when you see him running, that’s people bleeding out the box, giving us a chance to run. Kind of package plays together, screen, throw, run.”
Bell was pleased with Francois’ ability to take off with the ball in his hands against the Eagles.
“… I think that’s kind of where he does a nice job, those so-called manufactured runs where he can get a chance to get his pads squared and kind of go attack them as opposed to reading them,” Bell said.
The offensive coordinator also noted having players like Keyshawn Helton come through for almost 100 receiving yards was also big for the team moving forward.
““It’s huge, man, because if there is, he’s a guy that you root for,” he said. “Even as a football coach. He’s everything that’s good about what we’ve got going on. He’s a great kid. The way he practices, the way he prepares, the way he lives his life. Coach [Willie Taggart] has mentioned it a couple times about guys here and there, about kids who we want our kids to aspire to be like, and he’s one of those guys. So proud of him. Great family — great mom and dad. Just good people.”
Akers said the results serve as a major confidence boost as the Seminoles (5-6) try to beat a fierce rival in UF (8-3) Saturday, keep a 36-year bowl streak alive and extend a potential winning season.
“Great feeling just to know all the hard work that we’ve put in toward the rushing game has been paying off,” he said. “You can see the progression.”
With the stakes just as high as they were last season in terms of the bowl streak, Francois said the team enters with a different mindset and should be more prepared to face the challenge ahead of them.
“Last year, we didn’t understand what was going on and why things were happening. But this year we understand that we’ve been here before in this position, fighting for a bowl game,” he said. “We just have to stick together. Last year, some guys checked out early. Some guys gave up. But this year I don’t see no people really giving up. I see a lot of guys staying strong and continuing to fight to win games and keep the bowl streak alive.”