Florida State Seminoles

Taggart FSU Avoids Disaster

After the opening night debacle, the Noles try to rebound against FCS opponent Samford. The Bulldogs opened their season with a 66-9 pounding of Shorter!

The Samford roster has 7 players with Middle Tennessee ties. #57 Nick Nixon, a junior from Pope John Paul is a starter on the offensive line. #52 Beau Myers, a freshman from Clarksville Independence is listed as 2nd team center.

The balance of the players on the roster is #19 Nick Barton a junior DB from Ravenwood, #28 Coutrell Plair a sophomore DB from Brentwood Academy, as well as #28/66 Pete Dorsten who is a sophomore from Independence and is listed as both a tight end and outside linebacker. Also is #41 Luke Hill a junior WR from Franklin High and Robert Burke, a sophomore WR from Brentwood Academy.

The game was delayed due to lightning and the original 7:20 start was moved to 8:45. These delays make for a real late night!

The only thing that I can say is the best part of the night was a wonderful tribute to Burt “Buddy” Reynolds! FSU won the toss and decided to receive. That is a change from past years.

Perhaps they thought they could get a quick score and set the tone of the game! FSU made one 1st down before having to punt. The 43-yard punt was returned for 17 yards setting up Samford at their own 46. On the 1st play from scrimmage QB, Devlin Hodges hit WR Kelvin McKnight on a 54-yard strike for the score. The extra point was botched, so the score was 6-0.

The Noles did nothing on their next series and went a quick 3 and out. The Bulldogs marched right back down the field and on 4 plays, 3 passes for 42 yards and an 8-yard run, Samford was already deep in FSU territory. They ended up driving it in, and suddenly the Noles were facing a 13-0 deficit.

I was beginning to wonder if they thought they were playing Alabama and not an FCS team from Birmingham! The only thing I can say is that this, on paper, was supposed to be their easiest game of the year!

Perhaps, with the comeback they were able to make, this will take some of the weight off of their shoulders and serve as a wake-up call. If not, it will be an extremely long and disappointing season.

Things that definitely need fixing is the offensive line play as well as pass coverage. While the D line limited Samford to 50 yards on 19 carries they virtually got no pressure on the QB, and he hit 39 of 60 attempts for a whopping 475 yards. Hodges did throw 4 picks, with the last one being returned for a 63 yard TD by CB Levonta Taylor. That score made it a 36-26 final.

As I said, the Noles have a lot of work to do to make something of the season possibly. Perhaps part of the letdown was a short turnaround after coming off of a very emotional Monday night loss. Maybe they just overlooked Samford and thought they had a win in the bag! Whatever it is, they better get serious and fix whatever they can.

The trip to Syracuse this Saturday is going to be a real challenge! The Orange have played two inferior teams and have put 117 points on the scoreboard while giving up 52.

Only time will tell!

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