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Overall Grade: C-
The coaches stuck to the game plan, even when it wasn't working. It's understandable if a staff doesn't want to come away from the plan in the first quarter. It's less understandable in the second quarter, but it's still acceptable.
When you enter the third quarter tossing passes after the passing game hasn't worked well for 30 minutes, you start looking dumb. You look even worse if your offensive line is flattening the opponent on almost every play.
FSU's staff didn't want to stop passing the ball, and they only ran the ball late in the game to eat the clock. Guess what? The FSU rushing attack produced two touchdowns on the Seminoles' first three offensive plays of the fourth quarter.
The coaches stumbled on the winning formula by accident, and that's just not right. They are making way too much money to be missing opportunities that big.
On top of that, Jimbo Fisher made a horrible mistake in the fourth quarter that nearly got NIU back in the game after FSU was up by 21 points. The Huskies had just gained 16 yards on a third-and-17, and the Seminoles roughed the passer to hand NIU the first down and 15 more yards.
Total yards gained: 31.
Fisher yelled at the refs long enough for them to flag him for unsportsmanlike conduct, and that tacked on another 15 yards.
Total yards gained: 46.
That penalty put the Huskies on the Florida State 47 with a first down and more than five minutes left on the clock. The drive ended in a turnover-on-downs, but it was a horrible example to set as a coach.
If he disagreed with the roughing-the-passer call, he should have said that to the refs once and left it alone after that. Take it to the player on the sideline or in the locker room, and tell him that call was wrong. Don't yell at the refs until you get flagged. That's simply a loss of control. He was 21-points up; it didn't matter that much.
The Seminoles got in their own way far more than NIU did. Luckily, it wasn't nearly often enough to stop them from winning.