Florida State narrowly escaped becoming the laughing stock of this year's still young college football season. The Seminoles scored two touchdowns in the final 40 seconds to pull off a 19-9 come from behind victory over FCS team Jacksonville St.
It was a rainy, sloppy, miserable day in Tallahassee and the football mimicked the weather. The Noles played probably their worst game since the 0-30 blowout against Wake Forest in '06, but unlike that game the Noles were able to walk away from this mess with a "W".
The Noles were coming off a heartbreaking, last second loss to the Miami Hurricanes last Monday and were looking to waltz by the D-2 Jacksonville St. Instead they found themselves in a dog fight, ultimately able to pull out the victory from the jaws of defeat and humiliation.
It is a strange thing when a team should feel more embarrassment after a win than after a loss, but that seems to be the case after the Noles' "victory" over J-ville. Following the last second loss to Miami on Labor Day the general feeling was heart break but optimism. Sure the defense had its questions but the offense was stellar and the talent obvious.
So what the hell happened?
Well, I think there are several reasons. The biggest reason: the Noles were coming off a tough loss to one of their biggest rivals and had a short week of practice. Because of the Monday night game and NCAA rules the Seminoles were only allowed two days of actual practice to prepare for their game on Saturday.
Couple that with some bad luck (dropping several potential interceptions, a punted ball bouncing off a blockers foot, and a couple fumbles in scoring position, one coming on about the three yard line) and voila: you have Saturday's game. That being said, their performance was still poor. The team obviously wasn't prepared to play, and that's the fault of the players and the coaches.
Be that as it may, can we all agree that something has to be done about the Monday night—then following Saturday games? Sure the university loves the publicity the Labor Day game brings, but all the positive press FSU got was overshadowed by their inability to put away a FCS team; Jacksonville State. Either they just need to forget about playing in the Labor Day game or they need to have an open game the following weekend. It's simply not worth it.
So the Noles looked good in a loss and bad in a win, but football is an outcome based sport. A win is a win, as the old adage goes. The Noles are 1-1 and have the chance to bring life back to their season.
They say that you see the most improvement in a team between week one and week two, and because the Noles played both their games in the same week and barely even showed up this past Saturday I'll count this week's match up against BYU as the real week two. FSU will be ready to play.
Good logic right? Well, I certainly hope so.