For the better part of the spring and even summer, most Seminole fans believed this would be the best offense we have seen in years.
After watching the first three games of the season, it's difficult to see how they got that assumption.
They have the potential to be a phenomenal offensive juggernaut, but they are lacking consistency in all areas.
The receivers aren't running crisp routes, Christian Ponder seems to be favoring his shoulder more and more each game, and the running backs are having a tough time running between the tackles.
Maybe the receiving corps isn't that great after all. They are a young group, and it has shown all season, specifically in the Oklahoma game. Getting open was almost nonexistent in the game, and at times they looked as if they were taking a few plays off.
There hasn't been a single downfield pass or deep threat all season, and that needs to change. Guys like Bert Reed need to step up their game and start playing with some determination, or the opposing defenses will start stacking the box and daring them to throw the ball because they believe they can't, even with Ponder at quarterback.
Continuing on with Ponder, I am not sure if it's just me, but he hasn't thrown the ball with some authority all season. When he attempts a pass, the ball is almost floating to the receivers. It could be his shoulder and that he's not as confident since having surgery on it or the fact that the receivers aren't doing their part.
Either way, hopefully they've worked on those problems this week in preparation for Wake Forest because Ponder should have better numbers.
The three-headed monster at tailback—Jermaine Thomas, Ty Jones, and Chris Thompson—has been the most consistent part of the offense. Their only problem is running between the tackles. They've been lacking those hard-nosed runs, dragging wimpy tacklers for extra yards. If this is the least of their worries, then I wouldn't say they have too much to worry about.
Now we come to the defense, perhaps the most inconsistent group on the team. The defensive line has been more productive this year but still isn't that consistent. They had four sacks to open the season against Samford, one against Oklahoma, and then they blew up for eight sacks against BYU. The 13 sacks on the season lead the nation, but sometimes stats don't mean everything.
When it comes to the defensive backs, you can't be more inconsistent than this unit. Even though they only gave up six points to Samford in the opener, they were still missing tackles and allowed 223 yards in the air. That may not seem like a lot, but against Samford, that's not too impressive.
Oklahoma exposed their weaknesses on the first couple drives of the game. Giving up 394 yards in the air isn't acceptable, especially if you want to become an elite team once again.
Before the BYU game, the only thing consistent on the defense was the constant missed tackles. They cleaned that up immensely, finally wrapping up instead of going for the big hit. Hopefully they continue to show improvements game in and game out.
In order for this team to be successful within the conference and make it to the ACC championship game, they'll need to show consistency on both sides of the ball.
So, I think it's safe to say this is a "good" Florida State team, not a "great" one. In order for them to reach that level of greatness, they will need to achieve the consistency that is missing from this team—being able to play all 60 minutes without any lapses or letdowns.
If they start showing those signs, then we can talk about them being a "great" team. Until then they are simply a "good" team that's in a struggling conference this season.
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