Last night I sat and watched as Doak Campbell Stadium rocked like it hadn't in over 10 years. It was sensational to see that stadium filled like it was, as they set a new record for attendance. Even with all the fans and support behind them, the Seminoles were unable to overcome some of their mistakes.
Oklahoma came out quick on their first drive and scored with ease. You could hear and feel the air leaving the stadium. Then the defense stepped up and shut down the same offense that put up 47 points on them last season.
Going into halftime, only being down 13-3 after some costly turnovers and penalties had to make them feel like this game was still theirs to win. Instead, they came out flat in the second half with a three and out of their first possession. Next E.J. Manuel went down with a shoulder injury and in came redshirt freshman Clint Trickett. He managed to connect with his favorite target Rashad Greene for a 56-yard touchdown on a third-and-28, knotting the game up at 13-13.
I tried to calm myself after the touchdown; purely because I knew even though our defense had been strong all game, Oklahoma was due for a good drive. Well, that's exactly what happened on their ensuing drive when they converted on a huge third down play to none other than Ryan Broyles; still shocked that he was left wide open in the middle of the field.
Then, Greg Reid who most believe is our best corner (I disagree) decided to ball watch while covering Kenny Stills instead of actually playing tight man-to-man coverage. It cost him and the team as Landry Jones threw a ball right over his head to Stills for the go-ahead and what would be game winning touchdown.
It was too much to ask for from Trickett to lead the Seminoles on another scoring drive to tie things up. After Manuel went out the Sooners defense changed their game plan and became much more aggressive, which is showed because Trickett was on his back quite a few times after he came in.
Will Florida State bounce back and beat Clemson next week?
What I've learned from this game is that Mark Stoops has this defense light years ahead of last years. The offensive line heavily misses the likes of Ryan McMahon and Rodney Hudson. We need to clean up our game in regards to turnovers and holding penalties. Manuel just isn't there yet as a top-tier quarterback as we would like. He doesn't posses the soft touch in some of his passes, which we saw him miss a few open receivers last night.
Also, although we were missing three receivers (Kenny Shaw, God bless you and glad to see you are okay) our depth is through the roof. Our running game is abysmal and nothing like last season. Last, but certainly not least, Jimbo Fisher has this program headed in the right direction.
Even with losing this game to Oklahoma 23-13, I believe we showed a lot of people that we can compete with the big boys. My thoughts are that we were a little overrated to begin the season, but after what I saw, maybe I was wrong. The defense is tremendous, the offense has talent and potential but is still a work in progress. Everything is on the up and up for the Florida State Seminoles and I expect them to bounce back next week on the road against Clemson, even though it will be a tough battle.