The Florida State Seminoles beat the Notre Dame Fighting Irish last night, in Tallahassee. Both teams entered the showdown with an undefeated record and hopes for the inaugural 4 team playoff. Here are 5 things to take away from the college football game.
1.) Another Close Call For FSU:
The Seminoles were dominating last season but are just scrapping by. A rare offensive pass interference penalty negated Notre Dame’s last minute touchdown. It was a lucky way to win. FSU trailed most of the night. The Seminoles win streak extends to an astonishing 23 games. The win streak survives and so does their top 5 ranking.
2.) Do These Teams Deserve Their Rank?
Until somebody beats Florida State, they will remain a top team in College Football. Computers no longer matter, style points are less important than they used to be. A case could be made though that their are 5 teams better than FSU; 4 of them in the SEC West. The number 2 team in the country should dominate opponents and certainly should not have the close calls that the Seminoles have had.
It was certainly a bad night for Irish fans. The Fighting Irish strength of schedule has not been stellar before the FSU game. Their signature win was against Stanford. Stanford just got shellacked against Arizona State, suffering their third loss. This game was a squandered opportunity for Notre Dame to prove their worth.
Florida State barely scrapped by a team that I was hesitant to buy stock in. There are still some challenging tests on their schedule. Going to Louisville after this big win looks like a trap game. Boston College and Virginia can provide a test for that defense.
3.) Winston Struggled Against Blitz
Jameis Winston was certainly fallible last evening. Against the blitz, on multiple occasions, Winston blindly launched the football over the middle of the field. Only one of these throws were intercepted and it could have gone much worse for FSU. Winston did much better in the second half.
Winston struggled when the pressure got right on him. Kirk Herbstreit, the commentator, compared him to Ben Roethlisberger. He never gives up on the play and with size and athletic ability, he loves to improvise. NFL draft scouts are going to want him to learn to throw the ball away. The way to beat FSU is to shred the defense and let Winston beat himself. It almost worked last night.
4.) Credit Where Credit Is Due
Last night we were treated to a crown jewel of a football game. A star was born in Corey Robinson. Robinson is tall, has great vertical ability and really good hands. The sophomore will be a high draft pick some day. Everett Golson was magnificent last night. He kept his eyes down field and showed great awareness. He extended plays that had no chance. The defensive line of Notre Dame was phenomenal. It was a great game against two good teams; a thought that gets lost in the “What does it mean” narrative.
5.) Really Ref?
The offensive pass interference was highly controversial. Yes the little pick play is illegal but it is seldom called. In the biggest moment of the game the referees took the spotlight. The touchdown may have occurred anyway. I hate to see that, a great game in the officials’ hands. At the end of the day, you can’t put the ref in that position. Its still a rough way to lose a huge football game.