• Dylan Denmark

Tale of Two Halves for FSU

Willie Taggert falls to Boise State starting the season 0-1. (Mark Wallheiser/ Associated Press)

FSU coming off a 5-7 season did not have much go right but FSU fans had optimism heading into 2019. 

In the offseason, Willie Taggert made some coaching changes by hiring Kendal Briles as offensive coordinator. 

This coaching staff was going to get their first crack in Jacksonville but due to evacuation from Hurricane Dorian, the game was moved to Tallahassee at noon. Boise State landed in Jacksonville on Thursday planned to practice and was cancelled due to lightning. Then had to take a bus and head to Tallahassee.

FSU came out red hot scoring touchdowns on their first three drives and followed it by kicking a field goal making it 24-6 early in the 2nd quarter. They ended the half with a 31-19 lead looking great offensively outside of a bad snap that FSU scored three instead of seven. 

As you can see, experts and the public thought the second coming of Steve Spurrier was calling plays in God’s Country but it escalated quickly in the second half.

FSU got the ball to start the second half and got a first down before they had to punt. From there, FSU went:

3 & out: Punt

4 plays: Punt

2 plays: Fumble 

3 & out: Punt 

3 & out: Punt

3 & out: Punt 

5 plays: Turnover on downs 

The offense went from high tempo and doing anything they wanted to not being able to pick up first downs. Defense stayed on the field on what felt like the entire game. The Broncos had a total of 112 plays and 88 of those plays were in first three quarters! Also, FSU scored quickly in their first two drives scoring on one and a four play drives.

The talk was about offense in the first half, but the defense was concerning for the Noles.

At the half, Boise State had 21 first downs to FSUs 16. The noles had 368 total yards while Boise had 333. Boise State had seven drives in the first half and on five of those drives, they moved the ball and did whatever they wanted to this FSU defense, but Boise had to settle for four field goals make it 31-19. 

Hank Bachmeier, quarterback for Boise State, was 0-8 in the red zone and the offense stalled each time it got in the red zone.

FSU recovered a fumble and the offense was heading into the red zone before Cam Akers fumbled at the 31 yard line. Keep in mind FSU still had a 31-19 lead late in the third quarter. Akers fumble later led to a Broncos touchdown with an 11 yard passing touchdown to Khalil Shakir with 2:50 left in the 3rd quarter making the lead for FSU 31-26.

In the third quarter, Boise had 154 total yards while FSU had 22 with less than 5 minutes of possession.

FSU got the ball and took two shots deep downfield that were both incomplete then Blackmon got sacked on third down.

Boise went on to score a touchdown and a field goal in the fourth quarter making it 36-31, but a huge play in the game came with 4:29 left in the game.

Boise State had the ball at their own 31 yard line and converted a 3rd & 16 which ran two more minutes of the game clock. Boise ended up punting three plays later so FSU got the ball back with 2:17.

The noles down five needed a touchdown on their final drive. On the first play, it picked up a first down and then had 4th & 4 on their own 42. The pass was completed to Tre McKitty at midfield but a costly holding call made it 4th & 13. Blackmon saw no one open ran for the first down and was four yards short. 

Boise went into Tallahassee with what seemed like every advantage considering the logistics and starting a freshman quarterback. Either way, this game was all about FSU and it needs to find something before they get into conference play.



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