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Florida State Film Review: First Quarter

It wasn’t pretty at all for the Cards.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 21 Louisville at Florida State Photo by Logan Stanford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The first film review of the season is upon us. The first quarter of the FSU game was practically a bloodbath for the Seminoles as Louisville didn’t provide much resistance on defense and the offense struggled to get anything going. The more I watched the game, the more I felt like maybe the staff overthought some things.

Also, the gifs should be a bit clearer this season as I have upgraded my laptop and internet this year. As I did last year, I’ll likely tweak some things as the season goes on and any recommendations are appreciated.


This play started a string of defensive plays where the alignment didn’t make any sense to me. You can see that Rodjay Burns is lined up behind the other linebackers and on the snap he turns and runs with the receiver. That’s not totally crazy as Khane Pass comes up on the other side of the field. That means that Burns is in man coverage with Russ Yeast as a single high safety. What is weird is that there isn’t a contain man with Burns in coverage.

My thinking is that with Amonte Caban crashing down, Dorian Etheridge is responsible for staying outside as the contain guy. Instead, he tries to shoot the gap before the pulling guard gets to him and Cam Akers does what Cam Akers does and bounces it outside.


Louisville has done extremely well against short yardage runs this year and you can see why here. Bryan Brown has decided to bring more guys than the offense can block while also not packing the line of scrimmage. Khane Pass comes up late as an extra body and the left guard has to make a choice. He goes with Pass as he’s the inside guy now and that leaves Caban unblocked to make the play. Even if the line had blocked down like they should have, Boosie Whitlow is outside to force it back inside and G.G. Robinson discarded the center like it was nothing. Great execution by the right side of the defense.


This was the second play where the alignment didn’t make sense to me. However, in a later play it appears that this was on purpose and someone blew the coverage. Burns is lined up closer to the line instead of “splitting the difference” like we have seen in previous games. He blitzes but there’s no one there to take the slot receiver.

But if you look at the top of the screen you can see that Chandler Jones is urging Yeast to move up before the snap. Yeast is still 11 yards away at the snap and FSU just throws a quick pass out and gets a very athletic receiver in space.


There’s an obvious theme here if you can’t tell. FSU had way too many wide open guys. On top of that, it seemed like Louisville was out of position on all of them. You can see that Burns and Whitlow both fly out into a short zone from their outside spots. So, everyone is in zone but Etheridge blitzes on the snap. To me, that should mean that C.J. Avery will replace him as there are three receivers to the blitzing side. Instead, Avery plays zone on the short side of the field.

Something is off here and it’s anyone’s guess what it is. On a third down, I tend to think that Etheridge wasn’t supposed to blitz and should have been directly where the ball was thrown. you don’t see too many blitzes from someone that far off the ball.


On my first look I though this was an awful call but after watching it a handful of times it turns out that it’s a legit call even though I don’t totally like it. Robert Hicks and Marshon Ford double team a guy and get him on the ground. Unfortunately, they both let him get back up and start watching the play. When they do that, the FSU player separates from them and then finds an angle to the ball. Hicks ends up blocking him in the back and negates a huge play that likely would’ve changed the game.

If Hicks had engaged the FSU player as soon as he got off the ground and then blocked him in the back in the process of that engaged block, it wouldn’t be a block in the back. At least that was the rule when I played forever ago. You would also like to see Ford keep this guy on the ground. That’s a normal practice for blockers and I’m sure he hears that as a tight end.


I really liked to see Scott Satterfield look to take a shot down the field on first down. You can see that all of the second level defenders bite on the play action. This ends up being single coverage down the field but we can’t totally see the routes. Either way, Malik absolutely has to either pull the trigger and throw the ball or he can’t take a sack. He ends up doing the worst possible thing by not throwing the ball and wasting a good pocket by not just throwing the ball away. He takes a sack and UofL is behind the sticks on second down.


This is another busted coverage where the alignment didn’t add up. Burns is turned out like he normally is when he’s splitting the difference but he’s barely outside the tackle here and he wouldn’t have a chance to get to the slot receiver even if he dropped into coverage. The RPO gets him to bite and there’s a wide open receiver again.

On this play, you can see that Yeast drops into a deep zone, so I don’t think this is on him. I actually think that the alignment was purposeful as FSU likes to split their receivers way out to create running lanes. Maybe Bryan Brown wanted his guys to not bite on that and play closer to the line. Burns was maybe supposed to get outside on these quick throws to the slot. I honestly don’t know but I’ve been trying to make sense of it for three days now.


After Javian Hawkins makes a mistake and runs a kickoff out of bounds at the one yard line, Satterfield calls a quick stop route to Dez Fitzpatrick. This was one of a handful of short throws outside the numbers where they targeted Dez. It was so nice to see after three games where they just couldn’t get the outside receivers involved. This is also a great way to extend your running game. I talk about it all the time with Clemson’s offense and I hope it becomes a more common thing.

Everyone is looking run here and you can see that FSU’s corners bail out on the snap. Easy pitch and catch for Malik that also helps him gain some comfort and confidence.