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Florida State Film Review: Fourth Quarter

Louisville had their chance.

NCAA Football: Louisville at Florida State Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

Louisville started the fourth quarter by taking the lead on a great offensive play. They ended the fourth quarter by allowing FSU the chance to convert big first downs. Louisville also made too many mistakes and ended up looking like a team still trying to turn the corner after a coaching change.


I can’t remember a more impressive catch by a Louisville receiver than this catch by Dez. I’ve been talking up his body control all summer long in hopes that they would get the ball to him down the field. Dez doesn’t have blazing speed but he does have a ridiculous ability to make sure that he is the only guy that can make a play on the ball. Dez is either making this catch or the corner is running through him and picking up a flag. It’s also insane that he’s able to tip this ball to himself with all that is going on.

This play is another example of the running game opening up things for the pass. FSU doesn’t have a deep safety on this play and the entire second level of the defense is looking run off of the snap. They dared Louisville to throw it deep and Scott Satterfield obliged.


This reminded me of what I saw from App State’s defense last season. Bryan Brown had a defense that rarely missed tackles in the open field but they also did so well to cut down players for little or no gain on the edges. Lots of teams like to run plays that attack the edge quickly. It’s been nice to see this defense do very well at stopping those plays early this year.

This was one of a fairly large amount of plays where the defense wasn’t completely set before the snap. I’m counting five guys that are still moving when the ball is snapped. It really seems like it was a factor in how the defense played overall.


FSU’s defensive linemen are all among the top players in the country when it comes to amount of snaps played. You could see how that leads to them wearing down here. Robert Cooper (91) gets off the ball pretty well but he just puts his head down and kind of slides towards the ball. Corey Durden (16) gets owned by Robbie Bell who is able to get around him from his left into a position where he can control him. Hassan Hall shows great patience to find the hole that Bell creates and accelerates to a first down.


Scott Satterfield didn’t use much misdirection in the running game against FSU but he hit them with a couple of nice wheel routes. FSU tried a zone blitz here to try to help stop the run while also being able to cover. It doesn’t work at all with UofL going with their normal “max protect” off of the play action. We’ve talked about that non stop since Scott Satterfield was hired and they execute it well here to give Malik a clean pocket.

Malik floats this ball a bit but it works out because he keeps it in front of the corner that runs with Dez’s post route. He also needs to make sure that he doesn’t give the underneath linebacker a chance at it. Putting this on a line may have given Tutu a chance to gets some yards after the catch but there’s nothing wrong with a safe throw.


This is a mistake that Malik just can’t make. He gets Keion Wakefield open over the middle on a levels play where he has to chose to between which level to throw the football. He picks the right level because the linebackers don’t get deep enough. He just throws a bad pass. He doesn’t have a perfect pocket but it looks to me like he has the room to throw the ball comfortably enough. Maybe the ball slips on him a bit or maybe he is just aiming it here and it gets away from him.

I know there was discussion about whether or not they should have run the ball here. This was a “check” play where they lined up and then got the play from the sideline. Those plays are called based on what the defensive look is. This is an eight man box from FSU and Satterfield makes the numbers call to throw against it. To me, it’s the right call and the call worked. The execution was the issue with Malik missing the open guy.


I won’t ever get tired of looking at these types of tackles. We didn’t see this last year and we really didn’t see it the year before, either. This is what this defense can look like when they have it all working as it should. Rodjay Burns is free to get up the field here with Russ Yeast coming up to replace him on the slot receiver. The key is the motion and the timing of the snap. Watch how Burns doesn’t move until the snap. He’s not cheating on this because of the motion. He’s reacting to what he sees from the offense.


On the very next play, UofL gives up a 24 yard pass. Nothing went right on this play.

It was another play where the defense wasn’t set. There is barely a pass rush with only one player beating their block. C.J. Avery doesn’t get enough depth and you can see that it’s because he just hovers at the snap instead of respecting the speed of FSU and getting back in coverage. You’d also maybe like to see someone close on the ball here. D.J. Matthews is able to rise up, make the catch, and hit the ground with no one touching him. That might just be me, but they just look slow to the ball on this play.


Scott Satterfield was asked about this play after the game and he said that they had run the same play on the previous play and the right guy blitzed and the wrong guy blitzed the second time. As refreshing as it is to have a coach who just tells it like it is, I wish he was mistaken here. He wasn’t. On the previous play, everyone did the same exact thing that you’re seeing here but Anthony Johnson doesn’t blitz. For whatever reason, he blitzes here and FSU easily exploits the busted coverage.

The broadcast gave a good look at how UofL calls in plays from the side line. Bryan Brown is typically somewhere towards the first down marker with his call sheet and there are three staffers in different colored shirts towards the line of scrimmage. As soon as his mouth starts moving, the staffers start signaling the play. It seems that each staffer is signaling the play to each level of the defense. I don’t know how guys are getting the play wrong. Especially on this play where it was the same call as the previous play.


I’m not sure if Bryan Brown will have any media availability this week and I doubt anyone will ask about the FSU game next week if he doesn’t. But if he does, I hope that someone asks about the calls getting in late all game. FSU goes fast and that’s not any secret but that just means that you have to go faster as a play caller. Through this entire game, the defense looked like this where guys are getting into position as the ball is snapped.

This was a key play where they could’ve forced a field goal. FSU didn’t give Alex Hornibrook any extra blocking help and UofL blitzed. But because the play doesn’t get in early enough, Burns is six yards off the ball when the ball is snapped. I’m not trying to dog Brown because I think the defense is much improved and it will be better against most of the offenses left on the schedule, but the late calls contributed to the loss and that shouldn’t happen.