A month ago Florida State entered the season as a national title contender. Even after the 24-7 loss to Alabama the Noles playoff hopes were not completely dashed. QB Deondre Francois suffered a season ending injury, a hurricane disjointed the schedule, and FSU went into their game with NC State having not played in a month.
Still most folks, including myself felt FSU had enough talent to beat a quality NC State team, but one that lost to South Carolina. Freshman QB James Blackman played reasonably well, at least well enough to win throwing for 278 yards without an interception.
Florida State came out flat falling behind 10-0 early NC State, and played catch up the entire way. FSU fans were irate at several questionable calls, but when NC State converted a 3rd and 7 late in the game the Noles could blame no one but themselves for failing to make a critical stop.
The Noles season is in a heap of trouble now. I know last season the Noles stood 3-2 after getting beat by UNC at home, but this seems to be a bigger hole. Cam Akers is fine back, and in time will be great, but he’s not yet the player Dalvin Cook was. Blackman isn’t yet the QB Francois was either. The offensive line has not improved much if at all since last year.
The next four games are against teams (at Wake Forest, Miami, At Duke, Louisville) that are a combined 13-1. You haven’t even got to games at Clemson and Florida yet.
Florida State’s national championship goals are gone. Their ACC title hopes are on life support, and we’re not even out of September yet. 8-4 is an acceptable season at many places, but not Tallahassee. There was a brutal opening game, throw in some bad luck with injuries and scheduling, with a dash of just plain old bad football and time is already running out to salvage the season at Florida State. Yep that’s how bad the loss was Saturday to NC State.