Saturday, October 02 2010 by Tiki
So I turned on the FSU-Virginia game today, but apparently the game was rained out or something, and Raycom showed a replay of the 2004 game from Doak Campbell. What? This was actually live action? Really? Well, that sucks.
Once again, the Hoos get smacked around by FSU in a much-hyped matchup. The final score was 34-14, but really the game was not that close. The halftime score of 27-0 was more accurate I suppose, but still it felt like more. At halftime, FSU had nearly 300 yards of offense, and Virginia had 42. Yeah…42 total yards. It was that bad.
Last week, QB Marc Verica was my player of the game. This week, Verica is my goat of the game. Obviously, in a 27-0 game, there was a lot going wrong but Verica was particularly awful. His numbers at halftime, 4-15 for 26 yards. All 4 completions were dump off passes to the RBs. In the second half, Verica threw 2 terrible interceptions before finally getting pulled as backups entered the game. The debate, for much of the game, was whether playing another QB would be an improvement.
Verica’s first pass of the 2nd half was a 76 yard TD to a wide open Kris Burd. This, obviously, makes his overall numbers look much better. He also had another couple of solid 2nd half drives, and ended up with 209 passing yards, but just 14 completions in 30 attempts is still horrible.
Again, I don’t want to put the entire loss on Verica. There were a lot of problems on defense, on the OL, and (perhaps most of all) with the coaching staff. In my game preview, I said I thought RB Keith Payne would be a good bet due to his size advantage over the FSU defenders. Unsurprisingly, offensive coordinator Bill Lazor doesn’t read my previews. Perhaps he should. Perry Jones had 11 carries for just 29 yards, while Payne had just 6 carries for 22 yards. Payne also had 3 catches for 39 yards, while Jones had 2 catches for just 1 yard.
To be honest, the ballcarrier wasn’t the problem. The problem was that we came out throwing the ball, and not even trying to run. That, combined with Verica’s craptacular play, meant our offense never got going and was constantly behind the chains. Our first play was a pass, as where 4 of our first 6 plays. This was not the game plan I wanted to see.
There were a lot of problems defensively too. On FSU’s first drive, Chase Minnifield and Devin Wallace each dropped an interception. Corey Mosley would drop one later one. Those mistakes, combined with a lot of missed tackles, made it too easy for Christian Ponder and FSU’s offense. Ponder wasn’t great, he finished 17-28 for 171 yards, but the ground game was devastating with 243 yards and over 6 yards per carry. This included a 70 yard TD run on FSU’s 2nd possession of the game, which pretty much ended the competitive portion of the game. On the play, the Hoos had it well defended, but failed to make the tackle. This would be become a theme. Stat books do not count missed tackles, but I conservatively counted about a thousand.
Late in the game, redshirt freshman QB Ross Metheny came in and looked good. Granted, he was facing FSU’s backups, but Ross completed 7 of 9 passes for 68 yards and an 11 yard TD to TE Colter Phillips.
This game showed, among other things, that the Hoos are not ready for the big time. They got punched in the mouth, and were unable to hit back. Still, they fought hard and kept their heads up and their swagger on. Next week is Georgia Tech which will be another battle.