FSU Football: How did #Tribe19 play against Florida?

GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 30: Tamorrion Terry #15 of the Florida State Seminoles looks on during a game against the Florida Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on November 30, 2019 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 30: Tamorrion Terry #15 of the Florida State Seminoles looks on during a game against the Florida Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on November 30, 2019 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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After FSU football’s loss against Florida on Saturday, Chop Chat’s Sam Tschida takes a look at how the true freshmen played against the Gators.

FSU football dropped their second straight game against UF on Saturday, losing 40-17. It wasn’t a great performance for the Seminoles, who racked up thirteen total penalties and were outgained in total yardage nearly two-to-one.

Along with the blowout came a lot of playing opportunities for the true freshmen of Tribe19. While not perfect, throughout the season many true freshmen got the chance to get significant reps, and that was certainly the case against the Gators.

Offense

With Darius Washington out for the season, there were only two true freshmen who got playing time on offense against UF.

Florida State Seminoles Football
Florida State Seminoles Football /

Florida State Seminoles Football

Neither Dontae Lucas or Maurice Smith got a starting nod against the Gators, but both got significant playing time.

It was not a great day for the offensive line as a whole, although most of the missteps do not fall on Smith and Lucas. Florida wracked up seven sacks against the ‘Noles while also tallying 12 total tackle for loss, on only 55 snaps. They also held an above-average FSU offense to only 250 total yards, which is an average of just 4.5 yards per play.

Lucas got snaps at left guard, while Smith split time at center and guard. For true freshmen playing against a stout UF defensive front, they did decently well. The extra practices for the bowl games will assuredly help both players, and the ‘Noles should have a foundation for next season’s o-line.

Defense

The FSU defense did not have its best game against the Gators. They gave up 40 points, and were decimated by injury in the Swamp. The one positive to take away would be that a lot of young players got a chance to get snaps in a significant game, even if they didn’t play super well.

Akeem Dent did not get the start at free safety with the return of Cyrus Fagan to the lineup, but he did receive a lot of playing time. He only recorded one pass defended with zero tackles, and was locked up by blockers multiple times on screen passes.

Out of all the true freshmen, Dent got the most playing time this year and finished the regular season with 32 total tackles, 7 passes defended and at least 4 dropped interceptions.

Elsewhere in the secondary, Raymond Woodie III and Brendan Gant also received significant playing time. Woodie III got a lot of snaps during the second half after an injury to Hamsah Nasirildeen and recorded three tackles with a pass defended. He finishes the regular season with 8 total tackles with a sack, and three passes defended.

Gant also got a significant amount of playing time at corner and recorded three tackles, one of which was solo. He finishes the regular season with 28 total tackles and one pass defended.

Renardo Green and Jarvis Brownlee, both of whom had received playing time throughout the season, did not get snaps during the game. Green finishes his first year with 8 tackles and two passes defended, while Brownless finished with one tackle.

In the front seven, Tru Thompson once again snaps in place of Marvin Wilson, although during the game the ‘Noles mostly ran with just two true defensive linemen to counter Florida’s receiver sets. Due to UF mainly throwing the ball and hardly running between the tackles, Thompson recorded no stats. He finishes his regular season with 11 total tackles, two of which went for a loss, and a sack.

At linebacker, both Kalen Deloach and Jaleel McRae received snaps. McRae did not start but did get a lot of playing time behind Leonard Warner. He finished with one tackle and ends the regular season with 13 total tackles and a sack.

Deloach, who hadn’t gotten a lot of reps at outside linebacker this year, did play against the Gators and recorded a quarterback hurry, a rarity in this game for FSU. Deloach finishes his first season with two tackles and two QB hurries.

Bottom Line

Even with the loss, the ‘Noles are going bowling once again. It was not the year that many fans had hoped for, but one positive takeaway is the play of the true freshmen. Expect many of them to become major contributors next season.