4 Downs: Samford vs. Florida State

Seminoles looking to bounce back after embarrassing loss to Virginia Tech


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As far as debuts go it couldn't have gone much worse for Willie Taggart and the Seminoles. On Monday night Florida State didn't score a touchdown at home for the first time in decade.  Samford is an FCS school and Saturday should give the Seminoles a chance to get things back on track.

1st Down: The Details

Matchup: Samford (1-0) at Florida State (0-1)

When: 7:20 p.m. Saturday

Where: Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, Florida

TV/Radio: CW-17/WZNZ AM 1600 or FM 100.3

2nd Down: Offense has to be better

In three-plus years running the Gulf Coast Offense, which debuted in 2015, Willie Taggart’s teams averaged 36.9 points per game. Taggart is calling the FSU version of the offense ‘Lethal Simplicity.’ 

Against Virginia Tech the Seminoles offense was disastrous. As a team they had more turnovers (5) than points (3). Florida State got next to zero in the running game. Outside of a long 85-yard run by Cam Akers the Seminoles running backs averaged only .33 yards on their other 27 carries. 

Establishing a running game will help take some pressure off of the offensive line. Quarterback Deondre Francois was sacked five times and rarely had time to find a receiver down the field. 

3rd Down: Defense started slow but found groove against Virginia Tech

After allowing a 10-play, 75-yard drive to open the game, FSU’s defense held Virginia Tech to 214 yards on 57 plays, an average of 3.8 yards per play, the rest of the game and had a stretch of nine straight drives stretching from the first quarter into the fourth quarter that ended in a punt or a turnover on downs.

4th Down: Facts and Figures

-  The Seminoles have won 13 straight non-conference home games

-  Since 1976, FSU is 12-3 (.800) in games with less than one week to prepare. The Seminoles have won five of their last six contests played fewer than seven days after their previous game

- Florida State and Samford have met twice previously - in 1950 and 2010. FSU won both meetings