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Florida State’s offense might help make history, just, y’know, not in a good way

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FSU’s bowl streak is in serious jeopardy.

Florida State v Louisville Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The primary reason why Florida State finds itself just 4-4 at this point—and also a signficant underdog this week—is its offense, which is a far cry from the peak years of the Jimbo Fisher era. You don’t need advanced metrics to tell you that the Seminoles have been trending in the wrong direction (though they’ll tell the same story).

The ‘Noles have pretty much bottomed out in 2018:

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FSU Offense Yds/play PPG Total offense
FSU Offense Yds/play PPG Total offense
2015 6.53 31.7 424
2016 6.45 35.1 466.2
2017 5.66 27.8 351.9
2018 4.98 23.3 349.5

That 4.98 YPP number ranks 114th nationally, and it’s a bleaker picture once non-conference games are removed: 4.78 yards per play, 311.5 yards of offense per game. The Seminoles have cracked 30 points once in league play and have been held to 10 points or fewer three times.

This all boils down to the offensive line, which has been dreadful, and when you stink up front, it tends to undermine the whole operation. FSU has no ground game to speak of and is averaging less than 2.5 yards per carry. It’s difficult to work around that.

Florida State’s inept ground game is putting it behind schedule a whole lot; the Seminoles rank 126th in success rate, so they are rarely putting themselves in advantageous positions on any given series.

Compounding matters is the fact that FSU’s average starting field position is its own 27, which ranks 118th. This substandard offense is being asked to go a long way in order to get points, with predictable results.

The Seminoles offense also ranks 100th in sack rate on standard downs, so whether they’re trying to run or throw, it frequently ends badly for them.

The defense, for its part, has held up reasonably well—it’s a top-30 unit. But there is only so much those guys can do to bail out a consistently inept offense.

FSU’s problems on offense aren’t correctable this year—and maybe they won’t be next year either—which is why the Seminoles are staring at a losing record in 2018. Florida State has been to a bowl game for 36 straight years, which is the longest streak in FBS. Odds are that streak gets snapped this year.