football Edit

Insider Report: Blackman nowhere near satisfied; FSU preps for speedy Cards

James Blackman's statistics through three games in the Kendal Briles offense are impressive.

The Florida State sophomore quarterback has completed 68.2 percent of his passes for 843 yards (281 per game), nine touchdowns and just two interceptions. Those are quality numbers by any measure.

But that doesn't mean the Seminoles are content with his play — most importantly, the offensive coordinator and the quarterback himself.

Because even with the impressive stats, there are points being left on the field. In the 31-24 loss to Virginia on Saturday night, Blackman missed Tamorrion Terry for a wide-open touchdown on the final drive of the game and also missed Tre McKitty on a pivotal third-down throw on the possession before.

"There were a couple of throws that I ultimately want back," Blackman said. "I've just got to be better. Especially late in the game when we need it, I've got to be better.

"I've got to make throws when it counts."

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James Blackman eludes the Virginia pass rush last Saturday in Charlottesville, Va.
James Blackman eludes the Virginia pass rush last Saturday in Charlottesville, Va. (USAToday Sports Images)

It's been a recurring theme for the FSU offense and Blackman through the first three games. The offense seems to be playing well, flying down the field, but then it will hit a rut — especially when the game gets tight in the second half — and have a hard time pulling out of it.

Blackman's numbers this season in the fourth quarter are hardly ugly. He's a combined 22 of 33 for 209 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. But those don’t tell the entire story. He was just 4 of 5 against Boise State for 20 yards and a sack, while the offense imploded.

Against Virginia, he was just 4 of 11 on the final two drives for 17 yards while being sacked twice. His best two fourth-quarter drives came against Louisiana-Monroe, where he was 9 for 11 for 104 yards, two touchdowns (one on a 44-yard screen pass to Cam Akers) and a costly interception.

"Last week (against Virginia), and James will tell you, he didn't play as well as he could have," Briles said. "There were some things that were left out there. But he's a fighter. I think he's a winner. I think that he's gonna have a great week of practice this week, and he's ready to be back home."


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