Quick, name two things that fell off this autumn. That's right, leaves from trees and the Noles offensive output. By late November, both were pretty much gone. But at least with leaves, we expected their demise and know the reason why.
So as a public service to Nole fans everywhere, our crack staff is working overtime to find some answers (they gave up on heavier questions, like where does deep space dark matter come from and if ACC referees are actually an alien life form).
The first problem area identified is not play calling or OL injuries. It's the black hole of points called the third quarter. The most FSU has scored this season in the fifteen minutes after halftime is 14 (see below) -- and that was against Charleston Southern, the weakest opponent in years. In a blowout of N.C. State they scored early and often -- until the 3rd quarter when the box score read zero.
Whether the Noles were ahead or behind at the half, they more or less sleep walked through the third. Five times the best they could muster was a field goal. Twice, including Saturday against the reptiles, they laid a big goose egg.
It's like a brown out, when your power inexplicably cuts off for a short but frustrating interval. No storms wreaking havoc, no warning. Just ZAP, you're in the dark.
In the case of FSU's 3rd quarter power outage, we question the coaches more than the players. Is the staff not making halftime adjustments and tweaking the offensive game plan? Does Jimbo suck at inspiring halftime speeches? Is it a conditioning problem?
The coaching staff must at least be aware of FSU's dead zone dilemma. Aren't they? With numbers like these, how could they not be.
Third Quarter Points Scored Against 2011 Opponents
Louisiana Monroe - 7
Charleston So. - 14
Oklahoma - 3
Clemson - 7
Wake Forest - 3
Duke - 7
Maryland - 7
N.C. State - 0
Boston College - 3
Miami - 3
Virginia - 3
Florida - 0