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    Monday, January 07, 2008

    Breaking Down The Numbers: Scoring Offense

    FSU offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher has now been named as "coach in waiting" as the successor to legendary Bobby Bowden. It might be helpful to look at the offense for the Noles under Fisher's leadership and see if there was any noticeable improvement in 2007.

    With the hiring of Jeff Bowden as the offensive coordinator in 2001, the FSU offense spiraled downward while at the same time Bobby Bowden vigorously defended his son.

    In 2007, the offensive coaching staff underwent almost a complete change. Beside Fisher, Rick Trickett was hired as the offensive line coach from West Virginia. In addition, former Nole great Dexter Carter was brought in as running backs coach. Another former Nole, Lawrence Dawsey was hired as the receivers coach. Chuck Amato was also rehired as the linebackers coach.

    It would be naive to judge Fisher on one year but at the same time we can see if the Noles gained any ground in 2007 and if discernible improvements were made in any key areas.

    These posts will look at all the major numbers from a national and ACC perspective and attempt to gauge any progress. We will look at 2006 before Jimbo Fisher and 2007.The national rankings will be based on 119 teams and the ACC rankings on 12 teams.

    Stat: Scoring Offense- FSU averaged 22.9 points in 2007

    ACC Ranking: 2006- #2 2007- #8

    National Ranking: 2006- #45 2007- #90

    This stat tells it all for the FSU offense in 2007. The Noles were clearly unable to put points on the board. On offense, the Noles in 2007 lost some notable players in running back Lorenzo Booker and wide receiver Chris Davis to graduation. Booker in 2006 rushed for 616 yards and 4 TDs while Davis had 684 receiving yards and 4 TDs. Antone Smith replaced Booker with Bobby Bowden saying that Smith should rush for 1,000 yards in 2007. However, that did not happen due to Smith being injured as well as his inability to find holes and run between the tackles.

    One of the keys on offense was that FSU had an offensive line that was a work in progress as well as the fact that the Noles did not have any playmakers with the exception of Preston Parker. Three players accounted for 73% of the 15 receiving TDS in 2007-Parker(3), Fagg(5), and Carr(4).The big drop off was with Greg Carr who scored 12 TDs in 2006. Fagg did improve but he was erratic in his performance.

    There is no question that FSU must recruit some players that are capable of being play makers on offense. Parker will be back in 2007 but he has to heave help and it is still unknown whether Carr will be back in 2008. My guess is that Carr will not be a high NFL draft projection so he should be back.

    The question of quarterback is also one that needs to be addressed. Do you go with senior Drew Weatherford who is a safe choice but who is an average quarterback or do you opt for someone else? These are questions that Fisher needs to address. And Bobby Bowden could be an obstacle to some of those decisions.

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