The fears of Florida State fans about the left knee injury of QB Deondre Francois were realized on Sunday evening when it was revealed that he injured his patella tendon and will require season ending surgery. Francois was injured in the late in the fourth quarter, as he was hit while throwing away a pass during Saturday night’s 24-7 loss to Alabama.
This is a devastating blow for the Noles as they were looking to contend for an ACC title and potentially a spot in the College Football Playoff. Despite losing to Alabama, Florida State still had the schedule set up to at least put them in a good position. Now without Francois those hopes just became more of a long shot.
Freshman James Blackman took over for Francois on Saturday night and expected to make his first career start this Saturday as the Noles have their home opener against Louisiana Monroe.
This first game for Blackman will be a good warm up match up as he will then face a huge challenge the following week against state rival Miami at home in prime time.
For the Noles the adjustment to Blackman will have to come quick. Deondre Francois was considered to be one of the top QBs not only in the ACC but in the entire nation. Now they are missing a major weapon and leader. Blackman another highly recruited player himself will be forced into the frying pan a lot earlier than anticipated.
What’s going to be interesting is to see how Jimbo Fisher adjusts his offense now that he has a QB with little game experience at this level. What is this going to do for the development of Cam Aikers? There are probably about a dozen or so other question marks now that we know Francois is gone for the year. The main one, which is really the elephant in the room, can the Noles offensive line improve in pass protection? On Saturday Francois was getting pounded all night. There are going to need to be changes to blocking schemes or something unless they want Blackman to suffer a similar fate.