It feels like an entirety since FSU starting QB Deondre Francois went down in the 2nd half of FSU’s loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide to start the season. A little storm called Hurricane Irma kind of has had just a slight impact on the Noles season thus far. Their September 9th game against Louisiana Monroe got canceled and then their scheduled September 16th game against rival Miami got rescheduled to October 7th. Freshman QB James Blackman, who played one series in the loss to Alabama, but did not complete a single pass, will get his shot finally on Saturday against NC State.
For Blackman, it will be interesting to see what this extended time off will do. On one hand he’s going to have to deal with his first ever start in college with the rest of the team rusty. On the other hand he has had some extra practice time with the first unit to work on timing. It’s kind of a double edged sword and the only way we will find out if Blackman is ready for the big time is how he performs against the Wolfpack.
Let’s also not forget that Blackman was one of the top QB prospects coming out of high school. His career actually was not supposed to start this way. The 6’5 169 lb young man from the football factory known as Belle Glade was supposed to at least spend a year or two holding a clip board and gaining some weight as he learned the game from Deondre Francois. Well a funny thing happened on the way to the forum aka Doak Campbell Stadium. Well maybe not that funny, but life does create unexpected narratives at times. The Francois injury is throwing Blackman slam into the fire against a conference opponent.
This wasn’t the intended plan with Blackman, however the country is going to learn really quick how great of a recruiter Jimbo Fisher really is. We also already know what kind of coach he is. You can expect Fisher to likely limit the offensive playbook at least somewhat to keep things more basic for the true freshman. If we are looking at things on paper the Noles are probably talented enough to beat NC State if they tossed me out there at QB. Okay that’s quite the hyperbole, but you get the point.
Perhaps Fisher’s biggest concern will not be the performance of Blackman, but more the performance of the offensive line. The main reason Francois went down with a season ending injury was because the offensive line was manhandled against Alabama. Not going to sit here and compare NC State’s defense to that of Alabama, however you toss in a QB who’s wet behind the ears and a suspect pass protection and things could get dicey for Blackman.
With all that said, it’s still exciting to finally see some football. We know all the Noles players are eager to finally restart the season. We know James Blackman is excited to get his chance a little earlier. We also know that NC State is itching to shock the college football world by pulling an upset over the 12th ranked Seminoles. Kickoff is at noon ET.