October 8, 2007

ASI Insider: Defense looking for four quarter game

Missed tackles triple (By Gene Williams, Warchant.com)

Against Colorado and Alabama the Seminole defense accomplished something Mickey Andrews had never seen since he began coaching at Florida State in 1984 - back-to-back games with missed tackles in the single digits. That was in stark contrast to the embarrassingly high total of 31 missed tackles against Clemson in the season opener.

After four straight games of marked improvement in this all-important category, the defense took a step backwards on Saturday with 24 missed tackles more than tripling the number from the Alabama game.

"Had we not had all those missed tackles, penalties and missed assignments in the first quarter we probably wouldn't have given up 10 points," defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews said. "But we did and we paid for it on the scoreboard."

A majority of the 24 missed tackles happened in the first quarter and most of those came on NC State's first two offensive possessions. Thanks in large part to defensive miscues, the Wolfpack offense recorded four straight plays of 10 or more yards on the initial 7-play, 64-yard scoring drive. On NC State's next possession, the offense turned in three more plays of 10 or more yards and the result was three more points to give the Pack an early 10-7 lead.

"We weren't very disciplined in the first quarter but after that we played pretty good football," Andrews said. "We still haven't played 60 minutes but we are going to need to this week."

The Seminole defense settled down after and kept NC State off the scoreboard for the remaining three quarters. Nevertheless, Andrews is still unhappy that his squad has yet to put together a complete four-quarter performance.

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