Even though it didn’t lead to a win, James Blackman took advantage of his opportunity to start for the Florida State Seminoles. In his first start of the season on Saturday, he threw for more yards than any other FSU quarterback had this season.
In his first significant action of the season, Blackman went 26-for-26 for 421 yards with four touchdowns and one interception. The 6-foot-5 sophomore signal caller got the start in place of Deondre Francois, who was banged up last week against Clemson, but should the junior get his starting job back after how Blackman played in the 47-28 loss to NC State?
The only time Francois has thrown for over 400 yards was in his first career start against Ole Miss in 2016, when he threw for 419 yards and two touchdowns on 33 of 52 passing.
Francois has 13 touchdown passes in 281 passing attempts — a touchdown pass every 21 attempts. Blackman has five touchdown passes in just 51 attempts — one in every 10 passes. Francois is picking up about seven yards per completion, while Blackman doubles that with 15 yards per completion, too.
But you can’t just go off Blackman’s stats. The Seminoles were trailing by 17 point early in the second quarter and basically ditched the run game. So he should have inflated stats. In the entire game, Florida State only ran the ball 20 times compared to Blackman’s 46 passing attempts.
But his success can’t be discounted, either. The Seminoles’ offense has been awful all season., and 28 points really isn’t that much, but this is the best the passing game has been all season. Head Coach Willie Taggart has to show this team that he goes with success. Blackman had a great game and so he should get the start. Francois has been decent this year, but nothing that has gone out and won games.
Honestly, the worst-case scenario is Blackman comes out and struggles against Notre Dame and Taggart can just pull him.
Blackman may have started due to injury, but he earned himself the starting job until he shows he isn’t the best quarterback for the team. If the defense had been able to stop NC State at all, they might have even pulled off the upset, but they trailed early and for the whole game.
If Blackman is able to keep the starting job for the rest of the season, would that be the end of Francois in a ‘Noles jersey? It will all come down to how the rest of the season plays out.