December 02, 2009
All season, Florida State's offensive line has made a point to hold its water when defenders come across the line a little early, for reasons I don't quite understand and with occasionally comic results -- against North Carolina earlier in the season, there was more than one case of the entire front five remaining in its statue-like position well after officials blew the whistle on an offsides Tar Heel. The "freeze" is obviously a technique the 'Noles teach to ensure that the flag goes the other way.
Against Florida last Saturday, though, it appears Zebrie Sanders had been conditioned a little too well:
When I saw that play live, I wasn't quite sure I'd seen what I thought I'd seen, making it probably the first time ESPN's cackling Monday night crew has ever confirmed my sanity.
From the slow reactions of the other linemen, it looks like center Ryan McMahon snapped the ball on the wrong count, which probably means Sanders was initially doing what he's taught when the defense comes across early. But with no whistle, no flags and bodies flying all around him, I would like to ask him: At what point did you stop worrying about being drawn off? And how many steps did fiery offensive line coach Rick Trickett make you run Sunday while carrying E.J. Manuel on your back as the quarterback taunted you via bullhorn?