This is Clemson – Florida State, which is every bit as big as Texas – Oklahoma, Georgia – Florida, or Ohio State – Michigan. Florida State may be down, but it won’t be for long. Taggart could easily have lost the team, but hasn’t and that speaks well of him. They are getting better each week and will be dangerous once they fix the issues with their offensive line. However, it won’t happen this year. Tigers should roll.
Florida State’s offensive numbers make me sad. I’m definitely a “T” in Meyers-Brigg, if you couldn’t have guessed, and may not be the most empathetic creature, but they are pitiful. They rank 106th-109th in FPI, FEI, and S&P+, 126th in Rushing Efficiency, 129th in Standard Down Success Rate, and 128th in explosive rushing. Throw in an adjusted sack rate of 71 and you have the worst offensive line at FSU in a very long time. Our front seven will have fun in this one.
We won’t need to blitz to get to Francois. He’s going to need to get the ball out quickly to survive, so expect press coverage, LB’s taking away the underneath areas, and DL dropping back into coverage to replace blitzing LB’s. Francois is tough, but he’s going to wear down over the course of the season. He’s had all but two pass attempts. Blackman only has one attempt on the season; he is reportedly healthy.
Florida State finally has decent receivers in Nyqwan Murray and Keith Gavin. DJ Matthews is someone you will hear Seminole fans talk about, but he’s only getting 5.1 yards/target. He’s 5’10” and listed at 156 lbs. Our DB’s will eat him alive. They have talent, but Mullen, Terrell, and Fields can handle them just fine.
Their defense is very good, but they get left out to dry by the offense. F/+ has them at 27 and they are better than that with getting some rest in the game. Burns is a pass rushing monster with 9 sacks and 10.5 TFL. Their DL is very good and their corners can play too. I’m looking to see how well Lawrence feels and handles pressure, how we put their linebackers in conflict, and how well we handle them before they get tired.
This is the best defense on our schedule, better than A&M per FEI and S&P+. I want to see our offense continue to improve, especially our passing game, and our secondary and linebackers to shut down Florida State’s passing game. I’m not worried about Florida State running on us at all.
Note: CFBStats from last week.