Florida State Watch List

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail to someoneGoogle+share on TumblrShare on Reddit

When replaying the Florida State-Miami film, one thing jumped out immediately. Speed. Players on both teams were flying all over the place from the opening kickoff. For the Seminoles, that speed was especially evident on defense where the front four get up field quickly and the linebackers cover ground better than any group the Hoos have seen this season. The receivers on offense can get downfield in a flash too.

The defensive speed puts a lot of pressure on the Cavaliers’ offensive line to push that speed away from alleys so that the running game and play-action passes can take root. The game plan, in many ways, could be similar to the blueprint for the Hurricanes. Look for quick-hitting receiver screen passes, one-cut counter runs, and motion or play action to try to freeze the linebackers.

The offensive speed will challenge the defense to make reads quickly and to close down under control for tackles underneath. It may also dictate the need for more nickel coverage in many situations.

Bottom line? It’s a big challenge this week for Virginia.

“I just think they’re playing with a tremendous amount of confidence, the way Florida State of old played. They’ve won some games here,” UVa coach Mike London said. “The quarterback, EJ Manuel, has been productive. They’ve done a tremendous job on special teams. Defensively, when you’re number four in the country and number one in the ACC, you play with a certain amount of confidence that actually lends itself to the way these games are being played and the turnout, the end result of it. You can see they’re playing with a tremendous amount of confidence, for sure. … We’re going to have to play our best game. They’ve played well the last five games, extremely well. We’re going to have to do that also.”

Multiple formations.

Jim Reid’s defense will see a lot of looks this week from the FSU offense.

Florida State’s offense will throw a lot of different looks at a defense. Power sets with a fullback and two tight ends. Spread sets with four receivers. Shotgun.