The Maryland Terrapins (2-4, 1-2 ACC) travel to Tallahassee Saturday to take on the Florida State Seminoles (3-3, 1-2 ACC) with the records not accurately reflecting the talent level on either of the teams.
Maryland comes in off an offensive explosion – in defeat – versus the undefeated Clemson Tigers, while Florida State got back on the right track against the Duke Blue Devils.
I had the privilege and great opportunity to ask “the voice” of the Maryland Terrapins – Johnny Holliday – some questions regarding the match up between the Terrapins and Seminoles.
Holliday has been “the voice” of the Maryland Terrapins since 1979. Holliday has long had a career in the public eye – from Hullabaloo, The Roger Miller Show, ABC’s ‘This Week’, and the list goes on.no comments
Back in 2005, Christian Ponder’s Senior year was creeping by at Colleyville Heritage High School in Texas – as he was mulling over offers from Oklahoma State and Georgia Tech. There was always one school that Ponder dreamed of playing for – the school his father, David Ponder, played linebacker for. That school was Florida State. As Bobby Bowden extended the offer to the Longhorn State signal caller – Christian Ponder’s journey began. A journey that Sunday will see another dream of Christian’s come true – becoming a starting quarterback in the National Football League.
As we enter week eight (yes, that's right, week 8!) of the College Football season, Florida State football fans may begin to gain a better appreciation for the depth that has been built along the defensive line on the Seminole roster. It was at this point in 2010 where the Seminole defense, which had been quite impressive, began to slide and suffer. The thick of competition and injury attrition had taken its toll on a talented, but not very deep defensive line and the performance began to reflect such. Starters Everett Dawkins and Jacobbi McDaniel were both suffering from upper body injuries (broken thumb and dislocated elbow respectively), both of which played through them for the sake of the team. Backup Demonte McAllister played through both an elbow and knee injury as well. In addition to these injuries, they were simply playing on empty tanks. There was not enough depth to have a proper rotation and afford them the type of rest and relief that they needed early in the season in order to remain fresh throughout the year. Fortunately in 2011, that is something that has changed.
The Florida State offense is continuing to show true explosive ability as the 2011 season continues to wear on. The passing game in particular is where FSU's bread is buttered and what makes that so remarkable is that is holds true regardless of whether EJ Manuel, the regular starter, or his back up Clint Trickett are in the game. As the Seminoles continue to develop their ground attack, the big pass play downfield may become an even more high percentage play than it has been thus far. Just how often has Florida State successfully stretched the field in the near complete absence of a ground attack? One of our contributors, the stat freak Chuck Blunt, breaks it down here. For those that haven't been paying attention, this FSU passing game has come up with at least one 50+ yard reception in each of it's first six games this season.no comments
When the Seminoles (3-3, 1-2 ACC) welcome the Maryland Terrapins (2-4, 1-2 ACC) to Tallahassee Saturday, the key to victory is simple, though execution may not be as easy: Stop Maryland quarterback C.J Brown and Florida State wins.
The Terrapins – and Brown – are coming off a very successful offensive performance versus the Clemson Tigers this past Saturday. Brown carried the ball 22 times for 162 yards and a touchdown Saturday – and the Florida State coaching staff should have quality film to begin working a game plan, though beyond that it is limited.
Maryland did not do anything fancy versus Clemson. The Terps lined up, ran a very basic zone-read and was very successful. I do expect Maryland – with another week under the belt of Brown – to add some wrinkles and different options to give FSU a new look.
With only two similar examples to show – from 2010 – the Seminoles have not fared well against an offense with a mobile quarterback.
Last season in Raleigh, North Carolina, the Russell Wilson-led NC State Wolfpack defeated the Seminoles, 28-24. NC State – with the combination of Mustafa Greene and Wilson, his sidekick – was effective throughout the length of the game rushing for 189 yards. Great play calls, coupled with linebackers being out of position, aided in Wilson taking three rushes into the end zone himself – and upsetting FSU in the process. Wilson was also 18-of-28 for 178 yards passing.
The awareness of that game caught the eye of Frank Beamer in film study, and as a result, Virginia Tech took advantage of Florida State's weaknesses in the ACC Championship game. The threat of the quarterback run was enough to allow Tyrod Taylor to shred the Seminole secondary for 263 yards in route to a victory. Between Tyrod Taylor, Darren Evans, and Ryan Williams, the Hokies rushed for 179 yards versus FSU.
So, based on prior experience, you see two sides of evil that can come to fruition when preparing for a mobile quarterback – and in this case a team that will want to zone-read you.
As mentioned earlier, the Clemson defense this past Saturday did a poor job of defending very basic zone reads. Their linebackers – akin to FSU versus NC State in 2010 – were out of position on most plays. When they were in proper position, tackling was absent. Therein lies two major points of emphasis – albeit basic ones – that Florida State must make sure it can master.
The advantage Florida State has in this game is that C.J Brown is not near the passing quarterback that Russell Wilson and Tyrod Taylor proved to be. FSU may be able to key on the run versus Brown and live in man coverage.
It is of utmost importance that the linebackers are sound in their assignments. If FSU uses a “scrape exchange” – which is when the defensive end (who is being optioned) always crashes for the running back, while a linebacker comes over to always take the quarterback – I could see success with a combination of Nigel Bradham, Vince Williams, and Telvin Smith. I do hope, however, that defensive coordinator Mark Stoops pulls Bradham and Vince on passing downs and lives by Telvin Smith at the mike. If you trust your secondary and backers in coverage, you may even see Telvin spy Brown, though this is unlikely.
If Maryland suspects Florida State may try to scrape the zone-read, I will be interested in seeing if the Terrapins try to option an FSU defensive tackle – which, if run correctly, negates the scrape exchange.
With C.J Brown entering just his second start for the Terrapins (luckily for the Seminoles), I do not suspect there will have been enough time by Saturday to do much more installation of the zone-read option offense that could wreak havoc on the FSU defense.
If the linebackers – as well as the defensive line – can stay true to their assignments and gaps, and if Stoops can trust the secondary enough to cover in man to present Brown with some backside blitzes from the nickelback or strong safety, then the Seminoles could be in good shape. The slightest mistake, if you over-pursue the least bit and give Brown or running back Devin Meggett a crease or hole, will allow Maryland to extend drives and prevent your defense from throwing more at Brown.
I would like to expect that Stoops will indeed trust the FSU secondary in cover zero, in order to truly test C.J Brown – but you truly never know considering the history of how he has used two dominant defensive ends.
The formula is there. Will FSU execute?
SPECIALIST – Dustin Hopkins, Florida State K, Jr., 6-2, 190, Houston Tx.
With four successful PATs against Duke, Hopkins established a new FSU school record, pushing his streak of conversions to 109. It snapped a record held by Derek Schmidt (108, 1984-86) for the past 26 seasons. Hopkins also converted a pair of field goals against the Blue Devils, including a 48-yarder into the wind at the end of the first half, which extended his streak of successful FG attempts to 17. That’s one field goal shy of Graham Gano’s career record 18 consecutive FG’s. In addition to his placement kicks, the Hopkins-led Seminoles lead the ACC in Kickoff Coverage with a 49.5 net average. Hopkins is one of three kickers in the NCAA’s FBS who has not missed a kick this year, making all 24 PATs and all 10 field goals
via The ACCno comments
GREENSBORO, NC – The Atlantic Coast Conference Monday announced the following gametimes and networks for Oct. 27-29:
Thursday, Oct. 27
Virginia at Miami, ESPN, 8 p.m. (previously announced)
Saturday, Oct. 29
NC State at Florida State, ESPNU, Noon
Virginia Tech at Duke, ACC Network, 12:30 pm
Boston College at Maryland, RSN, 3 pm
Wake Forest at North Carolina, ESPNU, 3:30 pm
Clemson at Georgia Tech, ABC, ESPN or ESPN2#, 8 p.m.
#Network for Clemson at Georgia Tech to be announced after the games of Oct. 22.
Another week of FSU football is in the books and fortunately for the Seminoles and their faithful, this past Saturday's contest was much more well played. The Seminoles were able to cruise past an improved Duke team with relative ease, despite a strong second half effort from the Blue Devils that included several onside kick attempts and three fourth down conversions. Overall, the Seminoles were far too much for a solid pass attack from Sean Renfree and as usual, continues to stifle opposing running attacks. Find out who's individual performances stood out the most in Saturday's game after the jump. For the first time all season, Gameball veteran Rashad Greene will not be on the list due to missing Saturday's game with an ankle injury
Greensboro, N.C. - The Atlantic Coast Conference announced late Saturday night the complete slate for games on October 22.
Earlier in the week, ESPN had declared a six-day option for the week impacting five of the six games on October 22.
Saturday, Oct. 22
North Carolina @ Clemson, noon on ESPN
Wake Forest @ Duke, 12:30pm on ACC Network
Boston College at Virginia Tech, 3 p.m. on RSN
Maryland @ Florida State, 3:30pm on ABC
Georgia Tech @ Miami, 3:30pm on ESPN
NC State @ Virginia, 3:30pm on ESPNU
The Florida State Seminoles (3-3, 1-2 ACC) needed something positive to happen today. The Noles, in need of a statement – did just that rolling over the Duke Blue Devils (3-3, 1-1 ACC) 41-16.
Missing super freshman Rashad Greene, on paper, was a big one – however true freshman running back Devonta Freeman filled the void while enjoying a coming out party. The first four rushes, this afternoon, came from four different Seminoles (Manuel, Pryor, Freeman, Jones) but it would not take long to realize that it was Freeman time. Devonta, on the day, rushed the ball 19 times for 109 yards getting his first 100-yard game of his career.
As a team, the FSU offense found much success on the ground going for 242 yards on 45 carries. More important than that, though, was seeing E.J Manuel on the ground on designed runs. E.J had 64 yards on the ground on 12 carries, though two of those were sacks.