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First, as a Clemson fan, you gotta love the pressure on FSU. I'm not sure I've ever seen this much pressure put on a team in one week. They are 2 touchdown favorites, and from coast to coast everyone is talking about how FSU is "back" (again). They said the same thing last year going into the OU game. Tons of pressure on FSU... nothing to lose for Clemson.
This is the test. The vaunted FSU defense, and more specifically front 7 going against Morris' offense. I expect AE and TB to get carries early. I think Morris will want FSU to prove they can stop the run. I think TB's number will be called with Q counter, zone read, and even some option. Keep an eye on the option this week, especially to Sammy after motioning in. If we can run the ball early, it opens the playbook up even more for Morris. I expect to see some of the screen game, and some draws mixed in. If we slow their rush down, Boyd will have a chance to pick them apart in the secondary.
I think Morris will move Sammy around quite a bit. We'll see alot of formations and motion to get a numbers advantage. However, with all the talk about Sammy, Nuk, etc... I think our success depends on the legs of AE, TB, and the tempo that we can play at.
If we get yardage on 1st down, it really allows us to speed the tempo up. If AE goes for 80+, and TB goes for 50+, we win. I think they will have an opportunity to put those numbers up, as Morris puts them in situations where he uses FSU's speed and pursuit against them. That kind of success on the ground will also mean big games for Nuk and Sammy.
Ahhh... the big question. What everyone is worried about. Are we capable of playing well in Tally on defense. It's important to keep in mind that we don't have to be great Saturday. We just have to be a little better than average. We've been pretty much base on defense through three games. We have to cut down on the chunk plays and we have to fill gaps better. However, our third down % is pretty dang good, as is our red zone %. I would argue that we have faced tougher tests than FSU has, given the fact we have see AU and Ball St.
The fact that BV has see FSU, with Manuel, the last two years is HUGE. I firmly believe that BV will have us in a great position scheme wise. This is important, b/c it's like smoke and mirrors on defense. Despite our youth and learning curve, if we can force them into a few punts b/c of our scheme, it gives our offense more chances. This isn't true of most teams in the country, but it is of ours. With our offense, being sound scheme wise could be just enough to get past the youth and talent gap and allow us to put up enough points.
I think that BV will force Manuel to beat us. He is going to have to hit big plays through the air. He will probably hit a few, too. I think BV is going to say, "you're not going to run the ball, so you will have to hit enough big passes to outscore us." Like I said, with our explosive offense, just one or two more stops may be enough. If we can stop the run, and even if we give up some big pass plays... I don't think FSU can score enough.
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by Coach_Rob on 9/20/2012 at 3:27 PM
I tend to agree Coach Rob, which I know doesn't mean much, but I don't see this getting out of hand unless turnovers become an issue. The thing I can't get past is this is the same FSU D we faced last year and torched. Plus, we have a "better" O-line physically, so baring injury or the turnover bug, I think this could be a really fun game. Plus, I think this is the time where a Peake/Bryant/Ford comes up big in one on one or busted coverage and make a name for themselves. Should be a fun game! GO TIGERS!
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