Oct 10, 2015; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher smiles as he waves to fans after their game against the Miami Hurricanes at Doak Campbell Stadium. The Florida State Seminoles won 29-24. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports5
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FSU football is coming off an emotional come from behind victory over the rival Miami Hurricanes. Here are three things we need to see from FSU football against Wake Forest.
Sep 10, 2016, in Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Deondre Francois (12) warms up prior to the game against Charleston Southern at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports
Quick Start From Offense
The FSU defense has given up a touchdown on the opponents first possession in four straight games this season(against Power 5 teams). However, that came to an end on Saturday night against Miami.
The FSU offense is used to starting in the hole, but couldn’t put anything significant together in the first half against Miami as they only scored three points and trailed 13-3 at halftime.
This Wake Forest game is a perfect opportunity for the FSU offense AND FSU defense to finally get on the same page and play a complete game.
Coach Fisher usually defers to the second half if he wins the coin toss. If that happens, it would be great to see the defense get a stop and allow the offense to score first.
Sep 5, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Mississippi Rebels running back Akeem Judd (21) is tackled by Florida State Seminoles defensive back Derwin James (3) and linebacker Matthew Thomas (6) in the third quarter at Camping World Stadium. Florida State Seminoles won 45-34. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports
Same Intensity On Defense
The Miami game brought out an intensity that FSU fans had not seen from the FSU defense all season. Maybe they should imagine they are playing Miami every game?
FSU players laid the wood all night, even had a player ejected for a targeting call. We don’t condone those type of hits, but it was good to see them playing with an edge and confidence.
It’ll be a 3:30 home game and surprisingly there’s going to be good attendance so props to FSU fans for showing up.
We talked about how the FSU defensive line whipped the Miami offensive line most of the night. Wake Forest doesn’t have the talent that Miami has, but the FSU defense will likely not play as much man-to-man defense because of the Wake Forest spread attack.
Which brings us to the final thing we need to see on Saturday.
Sep 5, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles defensive back Marcus Lewis (24) reacts after a penalty in the second quarter against the Mississippi Rebels at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports
Limited Coverage Busts In Secondary
As we mentioned, the ‘Noles defense will not be able to play as much man-to-man because of the spread offense Wake Forest runs.
A mobile quarterback is dangerous against that type of coverage because the defenders have their back to him if he takes off.
Wake Forest has the No. 102 offense in the nation according to S&P+ metrics. They are not an explosive team and only average 4.4 yards per play on offense.
FSU will have huge athletic advantage, but Wake Forest played FSU tough last season while being well coached.
No disrespect to Wake Forest, but this is the type of game that could function like a working scrimmage for the defense.
If the defense is indeed improving, there should not be many coverage busts against this offense. Hopefully, Marcus Lewis won’t get lost in coverage or continue to give up the inside release on slant routes.
The FSU defense will face a spread attack in its next game against Clemson on October 29th, so this Wake Forest game could be a great measuring stick for the back seven on defense.
Oct 24, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Florida State Seminoles running back Dalvin Cook (4) celebrates a touchdown run with running back DeMarcus Walker (44) against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the second quarter at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Oddsmakers made Wake Forest 25 point underdogs against FSU. That number has since been bet down to around 22 points.
It’s a game FSU should win without question as there isn’t a Wake Forest player that would start at FSU.
However, will it be a game that FSU will dominate the way oddsmakers expect?
If they come out with the same intensity they came out with against Miami and execute, that should be the end result.
Will they have that mindset coming off the big win over Miami and the bye week coming up next week?