clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Hurricanes Defense Needs a Plan B for Jameis Winston and FSU

New, 23 comments

The Seminoles have found ways to win all season long, and often save their best for late in games.

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Spor

The scene last night was an all too familiar one whether you root for or against the Florida State Seminoles.

Winston and the Noles once again found themselves struggling in the first half, and down 13-7, with the defending Heisman Trophy winner throwing two first quarter interceptions.

But as he has done time and time again, he picked himself right back up and rallied his team to a 34-20 win.

Defenses have found an early answer to Winston.

In the season opener against Oklahoma State he misfired early, but used his legs and arm in the second half, to propel Florida State to a 37-30 win.

Against NC State they were down 24-7 after one quarter.  They ended up exploding to a 56-41 victory.

Notre Dame made Winston look human for a half as well, before he got red hot in the second half and completed 13 straight passes at one point, in a 31-27 win.

Last Thursday it was the Louisville Cardinals who jumped all over the Noles to the tune of a 21-0 lead, before succumbing to the defending champs 42-31.

As Jameis goes, so go the Seminoles.

And like their leader, FSU has been shaky all season long early on, but extremely clutch and at times unstoppable late.

So what is the reason for the Jekyl and Hyde nature of Miami's biggest rival?

The single biggest factor in this author's opinion has been the early pressure opponents have been able to get on the sophomore QB, and how he and his staff adjust to it in the second half.

Here is an example Vs Notre Dame:

In the first half (although on this rare occasion they only rush 4) the Irish flustered Winston by getting pressure up the middle, often blitzing through the A and B gaps to get in his face.  When they do get to him, the results are positive for Notre Dame.


In the second half Winston often beat the blitz on his own, with quick accurate reads.  Here his staff helps him by moving the pocket to beat the pressure coming up the middle.

As you can see, Winston and the Noles make the kind of adjustments that allow you to run off 25 straight wins.

So what does that mean for Miami next Saturday Night?

They better have a Plan B!

Unless they plan to win the game in a shoot out, the D is going to have to generate pressure from multiple sources, and do it for more than just one half.

Easier said than done.

They are going to need Anthony Chickillo and Tyriq McCord to get some wins when they only rush 4.

They are going to need Denzel Perryman, Jermaine Grace, Thurston Armbrister, and Raphael Kirby to get in on Jameis when they blitz from the Sam, Will, and Mike positions.

They are going to need some success when they send Corn Elder and Artie Burns off the corners.

Bottom line, they are going to need to do a lot right, and do it often.

Because while FSU has looked very susceptible this season early, they have been down right nasty late.

The good news for the 'Canes is that they are playing their best ball in a long time heading into this match-up.

The bad news is, that team from Tallahassee has seen the best from several opponents this season, and had the answers.

Next Saturday Night should be a fun one.