clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

X&O Preview: Miami Hurricanes @ Florida State 9/16

Walton and the ‘Canes will see FSU for week 3

NCAA Football: Florida State at Miami Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Miami has been on the worse end of the FSU rivalry for all 7 match-ups of Jimbo Fisher’s tenure in Tallahassee. Miami hasn’t defeated FSU since September 7, 2009 in a thriller up in Tally. Our #Canes have lost the last three rivalry games by a combined 10 points. But 2017 is the year Mark Walton and the defense bring ‘Canes fans home a winner.

Unlike Fournette, Dalvin Cook put the money on the table and played in the Orange Bowl game against Michigan. Dalvin put his skills on display rushing for 7.1 yards / carry and averaged 20 yards a catch against the Wolverines. Finally, Dalvin is gone from Tally where he had a Warrick Dunn level ability to go off in our rivalry game. In 3 years Cook picked up 464 yards and 5 total TD’s against the Hurricanes.


What can you expect from FSU’s offense post-Cook? Deondre Francois will be asked to lead the team much like Jameis Winston did during their title run in 2013. Francois is a tough kid with a good arm and above average mobility. He has the capacity to run a Rick Trickett zone offense. Expect inside zone, outside zone and power from the ‘Noles.

Jacques Patrick is a bruiser that lacks breakaway speed so Cam Akers, the early enrollee freshman, will be the breakaway threat. He proved he can hang at the college level in the Garnet and Gold game. He’s the guy getting the inside zone, outside zone, and screens. Patrick will run some inside zone and a lot of power.

Above- the power play FSU loved with Cook
Above- Akers cuts back on outside zone
Above- Akers’ speed will be used to replace Cook in the screen game

You can watch this 2 minute cut-up of Patrick, his game will be between the tackles:

How does Miami stop the FSU run game? Simple. Play your assignments and don’t lose track of Akers in pass routes. Cook was very limited in ‘16 except for 2-3 key plays where the D lost sight of him. Keeping Akers in your sights and the improved defensive play- I see this being a low scoring game similar to those of the early 90’s.

Francois has a lot of confidence in his arm and I think 2017 is the year Miami can deflate his ego. He took some hard hits in 2016 and the front 7 will be that much better in ‘17. I really look forward to seeing him run the football in a singlewing style offense against Shaq Quarterman.

Or attempt his risky spot throws against Malek Young and the DB’s.

Mistakes like the one above will result in punishing hits and pick 6’s with an even more improved Miami offense and no Cook to bail him out.


How can Miami attack the FSU defense? I think a return to 21 and 20 personnel, using a fullback or h-back as a lead blocker can help. Michigan played Big 10 football against FSU and was able to pick up nice runs with a lead block here and the WR’s blocking which Ron Dugans has vastly improved this unit on in 12 months. A power run game will help wear down the speedy FSU defense.

Below, see the FB lead at the point of attack

Below, see the WR blocking to turn this from a big gain into 6 points

One guy that will be hard to game plan for is Derwin James. James looks healthy and ready to play in a Jabril Peppers type floating role in the Nole defense.

The Miami Offensive Line will have to account for him and a new QB will need to see this guy and make reads off him accordingly. I hope Coach Richt keeps 6 guys in protection and avoids the speedy James from unloading on a new QB.