The Florida State-Miami rivalry is the ‘Canes biggest of the season. The ‘Noles have won three games in a row. FSU might have a bottom 25 offense but the Seminoles have a top 25 defense.
The Florida State Seminoles squeaked out a 28-24 victory over the Louisville Cardinals. The ‘Noles first ACC win of the 2018 season was set up by a boneheaded call by Cardinals head coach Bobby Petrino. FSU head coach Willie Taggart gets his first shot at the Hurricanes at the helm of cross-state rival FSU.
FSU in Man Coverage
Louisville quarterback Jawon Pass has had a tumultuous 2018 season but carved up the FSU defense. In the GIF below, Pass sees the pocket open up and the ‘Noles in man coverage. When a defense plays man coverage the defenders have their backs to the quarterback and eyes on the potential pass catcher. This allows a quarterback to take off and run. Pass scores on a 14 yard scramble as the FSU defenders just can’t get there in time.
FSU Double Screen
For the tunnel screen, the guards will run out and block the nickel back and any alley player (a safety for instance). The slot receiver blocks the cornerback. This allows the outside receiver to run back under those blocks and catch the football with blockers.
The tackles and center secure their linemen to give the quarterback time to read the play. The QB looks to the bubble to the bottom of the screen first. If the flat defender doesn’t go in motion with the running back the QB throws that easier screen.
The QB reads the nickel back who should be blocked by the right guard (play side) who was running out to the flat to block him.
Below you can watch the play and how the ‘Noles run the double screen with success. In order to stop it, Miami will have to make sure to align against the bubble screen at the bottom which means get three defenders out there. To the top, it’s a tough play. Miami’s CB either has to read this and come off the bloc, or the defensive end has to feel the screen and turn and run to it.
Perry will have to improve eye training
In order for N’Kosi Perry to have a successful day against the FSU defense, Perry will have to improve his eye training. He’s been better than Malik Rosier with regards to using his shoulders and head to look off targets and to slow down safeties but at times Perry, too, stared down his receivers. This was an issue both against FIU and UNC for Perry.
The stare-down that Pass does on this play leads to a huge interception for FSU that sets up their game winning touchdown pass. You can see the defensive back beginning his break on the football in the image below.
The throw is intercepted as the defensive back doesn’t even have to guess where Pass is going with the football. Don’t get me wrong, I think Perry is a much better quarterback than Pass but it’s a dangerous game to try to force throws in against the FSU defense.
In order to beat the Seminoles, Miami will have to improve their open field tackling against screens. The ‘Canes will have to get Perry coached up on using his shoulders and eyes to look off receivers and freeze defensive backs. Also for Perry, he will have to use his athleticism to carry the football when FSU goes into man coverage. The ‘Noles might be struggling but they do have a good defensive backfield that you don’t want to force throws into.