If you’ve watched Florida State games for the past few seasons, you can see one, glaring issue on the team: the offensive line. It’s not uncommon that we see an FSU quarterback left to fend for himself in the pocket, and the offense grind to a halt with defensive ends, linebackers, and defensive backs meeting at the QB.
The Hurricanes hope to continue the trend when they host FSU at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday for the 65th meeting between the teams.
Florida State gave up just 3 sacks to Georgia Tech in their season-opening loss, which isn’t an absurd number by any means. They also allowed just 3 quarterback hurries, yet still played a huge part in their defeat. Injuries ended up playing a huge role in that game, in fact, 4 of FSU’s 5 starting linemen went down. While injuries are never something a fan, player, or coach should root for, it could provide Miami a huge advantage in the trenches.
Now it’s also worth noting that the O-line got worse as the game progressed. Pressure rate after 1st quarter was 38.1%.— ️♈️ (@ADavidHaleJoint) September 14, 2020
For reference, GT hasn’t had a full game w/that high a pressure rate vs a P5 opponent since 2017.
Florida State has reportedly been giving all of their quarterbacks reps in practice this past week, with their line having time to gel and recover, but a suffocating pass-rush by the ‘Canes will make all of their jobs harder. In order to help their secondary, Miami’s down 4 has to pressure the quarterback and fill rushing lanes.
Is Miami’s defensive capable? Absolutely. Despite giving up 30+ points to Louisville last week, Miami’s defense is still strong, especially with players like Quincy Roche, Nesta Jade Silvera, Jaelan Phillips, and Jonathan Ford on the line.
In a rivalry game such as this, however, nothing is certain. On paper, this year’s edition of the rivalry seems ripe for a ‘Canes blowout, something that hasn’t happened in over a decade. If Miami doesn’t pick on Florida State’s flaws, it could lead to another nail-biting finish. On the contrary, if Miami stuffs FSU’s run game and hurries the quarterback, it could be the dominant Hurricanes victory that fans have desired.