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Miami Hurricanes vs FSU Seminoles: Matchup to Watch

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Miami has a decided advantage on the line of scrimmage and needs to exploit it to win on Saturday night.

Miami at Florida State Al Diaz/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Miami

Florida St

The rivalry, the history, the unbelievable games, the missed kicks and all the intensity.

Usually this game comes down to a couple of individual matchups, or a couple of position group matchups that impacts the outcome of the game.

Miami looks to have the decided advantage in many places in the 2020 matchup, but this game is normally played much closer than anyone expects and there are usually very few lopsided games.

Exploit Their Weakness

Anyone who has watched Florida St over the past few seasons has seen the Seminoles really struggle on the offensive line. In the 2019 matchup Florida St ran the ball 41 time and when including negative sack yardage was only able to gain 31 total yards. Their pass protection is horrendous and a year ago the Canes sacked the Seminoles 9 times and garnered 16 TFLs. Miami is not as proficient so far sacking the QB even though Jaelan Phillips and Quincy Roche have led the way in creating havoc in the backfield. Miami has picked up 4 sacks in the early going but has been awfully close multiple times.

FSU Depth Chart

Center: Maurice Smith

Right guard: Baveon Johnson

Right tackle: Devontay Love-Taylor

Left tackle: Darius Washington

Left guard: Dontae Lucas

The Noles have experience on the right side of the line with two senior starters, though Love-Taylor was banged up against Georgia Tech in the opener. When he left the game, the floodgates opened, and the Yellow Jackets lived in the backfield. From center to left tackle, youth is prevalent with a couple of sophomores and a redshirt freshman in the middle. FSU was miserable moving the football on the ground against GT only garnering 109 yards on 3.1YPC. James Blackman can move, but he is not a QB who scares you with his feet and he has moments where he holds the ball way too long. Blackman is also a QB who will turn it over if you can rattle him early. Look for Blake Baker to try to find a way to unleash his ferocious pass rush and get after Blackman from the very 1st play. FSU knows they cannot block Miami, so expect them to use chips and max protect when they are in obvious passing downs, also look for a mixture of quick easy throws and screens to try and help their OLine.

Miami has plenty of talent up front and with the emergence of Nesta Jade Silvera and Jared Harrison-Hunte on the interior, FSU cannot afford to pay too much attention to the ends without Miami wreaking havoc on the interior. Miami is at least 4-deep at end and without sending many exotic looks they should be able to generate plenty of pressure on FSU. Miami was good against UAB but struggled against Louisville stopping the run so Miami will want to be stouter vs the Seminoles. If Miami plays even half as well on the defensive line as they did a year ago, FSU will struggle mightily to move the football.

Psyche

Miami has won 3 in a row and has Florida St’s number. The Seminoles are in the same position Miami was towards the end of the Al Golden era where they need something to make them feel good about themselves. Miami cannot allow FSU to hang around in this game and believe that they can win. This rivalry has always typically been played close, with a few exceptions. FSU at 0-1, without their head coach, is prime to be blown out if Miami comes out early and puts their foot on their throat. This is where Rhett Lashlee and Blake Baker need to have their best scripts early, and Miami must execute without mental mistakes. If the Canes can get a quick score, or a turnover chain early, expect a rout.

The Canes are too good to lose this game and has a better coaching staff. The game will be close for a while in my estimation, but the Canes will eventually wear down FSU and win 31-17.

Let’s Go Canes