The Florida State Seminoles head to Hard Rock Stadium to face the Miami Hurricanes on Saturday at 7:30pm on ABC. The ‘Canes and ‘Noles will face off on primetime with the whole ABC-ESPN treatment. FSU head coach Mike Norvell broke his winless streak vs. Miami last year, with a 31-28 shocker in Tallahassee. That win pushed Manny Diaz out, brought Mario Cristobal in, and the rest is unranked history.
The Hurricanes are 4-4 (2-2 in the ACC) and the Seminoles are 5-3 (3-3 in the ACC) making for an unranked matchup between the two longtime rivals. Miami has a 35-31 all-time lead over FSU. Draft Kings has Miami as a 7.5 point underdog to start the week, even at home.
Per Bill Connelly’s SP+, the Hurricanes are 62nd overall on the FBS, 67th on offense, 56th on defense, and 5th in kicking. FSU is 33rd overall, 39th on offense, 36th on defense, and 124th in kicking. At 33rd overall, Florida State is the second highest rated team Miami has faced so far this season with 25th ranked Texas A&M being the top so far.
Mike Norvell’s offense is scoring 32.1 PPG (48th of 131 in FBS) and allowing 21.9 PPG (37th in FBS) this season. Miami is scoring 27.4 PPG (75th in FBS) and allowing 22.5 PPG (44th in FBS).
Miami is currently 114th in Points Per Play, while FSU is is 41st in PPP. That’s going to mean the ‘Noles will be much more explosive on offense, and should boat race Miami. Miami’s penalties per game put the ‘Canes at 81st in FBS, while FSU is at 118th in penalties. This means FSU is even more sloppy on the field that Miami.
‘Noles QB Jordan Travis is averaging 8.7 yards per pass attempt with 14 touchdowns and only three interceptions. Travis has added two scores on the ground and five yards per carry, too. it’s safe to say his mobility will be a major issue for Miami on Saturday.
Miami’s strength is run defense, outside of QB’s, and FSU’s strength is pounding the football on the ground. Treshaun Ward, Trey Benson, and Lawrence Toafili have teamed up for over 1,200 yards rushing and 11 TD’s on the ground. The trio averages 6.8, 6.7 and 4.8 yards per carry, respectively.
FSU has two big play threats in the receiving corp. Johnny Wilson and Ontaria Wilson average 20.1 and 16 yards per catch. More explosive plays there, too. Wilson and Wilson have combined for six TD’s, and Mycah Pittman has another three scores of his own.
Above- Norvell got way too cute and bunched up the set, didn’t force Tech to cover 53 1/3, put a non QB at QB and fumbled the damn thing away. Did they still win? Sure. But at this point it’s 0-0 half way through the 1st quarter.
Above- Assuming it’s a corner route here and that’s the concept Tyler Van Dyke has been missing. I’m not sure if Smash is the answer versus Miami, unless the safety forgets / doesn’t get the signal that he has deep 1⁄2.
Above- Travis has become a college QB. It’s been a lot of growth for him since he was a glorified single wing QB two years ago, and even one year ago against Miami. He’s improved slowly but surely into a real passer. And GT hasn’t improved their tackling, either.
Above- Travis drops a dime and more broken tackles and poor tracking by Ga. Tech. All of this feels like foreshadowing for the 5th.
Above- Norvell will always lean on the run game and GY counters could gash Miami. The ‘Canes have been much more gap sound in run fits under DC Kevin Steele than Manny Diaz / Blake Baker, but the pull game is tough at the POA with weak linebackers and poor safety rotation and tackling.
Above- Space creates time, Travis knows how to create space. This allows him the time to get guys open and make deep plays. FSU looked explosive against the Yellow Jackets, and they’ve been explosive all season.
Defensive end Jared Verse could raise the same hell for the Miami offensive line Jermaine Johnson II did a year ago. Verse already has 11 TFL’s and 4.5 sacks this season.
Linebacker Tatum Bethune, a UCF transfer, has 53 tackles, eight TFL’s and 2.5 sacks this season. Bethune is a 215 pound hoss at LB. Parrish and Bethune will have quite the meeting in the hole in the run game.
Defensive back Jammie Robinson has 61 stops, an INT, and three PBU’s this season. Kalen DeLoach and Akeem Dent have 10 PBU’s combined and will be all over Miami receivers. If UVA could blanket Young and Restrepo, FSU will for sure.
Above- Smash with a zig-out to draw the CB down and clear out for the corner route? And it works for a TD with their QB/WR’s? Gattis needs to dial this up. It’s even in a condensed bunch set so he’ll be thrilled.
Above- If Jake Garcia can do one thing it’s chuck it deep. Garcia to Colbie Young would look good doing this, just needs time to let it go and the pocket presence and mental clock to avoid the strip sack and make it happen.
Above- This could be a big breakout for Will Mallory in a pivotal situation for his NFL hopes. All eyes will be on FSU and Miami with the game in primetime.
Above- Miami doesn’t have a Will Shipley and the S&C focus isn’t heavily focused on max velocity and power production enough to create one. But Henry Parrish could make a few 12 yard carries where Shipley picks up 25+. The run game has to stay where it was against UVA for this FSU game.
Above- The play Jake Garcia ran to beat UVA is similar to what works here for Clemson against FSU. More Garcia on the ground will help slow down the defensive ends against the inside run game, and slow their OODA Loop on the pass rush.
Above- YES! A trick play from Clemson vs. FSU and it goes for a touchdown. Gattis needs to break more of these out, especially with Garcia at QB and the offense struggling to score. What is there to lose?
FSU has had some explosive plays in the kick return game, hopefully Lou Hedley and Andres Borregales can combat that with hard to field punts and touchbacks. Kicker Ryan Fitzgerald has missed a PAT and is only 7-of-12 on field goals, but that didn’t stop UVA from nailing 4-of-4 vs. Miami. The ‘Noles punter is averaging 42 yards per attempt.
Above- The kind of risks I love to take. Onside kicks, fake punts, all the Rhett Lashlee trick plays- BRING EM ON!!!
This summer, the Canyonero keys to victory were:
1- Contain Jordan Travis. Travis has cut his running down a ton in ‘22 from previous seasons. However, against Miami, Norvell has to see the threat that a mobile QB is against Miami’s defense. Flagg, Ragone, etc. aren’t going to contain Travis.
2- Protect Van Dyke. Well Van Dyke may or may not play against FSU, it’s anyone’s guess. If it’s Jake Garcia, Mirabal and the OL need to protect him better, too. FSU has 11 different defenders with at least one sack.
3- Stay focused, again. After a blowout loss to Duke Miami got the win on the road over UVA. But now it’s a home game against favored rival Florida State. Will the ‘Canes come out focused and driven or distracted and cold like previous games?
Prediction: Florida State by 7 if Tyler Van Dyke starts, 10 if it’s Jake Garcia.