The Miami Hurricanes (6-3, 2-3 in the ACC) are heading to Tallahassee, FL to take on the undefeated Florida State Seminoles (9-0, 7-0 ACC). FSU is a double-digit favorite coming off their ugly win against Pitt. Miami is coming off a loss to NC State.
This is the 11th November game for the Miami and FSU rivalry over the past 40 seasons. Miami and FSU currently have the November segment of the series split at five games a piece. The game will be played in ABC at 3:30pm eastern.
Bill Connelly’s SP+ metrics has FSU as the 8th best team at the FBS level. Miami is 26th overall after dropping their game to NC State. The ‘Noles have the 9th ranked offense against Miami’s 26th ranked defense. The ‘Canes 38th ranked offense will matchup against FSU’s 11th ranked defense. The kicking advantage Miami normally has is nullified vs. Florida State- the Seminoles are 3rd in SP+ and Miami is 2nd.
FSU is 7th in Points Per Game with 39.6, while Miami is 42nd with 30.1 PPG. FSU’s defense allows only 17.0 PPG Allowed for 10th in FBS, while Miami is 31st in PPGA with 21.6 allowed.
In Points Per Play, Florida State is 6th overall, Miami is 38th in PPP. The ‘Noles are 7th in Yards Per Play, while the ‘Canes are 29th in YPP.
Both teams are heavily penalized, but FSU even more than The U. FSU is 110th with seven penalties per game, while Miami is 103rd with 6.8 per game.
Miami is behind FSU in most important statistical categories, and turnover margin per game is just another one. FSU is +0.8 which is good for 13th in the country. Miami is -0.5 which is 106th in FBS.
However, The U has a clear hold on the Josh Gattis Time of Possession battle. Miami is 21st with 32 minutes versus FSU being 63rd with 30 minutes.
It wouldn’t be Miami vs. FSU without bringing up kickers. FSU’s Ryan Fitzgerald is 11-of-12 on field goals and a perfect 45-of-45 on PAT’s. Andres Borregales is 17-of-19 on FG’s and 29-of-30 on PAT’s.
FSU had a weird game against Pitt without Johnny Wilson and Keon Coleman. Coleman should play vs. Miami, Wilson is still TBD. We’ll look back to the Wake Forest game from Halloween weekend for more insight on the FSU offense.
Against Wake, Jordan Travis averaged 10.3 yards per attempt with four touchdowns (three passing) and no turnovers. Travis is always a threat to run averaging 4.1 yards per carry with one sack included. Travis has only thrown two INT’s all season.
Trey Benson will be an issue for Miami. Benson likes to lower his shoulder while also being an explosive threat in the passing game. Benson averaged 5.5 yards per carry with a touchdown on the ground against Wake. But Benson also caught four balls for 100 yards and one TD.
WR Keon Coleman caught two TD’s against Wake Forest, and will be a weapon against Miami’s defensive backfield if healthy. If he’s joined by Wilson it could get ugly with his 16.6 yards per catch.
Miami’s pass rush has to pick it up against FSU without giving up rushing lanes. The ‘Canes have been improved in that regard under DC Lance Guidry.
Above- Travis has turned into a QB during is stint in college. Every season he’s progressed more and more under Mike Norvell. Just dropping in dimes on deep balls here vs. WF.
Above- Travis ability to scramble got him to the show in the 1st place. He’s a dangerous runner with his vision, cutback ability and can lower his shoulder.
Above- Travis is also dangerous on designed QB runs. A counter read here and he pulls off the squeezed DE, the CB blitz is too wide and he cuts off it. I hope Miami ILB’s aren’t this easy to shake off. WF ILB leaves his feet too soon on the finish.
Above- James Williams likes to blitz from the safety position. When the FSU OL turns his shoulders it’s easy to see where to shoot through. Need some of these TFL’s from blue chip safeties vs. FSU on Saturday.
Above- NC State hit a RB in the flats for a TD, everyone has seen that weakness in Guidry’s defense on film. FSU will hit the flats, too. Just be ready for it.
Above- If you give Coleman too much respect for his speed by playing a soft cushion, FSU will eat you up with pre-snap RPO access throws. The “Now” tag burns WF. It’s a one guy shake and then re-accel for Coleman. Miami is terrible at tackling in space again.
Above- What’s scary from the FSU O part 1: RB delay screen. Miami is over-aggressive on the DL, the LB’s and DB’s have been bad in space, this is a wide open look for FSU at the right time.
Above- Miami still hasn’t learned to read a kick out block coming and wrong-arm the thing and be there to help. Instead they allow it to stay inside and cut under the DE without his hand free to assist.
Wake’s offense took a huge dip without Sam Hartman at QB (Notre Dame transfer). The Demon Deacons are currently 75th in offensive SP+. FSU held QB Mitch Griffis to 5.1 yards per pass attempt and without a touchdown, but also without an interception.
The ‘Noles finished the game with six sacks, 10 TFL’s, and six PBU’s against WF. Wake RB Justice Ellison did rush for 7.7 yards per carry against the ‘Noles defense. Only four Dekes receivers caught a pass against the Seminoles secondary. Four of Wake’s six completions went to Jahmal Banks.
Above- What’s scary about the FSU defense? Relentless pass rush. Tyler Van Dyke isn’t a plus scrambler and if given the chance FSU is going to feast on him again.
Above- “What’s open?” vs. the FSU defense? Wake uses an outside zone play with the TE as a lead blocker from across the formation. RB works under the fan out and behind the pull and wrap block of the TE.
Above- In 2021, Van Dyke loved the smash concept. That’s where the outside WR runs a hitch, now or zig-out and the inside WR runs a corner route. Hopefully Shannon Dawson sees this and dials up smash for Van Dyke.
Above- Under center jet sweep, wouldn’t that be something? It’s a really hard play to stop once a quarter, just don’t overuse it.
Above- FSU’s front seven reads and picks apart counter from the snap. The kick out block is avoided as opposed to wrong-armed but it works. Can’t let a guy duck a block on counter and still make the stop.
Above- Oh hey, a pass not just to the middle of the field, but to a RB. Novel concept.
Above- My favorite run concept as a coach, split zone. OODA Loop disruptor for linebackers, easy to RPO off of, has great play-action and boot concepts built in.
The ESPN win percentage has FSU as an 85.1% favorite over Miami. The Canyonero keys to victory from the summer were:
1- Protect Tyler Van Dyke. Jared Verse looks healthy and FSU has a dominant defensive line with him in the game. Verse had one sack and one fumble recovery against The U in ‘22. Van Dyke looked more mobile against NC State than in the previous week against UVA. But he’s not going to outrun an athletic D-Line. This is the game to determine if guys like Jalen Rivers, Matt Lee and Javion Cohen live up to their billing.
2- Don’t quit. Mario Cristobal’s proof of concept so far has worked against a down Clemson team and another overhyped Texas A&M squad. In ‘22 it failed miserably and the team quit vs. their biggest rival. To see a major turn around in culture in ‘23, just DON’T QUIT. Fight with FSU and make them earn the ‘W’ this time around.
3- Tak’L. NCSU’s Concepcion and Raphael were too much for Miami’s defenders at times last week. This week it’ll be Travis scrambling, Benson bruising, and Coleman juking. Is James Williams just a bully against QB’s? Can he play in space against a top-rated team?
Prediction: My summer prediction was FSU by 10. I’m going FSU by 14 if Keon Coleman is healthy. However it could get worse if Johnny Wilson is healthy, too.