I have only one question: are you ready? Practices are fine, drills are great, but there is nothing like a good, ol’ fashioned scrimmage. This is the true 11-on-11 and in many ways, the best competition that the squads will face. In other words, aside from Florida, this will be the best defensive unit that our offense will face all year. It’s time for the first scrimmage.
We will have a lot to watch, obviously. On offense, everyone will be focusing on the quarterback, but more than anything else, I’d watch what they’re asking the quarterback to do. Will they roll out plain vanilla offenses or are they going to let the quarterback call his own shots and open up the field? I’d also be especially curious to compare the quarterbacks stats across the different scenarios, depending on whether they play with the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd team offense. I think each quarterback, including Maguire, should have a chance to roll through the 1s, 2s, and 3s. Granted, there’s not enough time in the world to do a completely controlled experiment, but if one quarterback happens to perform better, on average, across all three teams, you might be looking at your starter.
I’m not sure how willing Jimbo Fisher is to name a starter based on the quality of the offensive line. He may be more willing to take the quarterback who does better, at least on average, with different line configurations.
Notice, we aren’t even going to mention the skill positions. I think FSU is so stacked at RB, TE, and WR, that the only real difference will be what level of comfort and familiarity they all have playing with each other. As Jimbo said, it’s not the best players that will play, it’s the group of players that play the best.
Defensively, we will begin to see Pruitt’s skills as a coordinator. Undoubtedly, he has the defense motivated and energized this spring. But he’s now going to go up against Jimbo Fisher, in a tit-for-tat battle of the wits. Pride is certainly on the line. But it will be a good indication of the Pruitt’s abilities as a coordinator. During the Mark Stoops era, we saw some of his defenses get steamrolled for a series or two. Stoops, however, was a master at making adjustments and catching up with the offense. That kind of skill is either learned or natural–and we’ll find out whether Pruitt’s a natural by how his defense is able to keep up with Jimbo’s offense.