Through the season thus far, the Florida State defense has been absolutely stifling. They’ve managed to shake the slow starts they experienced earlier in the season, and seem to be coming together nicely under first-year coordinator Jeremy Pruitt. All of the pieces are falling into place and they have become a nightmare for opposing offenses, as Maryland’s C.J. Brown, Clemson’s Tajh Boyd and N.C. State’s Brandon Mitchell can attest to.
This week, the Miami Hurricanes offense will be marching into Tallahassee, under the direction of former FSU assistant James Coley. They’ll be the next ones up to try their hand at getting around this Seminoles defense, something no one has been able to do yet.
So, let’s take a look at the pieces of that Miami offensive puzzle that are going to try and pull off the seemingly impossible feat:
Passing YPG: 269.6
Rushing YPG: 214.7
Total YPG: 484.3
Quarterback: Senior Stephen Morris has been less than great, to say the least. Coming into the season, a lot of people around the country had him pegged as maybe the best in the ACC, and that hasn’t even been close to the case. Morris has been wildly inconsistent on his deep balls again and is still turnover prone. On the year, he’s thrown for ten touchdowns, while at the same time throwing eight interceptions. He still seems rather easily confused, and I’m sure that Pruitt will have some things up his sleeve that he’ll throw at the veteran QB this Saturday to create some turnover situations.
Running Backs: Once again, this is the position that’s carrying the offense. Although, this season, sophomore Duke Johnson has some help. Johnson has been the workhorse, carrying the ball 122 times for 823 yards and six touchdowns. But another sophomore, Dallas Crawford, has emerged as a scoring machine from the Miami backfield. Crawford has hit the end zone nine times, while touching the ball just 65 times. This week, however, it’ll be a lot harder to run on that speedy front-four of Florida State. Look for a lot of Johnson and Crawford out of the backfield to try and spread that FSU defense out a little bit.
Wide Receivers: This is another part of the Miami offense that a lot of people expected to be better, but really haven’t so far. As inconsistent as Morris can be at times, the receivers and not catching some of the better and more accurate balls that Morris throws are becoming a problem. Freshman Stacy Coley has particularly had an issue in this department. For the ‘Canes to be even remotely successful against the ‘Noles defense, this unit has to step up when called upon, or else one of those dropped passes could easily turn into a tip-drill interception for that heady FSU secondary.