FSU offense faces a familiar foe on Saturday

There's no doubt that this Saturday the Florida State offense will face, by far, the best defense it has seen all season. But when FSU's offensive players are asked about that, they say the key word there is 'Saturday'.

As they have continued to point out all week, they believe they face the best defense in the country every day in practice. And statistically speaking, they're right.

FSU does have the nation's top-ranked defense. But the practice fields are one thing, doing so in a stadium packed full of fans with the cameras turned on is another. At least you would think so.

So far this season, FSU has faced just one defense that is ranked in the top 20. That defense is Maryland, who FSU just finished putting up 399 yards and 45 points on last weekend.

Outside of Maryland, the next best defense the Seminoles have faced is Virginia Tech who ranks 33rd in total defense. After that there is huge drop off.

The rest of the opposing defenses FSU has faced do not even scratch the top 60.

Florida is ranked fourth in total defense, which is why the Gators are 10-1 right now with an outside shot of still making the national championship.

"They're a really great defensive football team," FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said.

But luckily for FSU, they too have a nasty defense. And as young as the Seminoles are on the offensive line, there's a reason they've made significant strides this season.

"Going up against one of the best D-lines in the nation helps a whole lot," FSU guard Tre Jackson said. "It doesn't get much better than the D-line here."

There's no question that the Gators are loaded with NFL talent all over its defense; a physical front four, linebackers who can cover in space as well as stop the run, and defensive back's that swarm to the ball. Exactly what FSU faces day in and day out on the Al Dunlap practice fields.

And don't think for a second the FSU defense takes it easy on them. In fact when its 1s vs 1s, it gets so intense at times, quarterback E.J. Manuel has to break up fights between the two sides.

"It gives you the best preparation during the week," Manuel said. "And when we go full-speed, it is full-speed; you would think that we have the crowd out there, tv's on and all that. It's all to the wall."

"It's extremely competitive. There's trash talk and you even see fights out there. Just like you would see in a house full of brothers. It's just the nature of the beast, and I think it's why we have success as a team."


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