Florida State comes into the game against South Florida as a heavy favorite, but the Bulls will present some unique problems for the Seminoles. The South Florida defense will be a good challenge for the young Florida State offense, but the main issue for the Seminoles will be on the defensive side of the football. Quarterback Quinton Flowers is one of the top athletes in the country and will be the primary focus of the Florida State defense.
Flowers has a good arm, but what makes him so hard to deal with is how elusive he is when he starts to run. Flowers ran for 63 yards and a touchdown against FAMU last weekend. Head coach Jimbo Fisher was very clear on how to limit a mobile quarterback.
"Hit him," Fisher said. "Be physical with him. Keep great leverage on him. When they run it, you've got to make them feel it. You've got to hit him, and you got to make him understand. You've got to keep great gap control just like you do with a back. You got to keep gap control inside when you rush him, but you can't sit back and not pressure him and get after him and let him sit back there. I think you've got to keep great leverage on the ball and understand it in second contain, when a guy moves and get second contain and get great pursuit angles."
Fisher recruited Flowers as an athlete rather than as a quarterback when he was in high school, but he knows just how effective he can be.
"I know him from high school," Fisher said. "He's a heck of a player. A heck of an athlete. Very strong. Very dynamic... That guy's hard to tackle that's for sure."
According to senior defensive back Lamarcus Brutus the key to stopping a running quarterback is not to be greedy.
"What’s challenging is you have to stop the running quarterback, receivers, and the running back," Brutus said. "It’s just like another ball carrier. You have some teams where a quarterback just sits in the pocket and throws. You’ve got a quarterback that when everything is covered up he can pull the ball down and run. It’s just something you’ve got to focus on. Everybody’s got to do their assignment. You can’t be greedy. You can’t fit out of your gaps trying to make a play. Can’t take a play off because that’s another threat that we’ve got to focus on."
The Seminoles have had trouble with mobile quarterbacks in the past and will face quite a few this season. There are quite a few young players on the Florida State defense and this will be a good early test for their discipline and the defense as a whole.