Florida State has played four games this season, and every offense they've faced has had a mobile quarterback at the helm. That will change on Saturday when the Seminoles host Brad Kaaya and the Miami Hurricanes. Kaaya is a pocket passer with a live arm and a lot of talent around him at the skill positions. With the Hurricanes being different from the teams they have previously, seen how will the Florida State defense handle the change?
The Florida State will be able to adjust their style of play without the threat of a mobile quarterback according to head coach Jimbo Fisher
"Kaaya is not a quarterback run guy, which allows to you play a little bit differently, too, in how you have to do -- I mean, you can or cannot how you want to do things. You're not worried about all the quarterback runs and things. Not that he can't run and scramble. I don't mean that. But it's not a main stable, true true running quarterback."
That will allow the Florida State defense to pass rush more effectively. They will still have to maintain discipline in their rush lanes, but they will be able to pin their ears back more with Kaaya's lack of mobility.
Taking pressure off one area of the field will put it on another. This will be the first real test for the Florida State secondary as they go up against wide receivers as athletic as they are.
"They're going to get the ball down the field now with receivers, big bodies," Fisher said. "...They're big long guys, big body jump ball guys, back shoulder, fades, all that kind of stuff. James does a great job with the bunch packages and different things they do, throwing and catching the football and protect well. It is a more pro style passing attack that we'll face, than we've faced before."
Florida State will also have to be prepared to stop the run. Joe Yearby, a high school teammate of Dalvin Cook, is one of the best running backs in the ACC. True freshman Mark Walton is also making an impact for the Hurricanes. Yearby was once committed to the Seminoles and head coach Jimbo Fisher isn't surprised by how much better he's become since then.
"Yearby does a great job and Mark Walton does a great job," Fisher said. "They're athletic, strong, fast. They're both from right there in Miami. Know them well, had them in camp. Those guys are dynamic backs, as well as anybody in the country, and they've got a good line in front of them. Those guys have all the qualities that great backs have."
Miami is averaging 174 yards on the ground and 286 yards through the air so far this season. That balance is one of the many things that the Florida State defense is going to have prepare for.
"I feel like this game completely is going to be different, not just for the defense but for the whole team," star defensive back Jalen Ramsey said. "One because the energy level out there will be crazy. They'll bring out everything I'm sure. We have to cover all of our bases. We have to be prepared for everything. They have really good players. They have good receivers, good backs, good quarterback, good offensive line."
The Florida State defense will be tested in ways they haven't been so far this season. We'll find out Saturday if they're up to the task.