Quarterback- Rix vs.
Running Backs- With Lorenzo Booker and Leon Washington, the Noles have a slight edge over the Canes.
Wide Receivers- If Crophonso Thorpe is 100% healthy; he will be the best receiver on the field. He is the game breaker that could be the difference maker in this game. Who will step up on the other side of him will be key. The talent is there with Thorpe, Stovall, Davis and Robinson. From top to bottom the Noles have more talent than the Canes. I would give the edge to
Tight Ends- If Greg Olsen plays, the Canes will not miss a beat at tight end. He has very good hands and is
Offensive Line- Right now with five returning starters
Defensive Line- If there is one area
Linebackers- If Miami starts Leon Williams at middle linebacker they will have problems with teams in the ACC especially the Noles. He can stop the run but I can't see him hanging with backs like Booker or Washington outside the tackles. John Beason is a much better prospect and has only played the position for less than a year. Tav Gooden has nice speed but is a bit undersized. Rocky McIntosh will be their top linebacker. As for the backups outside of Willie Williams, who won't play, they have some question marks. If either McIntosh or Gooden go down, they will struggle somewhat. On the other side Ernie Sims and AJ. Nicholson are going to be one of the best pair of linebackers in college football. Add in Buster Davis and Sam McGrew in the middle and watch out. Ray Piquion looked great in the spring game and provides great depth. Add in Marcello Church and you have a solid two deep at the linebacker position. Not too many teams could roll out Wright, Timmons, Gallon and Thaxton as their 3rd and 4th team players.
Defensive Back- I will break it off into two groups, cornerbacks and safeties. Right now I give the edge at cornerback to the Canes. Antrel Rolle is a stud. He has looked great the two times I have seen him practice. Kelly Jennings is also real solid. After those two guys, there is a drop off. Devin Hester will be a stud but not in week one. Glenn Sharpe is still struggling from a knee injury sustained last year. Rolle and
Now to the safety position.... Pat Watkins, B.J. Ward and Jerome Carter vs. Greg Threat and Brandon Merriweather. For Miami Threat is real solid but I am not sold on Merriweather. He lacks size and his talent is not on par with past players at UM. Personally I think he will be a liability. As for FSU Watkins has the most talent of any safety on the field. Ward has physical talent but he lacks something. I have not figured it out yet but he is solid at best. Jerome Carter came on strong at the end of last year and in the spring game. He could have a breakthrough season. I would give the Noles the advantage at safety safeties but the Canes have better starting cornerbacks right now.
Special Teams- Until Florida State make a kick,
FSU/Miami Breakdown By Position
Quarterback- Rix vs.