Experience Opening Up Offensive Playbook

The Florida State football team racked up exactly 500 yards of offense last weekend in its best performance of the season. New formations and movements were a huge part of that. So, who should be credited it with the gameplan? Offensive line coach Mark McHale says its FSU's young standouts.

Make no mistake about it, there was something different about Florida State's offense in last Saturday's game against Rice. And it wasn't the fact that the running game finally got on track.

Although, that was likely a direct result of the changes made in that game's preparations.

Essentially, the Seminole offense featured a bevy of different formations and motions before the snap thus creating mismatches for the defense and opening up the FSU gameplan.

Offensive line coach Mark McHale said Wednesday that the scheme will stay the same heading into the next game. The reason why the movements and formations were not seen prior to the Tribe's fourth game of the season?

A couple of freshmen.

"We are a little more vanilla because we've got two freshmen tight ends," he said. "And when we've got movement it's the tight ends that are moving. So, we felt like they were ready after three games under their belt.

"The tight ends on our roster, to learn all out routes and the blocking scheme … it can be confusing."

The implementation of the new scheme was made easier against the Owls thanks in large part to the play of the offensive line. The unit just has to stay healthy.

Starting right guard Cory Niblock was missing in action against Rice but coach Bobby Bowden said Wednesday that he will likely be ready when FSU hits the road for Raleigh, N.C. to face the Wolfpack. Starting left guard Jacky Claude suffered a concussion but should be fine as well.

But for as strong as the veterans have played and for how vital they are to the success of the Seminoles, McHale is quick to praise another freshman - guard Matt Hardrick.

In fact, Hardrick will, in all likelyhood, see his repititions increase as the season progresses.

"He's got some talent now. He's a load. He'll hit you and stone you," McHale said of Hardrick, who played nine snaps against the Owls – the first playing time of his career. "He's just a pup. He's got to learn to go out and finish everything. He needs to lose a little more weight. He's working on it and once he does that he's going to be a heck of a football player.

"Jacky (Claude) better watch out if he learns what's going on. He is a player."

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