Quick notes on BC's offense:
They run a multiple-formation offense in which they'll go from a four-WR set to a three-TE set without blinking.
They run a lot of short, quick passes that will put pressure on our linebackers and corners.
They don't have much speed on the outside and might have trouble getting off press coverage if we choose to press them.
Matt Ryan throws very well to every part of the field. He doesn't throw particularly well on the run, but he moves well and is very dangerous when he sets his feet outside the pocket. It's critical that we are able to tackle him when we get our hands on him in the pocket.
They will not try to line up and blow us off the ball as they might have in years past. This BC team struggles to run it and is more likely to throw it 40+ times than to run it 40+ times.
We've got to stop the screens and draws out of their spread or it could be a long evening.
They love to throw quick stuff to the tight ends, especially out of spread formations with multiple tight ends.
When you see a multiple-TE look with one TE off the line of scrimmage, look for quick combo routes with the WR coming inside and the TE going outside. This is where FSU's speed at LB may be critical.
What we'll try to do offensively:
Obviously, establishing the run will be key. Hopefully, Antone Smith is fully healthy and the line is prepared. They have two huge defensive tackles that will give our interior a real test. On the first drive or two pay close attention to the interior of the lines when we're on offense.
If we're not getting blown off the ball, that's going to be a great sign. Weatherford does not provide the challenges to the safeties and linebackers that a running threat like Lee does, so it's critical that we are able to run the ball conventionally or it will be tough to find enough time to throw.
They have 18 INTs on the year, so ball protection will be critical. Fifteen of those INTs were in three games, though, so it's possible to protect the ball against them. We have a major athleticism edge on the outside (aside from Tribble, who is an excellent athlete), so look for us to continue emphasizing the shorter passing attack to Parker, Fagg, and Shaw. Fagg and Carr also will have a substantial height advantage over each of their corners, so look for us to be very aggressive in the red zone in throwing some jump balls. We had some success the last two years throwing in the intermediate middle of the field off play action, so I expect us to attempt some crosses and drags early to test how they choose to play us.
I expect them to try to play 8 in the box, so look for us to go to 3-4 WR (single-back) sets most of the game (as the last couple weeks). This will be as much to spread them out for Smith as to throw. Jimbo and Trickett seem to have noticed that Smith runs the outside read play from the shotgun very well (he turns the corner just like Travis Minor used to), so I expect we'll see a good bit of that and several plays off it.
I'm going to avoid picking a winner here, but I expect a tight game and would not be surprised to see us come out winners. We generally coach to win in this type of situation (as opposed to playing not to lose), and that should help us immensely. They're not any more talented than we are (except at QB), but they have a great deal of experience. If we can play loose and aggressive, that will go a long way towards closing that gap.
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