Scouting Florida State Offense

The Gators are the hottest team in college football and are coming off a game against The Citadel that could best be described as extended exercise. Now the Gators get set for a Florida State team that is coming off its best performance in several years.

FSU's 37-3 win over Maryland gave the ‘Noles their eighth win of the season and kept them in the ACC race. Florida State still has a chance at a ten-win season and you have to know that the Seminoles would like nothing better than to derail Florida's BCS Championship express.

FSU Offense ----- For the first part of the year this unit really had problems but they have improved quite a bit over the course of the year. FSU comes into this contest as balanced as is physically possible, averaging 190 yards per game both on the ground and through the air. FSU has scored 30 or more points seven times, but have also been held to as few as three in their loss to Wake Forest and 17 when they fell to Boston College.

Quarterback Christian Ponder has been a key to their season as he has solidified the position and cut down on the mistakes that have plagued FSU in recent years. He has become a solid and at times dangerous player though he is not a particularly accurate passer. He has run for a net of 390 yards and four touchdowns. He is completing 56 percent of his passes for 1,747 yards and 12 scores. He has thrown 11 interceptions including three in that Boston College game.

Running back is solid with veteran Antone Smith (696/4.7/14) and Jermaine Thomas (441/7.6/2). Smith has not had the kind of year, or for that matter career that many projected for him coming out of high school, but he's still a good, solid player. Thomas has given them a good speed threat to the outside.

The wide receivers are good and pretty big; especially Greg Carr (29/15.2/3) who is 6-6 and Corey Surrency (11/19.3/4) who checks in at 6-5. But their best player is Preston Parker (38/9.4/2). He's their leading receiver and is likely to carry the ball at least once. Taiwan Easterling and Bert Reed are other threats. Depending on who is eligible at any point in time it's a very good group. Unlike past FSU teams they rarely throw to the tight end.

The O-Line has made a lot of progress, but they still are young and undersized. Sophomore center Ryan McMahon No. 60 is a guy to watch along with left tackle Zebrie Sanders No. 77 who Florida dropped in recruiting last spring. The key to Florida's defense will be how the Gators' banged up defensive tackles control the middle against the run. If they do well, FSU is in trouble.

Overall this is a good offense, having scored 30-plus seven times. However they were also held to three by Wake Forest and 17 by Boston College. They thrive on big plays and Florida must control that with discipline in the pass rush and the Gator corners winning some of the jump balls that that are inevitable against this team.

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