Thursday Thoughts


  by - Radio Host - 2013-10-17 09:37:19.0
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Thursday Thoughts
Where Are The Advantages?
I think both of these teams are equal in most areas.  In fact, they look a lot alike in many areas.  They have two great quarterbacks who can beat you with their arms and legs.  They have a diverse group of wide receivers.  They have very good tight ends.  Their offensive lines have question marks.  Both defensive lines and linebackers are among the best in the country.  These are two of the top five teams in America.

So where does either team have an advantage?

Coaching
I feel Clemson has the best combination of coordinators in the country.  Chad MorrisChad Morris
Offensive Coordinator / QBs
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is an offensive genius.  Brent VenablesBrent Venables
Defensive Coordinator / Linebackers
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is one of the nation's top defensive coordinators and has the nation's 10th best scoring defense.  Danny PearmanDanny Pearman
Assistant Head Coach / Tight Ends
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is an excellent special teams coordinator and has two of the nation's best in Chandler CatanzaroChandler Catanzaro
Gr. Punter / Kicker
#39 6-2, 195
Greenville, SC

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and Bradley PinionBradley Pinion
So. Punter
#92 6-5, 230
Concord, NC

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.

I am hoping that Jimbo Fisher has a say in this game Saturday night.  Fisher has recruited well at FSU but that’s not difficult to do.  He has won a lot of games there with a lot of that talent, but I’m not sure that’s impressive either.  I cannot think of anyone that feels like Fisher is an exceptional play caller or is someone who prepares his teams well.

Fisher's teams at FSU lose at least one game every year where the Seminoles are favorites.  I am hoping this habit shows up again Saturday night.  Fisher is just 1-2 in his last games coming off of open dates.  What does that say about his preparation?

FSU’s Offense vs. Clemson's Defense
FSU is 17th in the country in rushing with 228 yards per game.  Devonta Freeman, James Wilder, Jr. and Karlos Williams are big backs that average over six yards per carry and have combined for 11 touchdowns.  But I’m not sure the Seminoles can run the ball successfully against Clemson like they did last year in Tallahassee.

I do believe FSU has an advantage when they face Clemson's secondary.  The Tiger safeties have given up the big play and this is a concern.

The Seminoles are 18th in the nation in passing with 320 yards a game.  Jameis Winston is one of the nation's top quarterbacks.  He is a Heisman trophy candidate and a tremendous leader.  He has the ability to make plays with his feet and he throws the deep ball very well.   Winston is 90 of 123 for 1,441 yards with 17 touchdowns and just two interceptions.

Kenny Shaw has 23 catches for 466 yards for three touchdowns.  Rashad Greene has 23 receptions for 407 yards and five touchdowns.  Kelvin Benjamin is one of the toughest matchups on the country.  Tight end Nick O'Leary has five touchdown receptions in his 11 catches.  This is a great group of receivers and I think FSU can exploit Clemson's secondary if Winston is given time.  FSU is third in the country in scoring offense averaging 53 points per game and fourth in the nation in total offense with 549 yards per game.

Clemson's defensive line has been incredible.  The Tigers lead the nation in sacks and tackles for a loss.  Vic BeasleyVic Beasley
RS Jr. Defensive End
#3 6-3, 225
Adairsville, GA

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has been a terror.  Grady JarrettGrady Jarrett
Jr. Defensive Tackle
#50 6-1, 290
Conyers, GA

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has been dominant on the interior.  The Tigers have depth and talent here.  I expect Clemson to control the line of scrimmage when FSU has the ball.

Clemson's Offense vs. FSU’s Defense
The Tigers have not been able to run the ball well on a consistent basis far this season.  Against Georgia, Clemson had success but consistency has been an issue.  I look for Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS Sr. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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to run the ball more Saturday night and put pressure on FSU linebackers.

In the passing department, Boyd is 123 of 185 for 1,783 yards with 15 touchdowns and just two picks.  He has a good group of receivers in Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Jr. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL

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, Adam HumphriesAdam Humphries
Jr. Wide Receiver
#13 5-11, 190
Spartanburg, SC

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, Martavis BryantMartavis Bryant
Jr. Wide Receiver
#1 6-5, 200
Calhoun Falls, SC

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, Mike WilliamsMike Williams
Fr. Wide Receiver
#7 6-5, 205
Vance, SC

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and Germone HopperGermone Hopper
RS Fr. Wide Receiver
#5 6-0, 170
Charlotte, NC

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.  Over the last two years, Boyd has had some big plays against the Noles and the double move may show up again Saturday night.  However, Clemson's biggest advantage may be the tight end production.  The Tigers like to use their tight ends and this could be a match up issue for the Noles Saturday.

FSU has also had trouble getting pressure on the passer.  Beasley has nine sacks and the entire FSU team has only 10.  The Seminoles will need to find a way to create more pressure in this game or Boyd will light FSU up again.

Home Field
In the end, we have no idea what will happen Saturday night.  How will the players react?  How will the coaches adjust?  Where will the mistakes be made?

Predicting human performance on this huge stage is a hard thing to do.  However, the one thing I do know is that the stadium will be electric Saturday night.  I think we could see one of the best atmospheres in all of college football Saturday.  I know Clemson will feed off of it.  What I don't know is how Winston and FSU will respond to it.
 


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Defensive Tackle
#98 6-2, 310
Thomasville, GA

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