FSU defensive back says 'Noles plan "come out and show out" against the Tigers
|Friday, October 26, 2018, 7:01 AM- -|
Members of the Florida St. defense know they have a challenge on their hands when No. 2 Clemson comes calling Saturday at noon, but the Seminoles are determined to protect their home turf.
The Tigers average 42 points per game and are one of the nation’s most balanced teas, with an average of 268.7 passing yards and 253.7 rushing yards per game. Running back Travis Etienne leads the ACC in both rushing yards (800) and yards per carry (8.2), while freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence is completing 68.3 percent of his passes.
The Seminoles insist they aren’t intimidated.
“I’m looking forward to it,” redshirt sophomore defensive end Janarius Robinson said. “It’s a big opportunity for me and my teammates to come out here to show the country what we can do.”
Another defender says the team wants to protect Doak Campbell Stadium.
“Protecting Doak, you never want to let somebody come into your house and do something crazy to you,” sophomore defensive back Stanford Samuels III added. “We plan to come out and show out when it’s time to play on Saturday.”
Florida State defensive coordinator Harlon Barnett said the Tigers are hard to defend because of the offensive balance.
“They can run and pass,” Barnett said with a laugh before Wednesday’s practice. “They’ve got a good quarterback, good running backs and they don’t beat themselves. They protect the football, and they have a good scheme that they believe and trust in.
“And they run it to perfection.”
As for Etienne, the Seminoles feel they have a chance to slow down the Clemson run game.
Led by interior linemen Marvin Wilson and Demarcus Christmas, the Seminoles are allowing just 100.43 rushing yards per game, good for eighth-fewest in the nation and the best that Clemson has seen this season (albeit narrowly; NC State ranks ninth and limited Etienne to 39 yards on 15 carries a week ago).
The Seminoles haven’t allowed a 100-yard rusher this season and have surrendered only five rushing touchdowns.
“That’s what we do best,” redshirt freshman defensive tackle Cory Durden said. “We stop the run.”
NC State entered last weekend’s game and concentrated on stopping Etienne and held the sophomore to just 39 yards. However, Lawrence threw for a career-high 308 yards and beat the man coverage time and time again.
“He’s got a quick release, he sees the field, he understands the game,” Barnett said of Lawrence. “He just totally understands, and they teach it well over there (at Clemson). And they keep it simple enough for him to make the proper reads.”
Florida St. head coach Willie Taggart said the same thing NC State’s Dave Doeren said last week about stopping Lawrence – you have to hit him.
“Well, he's the real deal. The kid can make all the throws. You can see what everyone was talking about when they talk about Trevor,” Taggart said. “He's a heck of a talent. He's a really good football player, you got to get to him. That's the thing, you can get to him, I think that's the only way you beat guys like that, you got to get to him so he can't make all the throws that he's capable of making. Because he has some talented receivers out there and again you see when he's in there their offense becomes a lot more explosive now. So a big challenge for our defense. Best quarterback they have faced this season and I know that they will be up for it.”