Previewing The Florida State Defense

Much like their offense, Florida State's defense went largely unproven last week in the season opener against Samford. Also, like their offensive teammates the Seminoles defense has the ability to be a severe challenge to the Oklahoma Sooners this weekend.

CB

Greg Reid

4 Tkls

          

DE

Brandon Jenkins

3 Tkls, 1.5 TFL, .5 Sk


DT

Jacobbi McDaniel

4 Tkls, 2 TFL

 

DT

Everett Dawkins

4 Tkls

 

DE

Markus White

0 Tkls

 

         

CB

Xavier Rhodes

3 Tkls, 1 TFL

 

OLB

Nigel Bradham

6 Tkls

MLB

Mister Alexander

3 Tkls, 1 TFL

OLB

Kendall Smith

2 Tkls

S

Terrance Parks

1 Tkl

S

Ochuko Jenije

3 Tkls

 

I'm not sure that the FSU defense is settled yet and we may see a revolving door of personnel running on and off the field Saturday afternoon as the Seminoles are still trying to get the best guys in play along with a ton of young talent. I would expect to see the use a lot of the 4-3 base in an effort to stop the run and force Landry Jones to beat them with his arm. Against Samford last Saturday the FSU defense held the Bulldogs to just 77 rushing yards on 38 attempts (2.0 YPC).

The Seminoles are going to have to stop the rushing attack with their front seven though because I don't think that they can commit a safety to the box in order to stack it. The reason why is that if there's a main area of concern among the defensive unit it has to be in the secondary as they are learning a totally new system. Samford starting quarterback Dustin Taliaferro completed 68.8% of his passes (22/32) for 174 yards. Granted, they did keep him out of the end zone and they did sack him four times but seeing the opposing quarterback complete nearly seven of every ten passes, including 11 to Quin Roberson for 96 yards, has to be a bit unsettling to defensive coordinator Mark Stoops.

The FSU defensive game plan is going to be to try and create havoc in the backfield by pressuring Landry Jones and stopping Sooner rushers in their tracks before they have a chance to get going. That means two things for the Oklahoma offense. First, the blocking is going to have to be crisp. OU cannot afford any blown assignments or a second and short can turn a third and long very quickly. The second thing it means for Oklahoma is that the play-action pass should be wide open all day. 

I believe that the key to success for Oklahoma's offense is going to be a second option popping up to compliment Ryan Broyles. If Samford can have a receiver catch 11 passes for 96 yards then you have to like Broyles' chances. However, there's no way he's going to be a secret to them so they'll know know where he is at all times. That is why the Sooners must have another option emerge in the passing game. Another threat would take much of that  focus away. Be it Kenny Stills, Dejuan Miller, Cameron Kenney or someone, anyone (please Lord) who plays the tight end position.

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