Florida State's Offense to the Seminole Defense: Spread 'em

The Florida State offense had all Sunday to stew over a poor performance in Saturday's scrimmage.

On Monday, the offense struck back.  Hard.


Inside we'll look at the carnage.

You'll remember from our Size Matters Article (a must read) that Mickey Andrews defense is crippled by Non-Pro Style attacks, particularly those with mobile quarterbacks with spread or option elements. 

Total Off.



Opponent PPG Plays Yds Per Play No Net YPC TFL's Att Comp Yds TD Int Sacks Dropbacks/ Sacks QB Rating
Against Pro-Style 19 65 270 4.1 31 83 2.6 10 34 17 187 1.2 1.2 4.3 8.8 100
Against Non- Prostyle
28 60 385 6.4 39 235 6.0 7 20 11 151 1.5 0.5 0.8 28 138


After running a good bit of Pro-Style stuff on Saturday, Jimbo threw our 4 and 5 wide sets at Mickey's defense. 

From Seminoles.com, here's what happened (my comments appear in Bold)

* Markus White got into the backfield but Jermaine Thomas was able to break a long run to the outside.  DE loses contain...
* Christian Ponder ran for a first.
* Ty Jones ran for three and another first in the same situation.
* Jones picked up another first despite Nigel Carr bursting into the backfield.

3rd-AND-LONG (?)  I'll ask about this, but I think it should be 1st and long.
* White started the drill crashing the pocket just as Ponder got the ball off to Bert Reed for a short gain.  I like that we are hearing White's name as a disruptor. 
* Thomas busted a long gain but the play was called back due to offensive holding.
* Ponder and Reed hooked up for a short gain again but this time Reed made a defender miss and turned it into a 64-yard TD reception.  The defender was Corey Mangum, and I am told he played horribly.  If he starts on this defense, I honestly think it will be the worst Seminoles defense in my lifetime (born today, March 31st, 1985). 

To get more reps, Ponder, who worked the entire half scrimmage, opened the set with the two's.  Good.  I like to see this.  He's wearing a non-contact jersey.
* by connecting with Rod Owens twice.
* Louis Givens then took in another short swing pass and went 64 yards for a TD but another offensive holding penalty wiped out the play.  The 2nd 60+ yard play in the 3rd and long situation.  3rd if you count Thomas' run.
* Ponder put up his own big gain as he ran for over 50 yards on a designed run.  Ponder is declared "tackled" if he is even TOUCHED by a defender, because he's wearing a green jersey.  He ran 50 yards without anyone even toughing him. 
* On the next play Thomas went 64 yards for a TD of his own.  This is the 6th (though maybe 7th) play of the day that went for 50+ yards.  The defense allowed many of these on 3rd and long.
* The defense was on its heels after for the third consecutive play the offense had a big gain with Ty Jones running for nearly 25 yards.  3rd and long... another TD run.  Mickey is not able to teach our guys to play solid defense anymore and that saddens me. 

* First team recorded a sack.
* The two's had a QB pressure from John Johnson (is this MiniBar?) followed by a motion penalty.
* Ponder completed two short passes between a false start penalty.

Maybe our defense is really good at 2nd and long? 

* The first team defense started the series with Everett Dawkins and Kevin McNeil chasing Ponder who was able to get the ball off to Thomas on a swing pass.
* Ponder avoided another sack by Justin Mincey this time to hit Reed but the play was short of the first.
* Mincey got his sack of Ponder on the next play.

The defense played a lot better here, and it's nice to see Mincey working with the 1st team again.  The 'Noles desperately need him to play at an all-conference type level.

* The two's came on the field and the Brandon Jenkins show got under way. On the first play the early enrollee chased Ponder out of the pocket causing the QB to throw a pass that Nigel Carr was able to break on and knock down. * Jenkins followed that play with the first of his four sacks.
* Ponder used his feet for a big gain when Johnson forced him out of the pocket.

* Ponder connected with Jarmon Fortson for a big gain despite being pressured by Dawkins.
* Nigel Bradham read the next play perfectly and wrapped up Jones on a screen pass for a minimal gain.
* The highlight of this series was a deep jump ball that Rod Owens came down with between three defenders on a 3rd-and-10.

So, 3 plays on 3rd and long... 2 big gains...

2nd Teamers

* The Jenkins show continued on the next series for the two's. He and McCray chased Ponder out of the pocket and then the next play Jenkins took Ponder down.  Moses with the 2's... interesting.
* The final play of the series was a deep ball to Corey Surrency that Dionte Allen broke up.

* The one's didn't get much done as Kevin McNeil forced an incomplete pass followed by back-to-back sacks by Carr and McNeil.  I've heard McNiel is playing better than expected and Carr's instincts have impressed folks.

2nd Team
The two's didn't get into the end zone either.
* Ponder threw to Reed in the end zone but that pass was incomplete.
* Ponder completed a short swing pass to Owens as Maurice Harris pressured the passer.
* Ponder could not connect with Surrency in the end zone from the 16.

TIGHT ZONE (I think this means inside the 10)
* McNeil began things with another sack and then Ponder's pass to Fortson was incomplete in the end zone.
* Ponder did connect with Thomas but it was for only three yards.

2nd team
* Jenkins recorded his third and fourth sacks on the first and third play sandwiched around a short Ponder gain on a run.

* The offense scored three TDs.
* Two came via Jones' runs and one was a Thomas run.
* The biggest play for the defense was Patrick Robinson knifing into the backfield to wrap up Jones for a seven yard loss but the play was wiped out due to an offsides call


The offense spread the defense out and ran the ball, which is exactly what NCST and Florida did.  Mickey still has no clue how to account for a mobile quarterback operating out of the spread. 

The damage:  I counted 9 "big plays", which we will deem to be 25+ yards.  That's not an exact science, but I read these reports religiously and it seems to be the cutoff line FSU Sports Information likes to use.  2 of those were called back by a holding penalty.  Of the 9, 4 or 5 went for 50+ yards.

This is a nice job by the offense, but consider that we were already doing this against defenses similar to FSU's (Clemson, Miami, NCST, GTech).  Unfortunately, our defense was also gashed in this fashion last year.  Worse yet, our defense is not able to simulate the looks given by Wake, and BC, which is troubling.  I'm just concerned because the defense did well on Saturday against some offensive sets few run anymore (ProStyle), while getting predictably gashed by our spread sets. 

  • The Good:  the backs ran well and didn't dance, which is what our scheme calls for. 
  • The Bad:  their pass blocking is still horrible.  Plain and simple:  Dexter Carter is not getting the job done as running backs coach.  Fisher apparently pitched a fit today.  I'm skeptical of Carter's chances of remaining on our staff once Fisher takes over.  It's rumored that Trickett basically had to coach Antone Smith how to run in our scheme after being displeased with Carter's work.  Thomas and Jones really need to get it together.  Pass blocking for a tackle has a lot to do with ability, but for a back it is almost exclusively effort and understanding of the scheme. Do our backs want to block? They better, because Jimbo will bench them if they don’t block.  Even in the NFL, backs do not get away with refusing to block.  Sure, there are limited exceptions.  Edgerrin James was a notoriously lazy pass blocker, but neither Thomas nor Jones are at a level where they can get away with not pass blocking.  
  • Ponder has not thrown an interception this spring and he has looked more composed in the pocket.  No word on if he is still staring down the wideouts.

Non-embeddable video here:  (scroll down). 


Daily Links

Facebook Group:  "Give Louis Givens a Scholarship, Baby!"

Andrew Carter on Ponder.  Welcome back, Andrew!

Help a Seminole out in a big argument he has with a Gator!  (Doc Holliday, get on this)



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