'Nole Your Opponents: Week 12

At 7-3 (5-2 ACC), Florida State has only two remaining regular season games.  That means only two remaining "Nole Your Opponents" pieces in the regular season.  Over the weekend Maryland beat Virginia by three touchdowns on the road and Florida lost to South Carolina at home by three touchdowns.  Which game had a final score more indicative of the game play?  What can you learn about the Seminoles' last two opponents?  Inside, I break it down.

AC has gathered all the bowl projections of the experts: Florida State bowl picture: Projection time – Chopping Block – Seminoles Blog – Orlando Sentinel  

-Stewart Mandell, Sports Illustrated: Chick-fil-A Bowl
-Mark Schlabach, ESPN.com: Champs Sports Bowl
-Andrea Adelson, ESPN.com: Chick-fil-A Bowl
-CBSSports.com: Chick-fil-A Bowl
-CollegeFootballNews.com: Chick-fil-A Bowl
-Bud Elliott, SBNation.com: Chick-fil-A Bowl

Please remember that all drive charts remove trash time.  


I covered FSU's game yesterday, but the drive chart does show that FSU out-gained Clemson by 16% per play.  Look at the awful field position average thanks in large part to Greg Reid's fumble.  

Something I didn't add in the game story, however, is a comparison of FSU's performance against all other teams Clemson faced this season.

Clemson Performance To Date v. BCS-Conference Teams
Clemson Defense Clemson Offense
Opponent Plays Allowed Per Play Opponent Plays Gaines Per Play
@ 2 Auburn 61 424 7.0 Georgia Tech 65 403 6.2
@ Florida St. 54 308 5.7 @ 2 Auburn 81 407 5.0
Maryland 68 350 5.1 @ Florida St. 79 391 4.9
24 Miami (Fla.) 76 376 4.9 @ North Carolina 66 305 4.6
@ Boston College 62 304 4.9 24 Miami (Fla.) 73 311 4.3
Georgia Tech 68 325 4.8 @ Boston College 62 262 4.2
North Carolina St. 65 275 4.2 North Carolina St. 71 260 3.7
@ North Carolina 66 255 3.9 Maryland 65 213 3.3


  • Florida State had the second best day of any offense against Clemson all season on a yards-per-play basis.  Think about that!  That is how good Clemson's defense is.  
  • Clemson's offense had its third-best game of the season against FSU's defense.  

This off-season Clemson is expected to lose DE 93 Da'QUAN BOWERS 6-4 275 Jr., DT 99 JARVIS JENKINS 6-4 315 Sr., CB 12 MARCUS GILCHRIST 5-11 190 Sr., and SS 2 DeANDRE McDANIEL 6-1 215 Sr. off the defense.  That defense will again be very good, but it likely will not be one of the very best in the whole country.  Perhaps Clemson's offense will put it together as it returns 4 of 5 offensive linemen and all key skill guys, except QB Kyle Parker.

That will be a tough game next year if Clemson gets its act together offensively (probably only behind @ UF and hosting Oklahoma).


Maryland looks a little more legit each week.  Out-gaining a conference foe by 20% on the road is nothing to scoff at.  Still, I do not buy Maryland as a good team, merely an average outfit.  

Ben Broman with game story:  http://www.testudotimes.com/2010/11/13/1812430/maryland-grabs-big-win-in-charlottesville-over-virginia-42-23

Ben Broman with the game grades:  http://www.testudotimes.com/2010/11/14/1812659/maryland-42-virginia-23-report-card-and-helmet-stickers



UF was soundly beaten by LSU, crushed by Bama, but should have beaten Mississippi State.  Loss number four belongs in the former group as South Carolina racked up 30% more yards per play (and amazingly ran 60% more plays as well!)

B.O.O.F. has the recap http://boysofoldflorida.blogspot.com/2010/11/failed-year.html and says that the defense is much better than its rating (I agree, that's a very good defense), but the offense keeps putting it in awful positions (like Jeff Bowden did to FSU's 2005 defense).  5.14 yards-per-play allowed to South Carolina is a quality defensive effort.  But not even gaining 4 per game is not.

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