An excellent collection of FSU news and notes today for your enjoyment. I hope you will make this your one-stop-shop for all things FSU.
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Featured Video: Bentley Kicks FSU To ’93 National Title – LostLettermen.com
It’s "Florida State week" at Lost Lettermen and today we remember the 1994 Orange Bowl, where the Seminoles won their first national title under Bobby Bowden.
January 3 or 4, 2012 Miami, FL
Orange Bowl 8:00 pm ESPN
ACC No. 1 vs. BCS at-large
Way Too Early Projection: Florida State vs. Boise State
The Broncos land here by beating TCU late in the season and since the Orange Bowl has the last selection of the BCS bowl games.
I don't think Boise can handle FSU's defense.
The votes are in. At last count, Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel was the people's choice for this year's ACC offensive player of the year.
Couldn't agree more.
My vote: Manuel
Making the case for Manuel: If Florida State lives up to the hype this season and delivers on an ACC title or more, it's going to be hard to ignore the quarterback who took them there. And Manuel definitely has the proven ability to do that. He has already started in one ACC title game, and has two impressive bowl wins on his résumé. He's 5-3 as a starter, has completed more than 60 percent of his passes and was Jimbo Fisher's first hand-picked quarterback at Florida State.
This might say more about the lack of known offensive stars than it does about EJ.
Yeah, it’s a lot to lump on Manuel’s big shoulders, but again, something tells me he may be one of the best out there to handle it. (Something tells FSU coach Jimbo Fisher the same thing, too. In a blog entry I was planning on posting later this afternoon anyway, he talks briefly about what his starting signal-caller brings to the table, how good Manuel has become in his time at FSU and why the junior should be well-equipped to handle any expectations placed upon him.)
I think playing for a 6-2 or better ACC FSU team will get it done.
Inside, find an excellent collection of notes on FSU's opponents, football strategy, and college football in general.
I think you'll really enjoy this series on linebacker play from STS.
In the last post we talked about reading offensive linemen as the keys in what tells a LB what to do and where to go on a particular play. Each LB is assigned a primary gap to control. Every gap must have someone over it, or assigned to it, for the defensive front to be sound. In some defensive schemes the DL can have single-gap responsibilities while a LB has 2-gap. There is a difference between the assignments of a 2-gap vs 1-gap linebacker, but in some fronts a single linebacker may be a 2-gapper when the other linebacker(s) are 1-gap players.
Again, an excellent read!
What we’ll explain next is how they read the blockers in front of them to decide how to defend the gap they are assigned. We’ll treat MIKE as a single-gap player first and explain it from his perspective, since he is over an uncovered guard and can read his blocks easier than WILL can read his guard.
As we said in the last article, OL give the best reads, 6’3 300lb linemen can rarely trick you about where they’re going. Short 200lb backs that run 4.5 can.
There are dozens of words I’ve come across in what to call a particular type of block or block scheme over the years, but there are only so many directions an OL can go. The staff will drill around 8 different paths the OLman can take:
- Frontside Pull
- Backside Pull
Again, more great stuff.
Big 10 to play 9 conference games in the future?
Arguments for both sides. What are your thoughts?
A look at the 2011 Washington Huskies football team. They have risen quite a bit in two years but now must attempt to sustain momentum without Jake Locker and a couple of big-time play-making linebackers.
What pessimists see: a team that has risen a bit too quickly in two years and had very little margin for error in terms of reaching a bowl last season. The Huskies were outscored by almost 100 points last year, and they lose both the face of their offense and perhaps their three best defensive play-makers in Aiyewa, Foster and safety Nate Williams. Plus, there are a ton of freshmen, redshirt freshmen and sophomores on the two-deep.
What optimists see: a team whose YPP margin suggests the blowouts were somewhat fluky, a team whose turnover margin was dinged significantly by an unlucky number of fumble recoveries, and a team with downright solid recruiting rankings (those freshmen and sophomores are on the depth chart for a reason -- they're good).
In a nutshell Call this an educated – be kind – hunch, one based on the idea that Indiana is not merely a coaching change away from breaking through the five-win bubble and moving onto bowl play. I don’t see it: I see it someday, as I’m high on Wilson – and I’m not alone in this regard – but I don’t see it in 2011, as I feel it’s more likely that the Hoosiers will at best tread water, at worst take a step back under their first-year coach. Let’s touch on the good news first. Wilson is a very, very good hire, and the staff he’s compiled indicates thoroughness and foresight – he added not just good coaches, but coaches familiar with the Big Ten. The receiver corps has talent even with the departure of two leading targets. The offensive line remains largely intact, as does the defensive line. Now, the bad news: quarterback Ben Chappell’s departure looms large, as do the losses in the secondary. There will be the inevitable transition period accompanying any coaching change, good hire or no. And the Big Ten schedule will still find I.U. an underdog nearly throughout; it’s highly unlikely that the Hoosiers win a game on the road, and each of the four teams that come to Bloomington should be better than they were in 2010. So based on a handful of factors, I think those dreaming of a first-year success should temper those expectations: I imagine it will take at least a year before making those bowl plans, and Indiana might not even match last season’s win total, depending on how it fares during non-conference play.
Still no Louisiana Monroe or Duke. What are your guesses for each? 95th and 80th?
When looking for a team likely to improve by several wins, the single biggest factor generally is finding a squad that performed better last season than its record indicates. Arizona State certainly fits that description. The Sun Devils went 6-6 overall last year and 4-5 in Pac-10 play, but they had only one truly bad loss, a 50-17 defeat at Cal. They lost 20-19 at Wisconsin on a blocked extra point; they lost by a point at USC and held Stanford to a season-low 17; and they played Oregon tough for three quarters before ultimately being done in by a staggering seven turnovers.
How did Mandel miss ASU losing its ALL-Pac10 corner and leading receiver, for the year, both to ACL injuries?
BCI: We’ve been worried about a drop-off, particularly on the defensive line, since BC graduated run-stuffers — and eventual NFL first and second round draft picks — B.J. Raji and Ron Brace. It always seems that BC is a year away from a complete collapse on the defensive line, but the Eagles always seem to find a way to replace guys on the D-line. This year, guys like Dillon Quinn, Conor O’Neal, Kasim Edebali, Max Holloway and Kaleb Ramsey (recovering from back surgery) will have to step up if BC is going to achieve another high-ranking defense.
Where I’m not concerned about a drop-off is in the linebacking corps. While the Eagles do lose 2008 ACC Defensive POY and cancer-survivor Mark Herzlich, the unit should again be solid, anchored by consensus All-American (and tackling machine) Luke Kuechly. Sophomore Kevin Pierre-Louis looks to have another outstanding year at WLB.
The BC secondary should again be fairly strong, despite the losses of BC DeLeon Gause and FS Wes Davis to graduation. Senior corner Donnie Fletcher and junior safeties Jim Noel and Okechukwu Okoroha will help anchor this unit.