Jeremy Brevard-US PRESSWIRE
|Overall F/+||-3.6% (72nd)||+27.4% (8th)|
|Offense||+1.7% (47th)||+5.7% (37th)|
|Defense||-6.0% (85th)||+19.7% (6th)|
|Special Teams||+0.7% (54th)||+2.0% (30th)|
Florida State takes on the Duke Blue Devils this weekend. Duke sits at 6-2 overall, which is really surprising.
Is Duke improved in 2012? Absolutely. Duke is a better team on offense and defense. Better talent has matured.
But is Duke considerably better than than previous FSU opponents like Wake Forest, or Miami? No. Definitely not. They're about on that level. Clemson, N.C. State and USF have been clearly better, and previous Florida State opponent Boston College is a clear step down.
People are trying to hype this game, and I just can't see it. Florida State smoked Duke last year in Duke, and outgained them 8.2-4.1/play. This year the game is in Tallahassee.
The Blue Devils don't do much different this year than they did last season. Renfree and Vernon are back, though Varner is not. Duke does run the ball a bit more this year, uses more play action as a result, etc.
Mostly, it's still classic Cutcliffe. Lots of dig routes against linebackers and safeties.
The best defense Duke has faced so far this year has been Stanford. The Cardinal have been about as good on defense as Florida State, The result? The Blue Devils put up 4.48 yards/play, and most of that came in garbage time. Duke started the game with seven punts including six three-&-outs.
Duke plays a lot of nickel defense (five defensive backs) and a lot of off coverage. This is standard issue strategy when a defense lacks athletes. They still lack difference makers.
The bottom line is that this Duke team is better, but it's also very lucky to have a 6-2 record at this point.