Florida State is on pace to score more points than any team in the history of college football. In fact, the Seminoles are on pace to score five more touchdowns than the Oklahoma team that put up 716 points in 2008. Florida State has scored 644 points, and it needs 73 more between its final two games to get to 717. If FSU can score the 45 points Vegas expects in the ACC Title Game, it would need only 28 in the BCS National Title Game.
How has it set itself up to do this? Talent, chemistry and health.
It starts with quarterback Jameis Winston, just a red-shirt freshman and already the best player in the country.
But it's not all Winston. He has some targets, too, in receivers Rashad Greene, Kenny Shaw and Kelvin Benjamin, all with at least three years in the program, and all expected to be drafted in the next two drafts. There isn't a better trio in the sport. Add to that tight end Nick O'Leary, again, one of the best in the country, and defenses are in a major bind.
And an offensive line that features five future NFL players gives Winston the time to hold the football a long time and attack down the field.
But FSU isn't just a throw team. It has three NFL running backs as well, in Devonta Freeman, James Wilder, Jr., and Karlos Williams. And the line that gives Winston time to throw deep? It has also been excellent opening up holes for the run game. Those running backs have also been unselfish and excellent picking up blitzes, and the receivers have been very good blocking in the run game.
Blitzing Florida State has proved to be a very bad idea:
When opponents send five or more pass rushers, Winston leads all AQ players in completion percentage (70.3), touchdowns (19) and yards per attempt (12.4). -- ESPN
But when teams elect to play soft, conservative coverage, the run game has been able to methodically move down the field, too.
There's a very real chance that all of FSU's starters (QB, 3 WR, RB, 5 OL, TE) are drafted this year or next.
The scary thing is that if Florida States' defense wasn't so good, it might be on a pace to score 800 points. Because of the total team dominance, Jameis Winston has thrown fewer than 100 passes in second halves, and just 22 in the fourth quarter of games. The snap counts for the first-team offense are similar.
Also important to this amazing run has been health. FSU's backups on offense are very inexperienced, and one of the major worries going into the season was how Florida State would adjust if it suffered a lot of injuries on offense. Those have not come, however, and like many of the previous national champions (including 2000 Oklahoma, maybe the luckiest team with injury luck ever), it has keyed the run.
Maybe even more impressive, is that FSU is on pace to set the record despite not playing at a fast pace. FSU is not running some gimmicky, wide-open, bubble-screen crazy, hurry-up spread offense that puts its defense in a bad position. It's doing it with a pro-style attack dropping bombs on defenses, making the scoring all the more impressive.
@TomahawkNation Avg. 1 play/26.5 seconds of possession time this year (83rd nationally). Avg. 1/26.8 last year. Yet avg. 56 more yards/game.— David Hale (@DavidHaleESPN) December 3, 2013
In 2008, when Oklahoma set the record of 716 points, it ran an incredible 1106 plays with its hurry-up offense. FSU is on pace for only 940 plays, 18-percent fewer than the Sooners. In 2011, when Houston scored 690 points, it ran 1102 plays.
If FSU ended up running as many pays as Oklahoma did during the Sooners' 716-point year, the Seminoles would put up 883 points!
Florida State is scoring 0.798 points/play, or four points for every five plays it runs. 2008 Oklahoma scored 0.65 points/play. Florida State is scoring 24-percent more points/play than Oklahoma did in 2008.
Some will argue that Florida State has done this against a weak schedule. Florida State's schedule is not one of the best in the country, but it's not one of the worst, either. And it's certainly not historically weak. Most BCS experts have it in the middle of the 125 college football teams -- somewhere in the 60's.
Whether this attack will go down as the best in college football history is debatable. But it's already cemented itself as one of the best of all time -- a reputation earned on the field, and one that will only be bolstered by the next two NFL drafts.
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