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Florida State football v. Citadel: Preview and prediction

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The Noles have 2 weeks to get right before Clemson. On week 1? The Citadel Bulldogs.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Citadel will not pose a challenge to FSU this week. Last week they lost to the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers 31-16 and the game wasn't even that close. That doesn't mean this is not an important game for the Seminoles. FSU players are saying all the right things following the near loss to OSU, but is it just lip service? We discuss what steps FSU can take to make improvements this week.

How to watch: 7:30 pm on RSN (how to watch!)

V. The Citadel's Defense

Rashad Greene had a great game against OSU but he probably shouldn't have had the ball that many times. It seems pretty obvious that Winston does not trust the other receivers on this team enough and that has to change. I'd like to see Greene used sparingly to force Winston to throw to other targets. While OSU seemed to focusing more on taking O'Leary away, teams will quickly switch that strategy to Greene and the more inexperienced receivers must pick up the slack. While they should have little trouble finding open space this week, the focus is more on getting on the same page as Winston.

Coaches raved about Jesus Wilson this off-season but the wide out found himself in hot water after an off the field incident. Wilson was suspended for the first game but returns to the field this week. Hopefully his return can help settle some of the issue FSU had in the passing game.

FSU's run game, thought to be a strength to lean on this year, looked pretty bad against OSU but then again OSU is talented up front and continually stacked the box daring FSU to throw. Even still, the offensive line did not run block well (pass protection was pretty solid though) so they need to shore that up. Unfortunately most of that will be hard to judge due to the fact that the Citadel players lack the size, speed, strength and ability of every other line on FSU's schedule.

Where improvement can be seen is in Karlos Williams' running. Against OSU he looked hesitant and unsure of himself, sometimes missing the correct hole and stutter stepping when he did make a decision. This is somewhat confusing as Williams looked like a natural last year and showed pretty good vision. Williams needs to run with more confidence and not second guess himself.

Goals

  • More than 8 yards a play before garbage time (400 yards on 50 plays, 480 yards on 60 plays, 560 yards on 70 plays)
  • No more than 1 turnover
  • 75% or greater TDs in the red zone

V. The Citadel's Offense

The Citadel runs a triple option attack and rarely throws the ball. Against Coastal Carolina they where 1 of 8 passing for 19 yards. This is actually a great type of offense for FSU to face at this point in the season. Clemson will run some similar concepts, although they are run out of the shotgun spread, and the Noles can work on cleaning up run fits on which they struggled at times against OSU.

Expect FSU to rotate through it's depth chart on both sides of the ball but especially along the defensive line. Both Eddie Goldman and Nile Lawerence-Stample played well but wore down over the course of the game. FSU needs to find quality depth and there's no time like the present. A lot has been said of Derek Nnadi over the course of the off season but this will be the first look most FSU fans will get of him. Who else gets quality time will indicate to fans what FSU coaches think of the younger defensive tackles.

FSU also needs to experiment with depth on the outside, especially with the loss of Chris Casher. DeMarcus Walker played admirably in Casher's absence but needs to play more situation aware. Too often he was caught crashing down on the quarterback and leaving an open hole for a draw play or QB scramble. Lorenzo Featherston and Rick Leonard could also get some playing time here.

P.J. Williams will not play Saturday in order to rest his hamstring that was clearly still limiting hi against Oklahoma State. Coaches have been running practices with Nick Waisome and Marquez White with the starters so expect to see a lot of them this Saturday.

Goals

  • Less than 3.0 yards/play allowed before garbage time (150 yards on 50 plays, 180 yards on 60 plays, 210 yards on 70 plays).
  • Force 2 turnovers
  • Less than 50-percent touchdowns allowed in the red zone.

Special Teams

Cason Beatty is not getting better and Roberto Aguayo is not likely getting worse, though he is still bothered by a hip flexor. If ever there was time to try out a different punter, this would be the day.

Prediction

The likelihood of this game being close, never mind FSU losing, is quite small. These next two weeks are all about improving practice habits and the only way to find out how those improvements have gone is by playing games. Welcome to week one of two of Clemson prep!

Florida State: A lot, The Citadel: Much less | Chance of winning:

Editor Wishlist

Bud: I think most important things are discipline and getting young guys in.

Matt Minnick: I'll take no injuries for 2000, Alex.

jmnpb996: Get Mario Edwards, NLS and Goldman out of the game as quickly as possible. Especially Edwards. 290 pound man can't play 100% of snaps often.

NoleThruandThru: Bingo. Get the reserve DL plenty of work

onebarrelrum: Looking for a half of football from the starters, including the o-line.Get them in, prove the rust/flu is gone, get them out. Though wouldn't mind seeing the young WRs have a chance with Winston and the starting o-line. Gotta get chemistry and trust down. If FSU isn't in a position to play backups by early third quarter, this team has more issues than we thought. However, I think the 'Noles are frustrated with the way they played in the first game. If they execute and don't force, game is over quickly and FSU will have a chance to work on depth.

DKfromVA: Physical running on offense and Jameis spreading the ball around. Get the first team defense out as early as possible. Don't even want PJ to play. This is an option team and the depth in the front seven is a little scary already. I don't want them to be fending off any more cut blocks than absolutely necessary on Saturday.

Salukinole: I want to see the team get into a solid rhythm like they would get into last year. Cohesion with long sustained drives by the offense combined with domination by the defense to put the game out of reach early. Then get all the young guys some game reps to see who should get bigger game reps with Clemson on the way.

Fsued: Option team really a perfect opponent for team wanting to focus on gap discipline.

Kyle Griffis: I would love to see Jameis develop some chemistry with some of the new receivers in the first half. I would love to see Dalvin Cook get some carries before it gets out of hand. I would also love to see PJ Williams on the sideline for the entire game. Top priority would be going injury free.

The K-Man: Get C.G. Green off the Schneide with his 1st career TD.

Michael Rogner: My wish list: To have FSU fans realize that FSU's top basketball target (5* Dwayne Bacon) will be at the game, and act accordingly when they see him.

DKfromVA: I think the chances of getting a "We want Bacon" chant started are better than you realize.

ricobert1: Last time FSU played The Citadel ('05), it was only 3-0 at the end of the first quarter. I'll take the over on that one tomorrow.