Saturday evening, Florida State made its way into Doak Campbell Stadium. No, not for a regular season showdown, but for the team’s first scrimmage under this new coaching staff. Scrimmaging brings a feeling of realism for fans, and a chance for the coaches to see how far along guys really are.
Just as before Seminoles Productions released some footage from practice, and we have an opportunity to (over)react. This time, we’re looking for nuances in system and lineups.
A screen? Who would’ve thought a team could invite the pass rush up the field before dumping it off to the running back? Sarcasm aside, this is encouraging to see from the offense. Jashaun Corbin is a very good pass-catcher and more of a playmaker in space than Cam Akers. Getting its talented backs the ball in space is a win for this offense.
Another encouraging aspect here is the offensive line isn’t a sieve—they actually allow this play to time up properly. Praise for the OL? Yes, Seminole fans, get used to that. I think we see improved OL play this year, and it’ll start on plays like this. Seeing Darius Washington against Janarius Robinson (and holding his own) is just exciting. Something about Baveon Johnson down field trying to throw a block is fun to watch, as well.
Throughout the highlight clip we saw a variety of short, quick throws. These are extensions of the run game Norvell emphasizes. More of this, please!
This section is supposed to be about Tamorrion Terry, but I can’t stop watching the new release from James Blackman. Well, I say release, but really it’s about where he loads the ball. Blackman’s loading the ball deeper and doing a better job elevating his throwing elbow above his throwing shoulder. This load and motion shortens his delivery and develops more consistency on his throws. Then, when you look at his lower body, he’s emphasizing being more consistent about getting weight on the front knee and being balanced.
Onto Mr. Terry—this is one of the best receivers in America and you can’t convince me otherwise. As Terry develops a more diverse route tree, he only becomes more dangerous. If you haven’t heard, Terry’s added some serious muscle this offseason. It shows on this play, when, in past seasons, Terry might’ve “alligator armed” the ball. TT makes a strong catch and move which is very encouraging. Here at Tomahawk Nation, we’ve discussed the importance of Terry to this offense, and we expect him to have a big year. Norvell knows he’ll have to scheme Terry open, so look for him to be used all over the field in a variety of ways.
No, I’m not here to talk about Tate Rodemaker, dual threat QB. What I do want to talk about, however, is the scheme itself. A pass-action run where you get counter trey blocking with your guard and running back leading around is very exciting. Gone are the days of just lining up and running inside and outside zone. Welcome, Mike Norvell, who uses a multitude of blocking schemes to kickstart his running game. In the scrimmage footage we noticed pin/pull action on outside zone, and we see this counter action (looks like a draw). If Rodemaker were an actual running QB, this has a chance, but that’s clearly not his strength.
We won’t go in depth on the execution of this play, but this variety is something that should excite Seminole fans. Look for Norvell and offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham to scheme some fancy looking run plays this fall. A diverse back field and blocking scheme is encouraging to see. If you’ve been following along on 4Verts you know we’ve mentioned this multiple times.
These are my overreactions to Saturday’s action. Now, it’s time for yours — what stood out to you? And what are you looking for moving forward?