There is no doubt that Jimbo Fisher is one of the best offensive minds in college football.
Between his high-flying attack with Jameis Winston to the more ground-and-pound offense with Dalvin Cook, Fisher has always been able to craft a game plan best suited to the situation.
With a week one contest against Alabama looming large, Fisher will have to be at his best against his former mentor, Nick Saban, as he attempts to break through a Crimson Tide defense that has been adept at shut down opposing offenses.
However, this is not the first time Fisher has faced Saban while at Florida State. In 2007, the ’Noles faced off against Alabama in Jacksonville, a game that FSU won 21-14.
In a recent interview with Warchant, former FSU QB Xavier Lee spoke about Fisher’s game plan against Alabama and how the Seminoles attacking an inexperienced member of the Crimson Tide’s secondary was critical to their success.
An example of that preparation, Lee said, was Fisher’s decision to attack young Alabama defensive back Marquis Johnson. The Seminoles went after Johnson several times that day, including on what would be the game-clinching play.
A closer look shows that a similar theme might emerge in this year’s matchup.
With star defensive back Marlon Humphrey gone to the NFL, the Crimson Tide moved receiver Trevon Diggs to cornerback in an attempt to fill the void. Diggs, the brother of Minnesota Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs, was classified as an athlete in high school and this is his first attempt at playing defense at the collegiate level.
In Alabama’s spring game, Diggs had a rough outing. In the clip below, he is beaten by receiver Robert Foster for the score.
Hurts to former five star recruit Robert Foster for the score. Both QBs taking advantage of the secondary early. pic.twitter.com/xf88XOBqtc— Dakota Moyer (@DakMoyer) June 11, 2017
To be fair, Alabama’s spring game was Diggs’ first attempt at playing cornerback, and he has likely progressed somewhat through fall camp.
But these tiny wrinkles in the game plan, like Diggs’ inexperience on defense, are something that Fisher has specialized in. Players like Auden Tate and Nyqwan Murray are good enough to take advantage of their opponent’s mistakes.
When the ’Noles line up against Alabama, don’t be surprised if Fisher and Deondre Francois target Diggs’ side of the field.