clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Nolecast Preview: Florida State’s best chance to beat Clemson

FSU is a huge underdog for a reason. But there is a chance to win. Here’s how.

Bud Elliott and Ingram Smith return with the 63rd Nolecast episode of 2018. The Nolecast is the No. 1 Florida State Seminoles podcast.

Listen in the player below this article, or on Apple Podcasts (iTunes), Stitcher, or Google Podcasts

Show notes are as follows, roughly in order

Here is what we believe will happen, and that we are looking to find out.

  • Noon kick, Clemson -17, O/U of 50.

FSU offense (109th) v. Clemson Defense (No. 2)

  • No hiding from the magnitude of this mismatch
  • 1st against the run, 13th against the pass
  • 5th in stuff rate
  • #2 red zone defense in the nation
  • Clemson DL is the best in the nation with Dexter Lawrence, Christian Wilkins, Austin Bryant, Clelin Farrell, Xavier Thomas
  • There is no matchup up front where you can expect to win 1v1. That is an enormous problem.
  • LBs are physical, but have been good but not great in coverage
  • Clemson’s corners are solid, but their safeties have been inconsistent.

How to attack

  • Clemson will likely try to win up front against the run without devoting extra men against the run in order to protect their safeties.
  • Look to throw short to the outside and hope like hell that the receivers block. Then follow up with some deep shots.
  • Have to run when you have the numbers advantage. If you have numbers to run and you can’t block against favorable numbers, you are totally screwed.
  • Make Clemson play in space.
  • In the run game, play off some of the WR option looks you teased but did not end up actually running with last week.
  • Francois has to make really good decisions.
  • Make Clemson play zone with your bunch looks. Make them communicate.

FSU defense (21st) v. Clemson Offense (11th)

  • Multiple spread offense with tremendous weapons and a lot of balance.
  • QB Trevor Lawrence should have Clemson elite for the next three years. Huge upgrade over Kelly Bryant. (Marginal Efficiency of 8.8% compared to 2.8%). Sack rate of just 4.1%. Can make all the throws, gets the ball out quickly, and rarely makes mistakes. Perhaps already the best QB in the ACC? Far and away the best QB FSU has seen.
  • RB Travis Etienne is the best back in the ACC. Extremely tough runner, good patience, and also can break runs.
  • Clemson’s receivers are ridiculous. Tee Higgins is the classic deep threat at 6’4, 210, with speed. Hunter Renfrow is great at getting open underneath and will be a bad matchup for FSU’s safeties and linebackers. Amari Rodgers is like a RB after the catch. And true freshman Justyn Ross is an absolute freak.
  • Offensive line is pretty solid as well.

How to attack it

  • Hit Lawrence. Make him keep consistently. Clemson does not have a backup QB, and they are in a major playoff run. How much will they want to run him?
  • Protect your safeties and backers by playing more coverage and hoping your DL can whip Clemson up front.
  • Blitz selectively

Prediction time

  • Clemson will likely have a huge field position advantage
  • Will Clemson outgain FSU by 30%/play or more?
  • How many in the turnover column would you need to take FSU in the game?