Saturday, December 27, 2008

Holiday Q&A with Florida State Experts

Season's greetings, folks. We were recently broached by a Florida State blog to engage in a mutual Champs Sports Bowl Q&A. Below are their responses to our questions. Later today we'll post our responses to their queries. Also, err, go Badgers.

B. Bowden was quoted in our newspapers saying that there is the National Championship game and if you're not in that, then all of the other bowls are all about the same. Do FSU fans feel the same way?

Recently, I've found it very difficult to gauge the pulse of this fanbase. Personally I think that the comment was poorly phrased and shouldn't have been said at all. Sure, Seminole fans are disappointed that they weren't in the National Title hunt, but he should have said "Clearly this isn't where we want to be, and we'll work very hard to get the Noles back on top this offseason. Right now our focus is on Wisconsin." I'd personally prefer that he not say anything at all in this scenario, as it marginalizes Wisconsin.

Is Wisconsin on your radar as a legit football program? Does the school have any name recognition among FSU fans?

I honestly don't think they do. I don't mean this as a slight, but our schools have never played and there haven't been any relevant games where we needed you to win for us to go to the National Championsip, etc. One connection, however, is that FSU fans believe Peter Warrick was much more deserving of the Heisman than Ron Dayne. We think the trophy was stolen from him when he well... got a big discount from Dillards.

Wisconsin runs a pro-style offense and often uses 2 TEs and a fullback. Have you encountered these power formations this year? How have you fared? Is your defense better suited to defending big pro-sets, or the spread option type offenses?

Very interesting question. I will start by saying that our defense is made to defend 2-back pro-style offenses. In fact, many will argue that the emergence of the one-back offense with a mobile quarterback is a direct reaction to the 90's and early '00's dominance of Mickey Andrews (FSU's DC of 25 years and Broyles Award Winner), Bob Sttops, and Jim Leavitt.

You may read some reports that indicate Florida State struggled mightily against large offensive lines and heavy sets. This is innaccurate. The Noles struggled against large offensive lines... when the opposing offense ran zone read out of shotgun. The actual performances on the field show this. The reason? The hesitation created by the zone-read (where the QB chooses to give or keep) allowed the big offensive linemen to get on the smaller FSU defenders, eliminating their aggression and diminishing their penetration.

Florida State relishes facing a pro-style offense. Against Pro Style Offenses... FSU allowed

Points Total Off.



Plays Yds Per Play No Net YPC TFL's Att Comp Yds TD Int Sacks Dropbacks/ Sacks QB Rating
Wake Forest(3-12) 12 68 276 4.1 38 59 1.6 9 30 17 217 0 0 2 16.0 117
Colorado(39-21) 21 73 278 3.8 37 124 3.4 10 36 17 154 3 1 4 10.0 105
Miami (Fla.)(41-39) 30 63 256 4.1 14 51 3.6 6 49 21 205 1 3 2 25.5 72
Virginia Tech(30-20) 20 56 243 4.3 34 82 2.4 10 22 12 161 1 0 6 4.7 137
Clemson(41-27) 27 71 316 4.5 36 79 2.2 14 35 20 237 2 1 6 6.8 127.17
Maryland(37-3) 3 60 252 4.2 29 103 3.6 10 31 16 149 0 2 6 6.2 79

19 65 270 4.1 31 83 2.6 10 34 17 187 1.2 1.2 4.3 8.8 100

Against Teams who run some form of option primarily for their run game (NC State runs zone-read, as did Boston College. Georgia Tech runs flexbone. UF obviously runs spread option)

Total Off.



Plays Yds Per Play No Net YPC TFL's Att Comp Yds TD Int Sacks Dropbacks/ Sacks QB Rating
North Carolina St.(26-17) 17 47 338 7.2 21 157 7.5 4 25 13 181 2 0 1 26 139.22
Georgia Tech(28-31) 31 51 343 6.7 44 288 6.5 2 6 4 55 0 1 0 NONE 110.33
Boston College(17-27) 20 74 357 4.8 46 176 3.8 13 27 14 181 1 1 1 28 113
Florida(15-45) 45 68 502 7.4 46 317 6.9 8 22 12 185 3 0 1 23 170

28 60 385 6.4 39 235 6.0 6..8 20 11 151 1.5 0.5 0.8 28 138

The numbers are insanely different. Quite frankly, FSU owns pro-style offenses and gets gashed by the modern 1-back gun schemes.

10 more points allowed per game.
55% more yards allowed per play.
More than double the rushing yards per carry allowed (140% more)
1-1 TD-Int Ratio allowed against ProStyle offenses, 1..5-0.5 TD-Int ratio allowed against the singleback gun schemes.
QB Rating of 100 against pro style teams, and 138 allowed against the other.
A sack every 8 dropbacks against prostyle schemes, night and day from the one every 28 against the modern scheme.

MANY of the prostyle offenses had huge offensive lines and heavy sets, as did the singleback gun teams. The size of the offensive line was largely irrelevant. This seems to be something the media is writing about because the common fan can eaisly digest "big white guy against fast small black guy" type comparisons.

Wisconsin has been recruiting Florida actively in recent years, has FSU ever recruited a Wisconsin player? If not, why not? Too much academic eligibility from our high school students?

We've had luck recruiting players from near Wisconsin (Chris Weinke). I believe we missed on our last Great Lakes commit (Twins Catcher Joe Mauer). I'm sure we could use some of their eligibility. Maybe their pale skintone would lull our opponents into a lacksidasical attitude like Wisconsin did to Tennessee and others in recent bowl games? haha.

How many "head-coach in waiting" candidates to replace Bowden have their been? Are there any former potential Bowden replacements who are already retired?

Officially, one. Unnofficially, three. Many felt Andrews would be the guy, but Bowden has held on far too long to allow the 65 year old Andrews to take the reigns. Assistant HC and former LB Coach Kevin Steele also seemed destined for the spot at one time, but he departed on questionable terms and is now the DC at Alabama. I wouldn't be surprised if someone did retire already, however.

Our head coach has an Iowa Hawkeye tattoo on his calf from his playing days. Bobby Bowden played at Alabama. Does he have an elephant tattoo anywhere? If not, you're ahead of us there....

I've never seen 'em, and if he has one hidden, I am sooo not interested in learning about hidden tats on an 80 yearold's body.

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