Florida State

Don’t count Florida State out of its rivalry game vs. Miami

Florida State RB Jacques Patrick

I’ve written previously about why Miami should beat Florida State Saturday. The Hurricanes are a 13-point favorite for a reason. Plenty of teams who “should beat” their opponents lose every week, however.

The Seminoles making it 11 of the last 14 over their rivals from South Florida is not as long of a shot as many people think. Here’s why:

FSU’s Offense not as offensive as it seems

I know it’s crazy to think. We can all see with our own eyes how inept it’s looked at times, but as much as pundits and Monday morning quarterbacks want to trash the offense, it’s not as bad as it seems. Honestly, it’s actually better than Miami’s.

Look at it this way:

1. Deondre Francois, statistically, is one of the most dangerous throwers vertically in the ACC. I believe he has the most completions of 20 yards or more.
2. FSU has three of the top 15 receivers in the ACC. Tamorrion Terry ranks 8th in the NCAA in yards per catch.
3. The offensive line is improving, and Francois is getting the rust knocked off him, literally and figuratively.

Minor improvements the past two weeks should yield to an eventual offensive explosion.

Francois poised for a breakout

Many of FSU’s offensive woes can be placed on Francois’ inability to run this offense as it’s intended to be run – with a true, dangerous, dual-threat quarterback. I see flashes and if it ever all comes together, it’s going to be brilliant.

Francois’ first three weeks were ruined by drops, miscues, penalties and not seeing – and taking advantage – of what was there. I believe that has to do with him missing all of last season and a lack of in game reps.

The RPO (run pass option) is predicated on the run being an option, and a threat. FSU fans have complained about the east-west running style and how rushing holes are jammed up; true, but that’s not to say the run game isn’t effective. The zone-read is only as effective as the QB’s ability to pull the ball away from the running back and gain yards himself. Francois doesn’t pull it out.

Defenses are swarming the running backs and if Francois kept the ball, he has 10-15 yards a pop. FSU has to take advantage of this against a fast and over-aggressive defense.

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