We have been waiting a long time for this moment. Florida State and Oklahoma State will go head-to-head in Dallas, Texas tomorrow night. Most fans and experts are calling for a Florida State win. The ChantRant.com staff agrees but is wary of FSU overlooking a formidable opponent.
1. How many of FSU's 4 running backs will reach 75 yards rushing? Will any go over 75 yards receiving?
- Teddy Hayduk: I’d like to see both Los and Ryan Green exceed this mark. Should Dalvin Cook seize whatever opportunities he’s given with ample results, I think he can get close, too. In terms of receiving, I’m looking to Rashad Greene and Kermit Whitfield. Kermit is a great YAK guy and Rashad has the experience and comfort level to function as the key receiver.
- WallStreetNole: Just one and I don't think any will have that many in receiving unless we bust a screen loose. I think we will see some rotations but I only expect Karlos to go over 100.
- Duke: Karlos will most certainly reach the 75 yard mark and maybe within the first half. Like Teddy, I think Ryan Green has a chance to hit that mark as well. Who I am most excited to see, however, is Mario Pender. We have been waiting two years for him to emerge as a home-run threat for FSU. I think we finally get rewarded for our patience on Saturday. I doubt we see Dalvin Cook play very much. I'd expect Jameis to check-down to his running backs often, so I'm going to go ahead and say it now... a running back will lead the team in receiving yards on Saturday.
2. How will the FSU defense respond to OSU's hurry-up-no-huddle offense if they commit to it?
- Teddy Hayduk: We saw FSU’s front 7 getting winded during last year’s BCSNCG when Auburn was able to get into a rhythm. It wouldn’t completely surprise me to see it happen in a similar fashion tomorrow night should OSU be able to build momentum and keep the chains moving. Combating this is less of an in-game process and more of a mentality that you might teach defensive players to continually operate in. It begins many weeks before you actually encounter the HUNH. They must be taught how to handle multiple tasks during game play and how to think on the fly. Additionally, FSU DC Charles Kelly will need to substitute frequently and specifically not substitute by situation. Fresh legs is the best advantage he can give his defense.
- WallStreetNole: FSU should be very prepared. They played a hurry-up-no-huddle team in the national championship and you know they have watched film and corrected assignment mistakes that were made. Games like this are all about momentum, turnovers and offensive penalties are a hurry up team's nightmare. FSU is great at forcing both.
- Duke: Know what made Jeremy Pruitt so great? In-game adjustments. Pruitt went tit-for-tat with Auburn's offense and won. Mark Stoops wasn't as great at making in-game adjustments and it cost us some important games. Charles Kelly is a wildcard and I think it's too early to tell whether he will be able to make the key adjustments to stop a no-huddle offense.
3. What is FSU's answer for Tyreek Hill (OSU's version of Kermit Whitfield)?
- Teddy Hayduk: The biggest mistake FSU can make with Tyreek Hill is letting him get behind the LBs when he’s lined up in the slot. When he’s coming out of the backfield, it’s important to maintain leverage, anticipate the correct angle, and cut off his routes to the outside. They must try to contain him much in the same way as they would with a QB like Johnny Manziel or Mike Vick (in his heyday).
- WallStreetNole: We have seen the these caliber guys every year and the Noles do a really good job preparing. My opinion is that it's a better story line for the media than an actual issue to be concerned about on the field. I believe Rolland at RB and the mobile QB in J.W. Walsh are a bigger concern.
- Duke: I am thinking that Oklahoma State is going to try and spread our defense out with their speed (of which they have quite a bit). Hill is as talented of a player as you're going to see in college football. Depending on his usage, I can see a big game from him.
4. What has to go wrong for FSU to lose this game? In other words, what are FSU's keys to victory?
- Teddy Hayduk: 1) Jameis has to distribute the ball to all portions of the field. Make the defense work. 2) CB’s must stick like glue. JW Walsh is a talented QB who can make plays with his arm and his legs—take away his easy completions and force him to earn every positive play he makes. 3) Communicate on D. When FSU’s Defense struggled last season it was certainly not due to a lack of athletic talent.
- WallStreetNole: 1) Start strong. FSU had slow starts in it's final 2 games last year against Duke and Auburn. They need to aggressively attack Oklahoma State early and put them on tilt. 2) Win the turnover battle. You can throw betting lines and home field advantage out the window if you get down on the turnover battle. Take care of the football and play smart!
3) Exploit the young secondary of OSU. Despite FSU's top 2 WR's from 2013 being gone, I fully expect Jameis to work the passing game. If Greene is being doubled over the top, that just leaves an opportunity for the others. I have full confidence in the wide receivers as a unit.
- Duke: Keep it simple. Take what's given. Make the play in front of you. Be in the moment.
- Teddy Hayduk: 45-24, Noles.
- WallStreetNole: 41-17, Noles.
- Duke: 37-7, good guys.
Photo Credit: Chris Holder Photography
Comments? Questions? Kudos?