I'm hoping the Noles are not sucked back into the curse up in Raleigh Durham.
Here are a few keys to Saturday's game:
The o-line struggled mightily in both prime-time games this year. I'm interested to see if we have any positional changes and what young guys may see action. I can't really put my finger on just one thing as to why the o-line has struggled. It's really a combination of multiple struggles and this is really rare from a Trickett coached group that succeeded like it did last year. From penalties to blown coverage to just flat out getting beat, Seminole fans have been left scratching their heads. Look for a reduced number of penalties with Jameis back under center and better control of the blind side.
Run the Ball!
FSU abandoned the run pretty early last week and for good reason. Whether it was sideline to sidline, up the gut, shotgun or under center there was no consistency in the run game. Mario Pender also went out in the 4th quarter with a concussion. For this week, that opens the door for Dalvin Cook and Ryan Green to get reps along side Karlos Williams. I like these quicker guys doing a bit more out of the shotgun as oppose to under center but I'm open to whatever gets the train rolling. Look for Fisher to finally have a successful day running the ball.
The one thing I really liked this past weekend was the improvement in defensive stops against a high powered spread offense. They did well defending multiple situations including stopping the quarterback draw. This is something they struggled with against Oklahoma State. FSU will finally see more of a traditional offense in Brisett and the wolfpack. Look for the Noles to blitz heavily and dominate on D.
According to various media outlets, Jameis dressed out in full uniform, including pads, for Saturday's game against Clemson. Maybe out of force of habit? Who knows? But the body language in this pre-game shot by Chris Holder suggests that it took FSU's coach by surprise. And it's pretty clear that Jimbo doesn't like surprises.
Word spread quickly yesterday that Winston's suspension for the second half was because he misled (read: lied) the university when describing what happened. Funny thing is, when you do something in public like that, there are quite a few witnesses that can make you accountable for your actions and your after-the-fact description of those actions. He made an already bad situation much worse by not being transparent.
At this point, this is getting embarassing for Jameis Winston. As we covered earlier, we're done being Winston-apologists.
Yesterday, Garnet & Great caught up with George Whitfield. Not surprisingly, Winston, according to Whitfield, is one of the most talented players in college football. Whitfield talks highly of Maguire as well, though. Whitfield doesn't seem terribly worried about Winston's potential in the league, but recognizes that the league's stance on conduct issues is paramount.
I can't speak for the other ChantRant.com contributors, but as the editor of this esteemed blog, I feel compelled to once again let you know where I draw the line in the sand...
I no longer support Jameis Winston.
Remember a few weeks ago when, after a frustratingly close victory over Oklahoma State, Jimbo Fisher commented that "Your actions speak so loud that I can’t hear what you’re saying?"
[Note, according to Jared Shanker, the above referenced quote is a "tried-and-true Jimboism." Not quite. Those words actually belong to Ralph Waldo Emerson, you know, the writer and philosopher.]
Jimbo made those remarks after hearing certain things from his players but seeing them do something different.
Sounds like we have a new team mantra. All talk.
Yes, this team is all talk.
When is the team going to hold itself accountable for its actions? When will its actions speak louder than words?
In the case of Jameis Winston, no time soon.
I'm done being a Jameis Winston apologist. This juice ain't worth the squeeze... it's completely sour. Last year's team was special for reasons beyond Jameis Winston. It was a special blend of talent, coaching, opportunity, luck, and leadership. Jameis Winston was but one piece of that equation but not an irreplaceable piece.
Winston's rap sheet is long and getting longer by the infractions that we know of. But how can you be so ignorant to utter the most of profane of words.
Show some self-restraint, you know, like the rest of us. While we are all out in the world trying to make ourselves better, Jameis Winston is trying to pull off the greatest of magic tricks.
He tried to show us a changed man. A man who learned from adversity... albeit adversity he created entirely for himself. A man who has grown and matured to understand right from wrong. He had me fooled. The wool was officially over my eyes.
But when it came time to perform his greatest of tricks, he had no rabbit to pull from the hat. Not only is Jameis Winston empty-handed, but this time, the trick is on him.
I'm convinced that this team can win as many games with Sean Maguire that we can with Jameis Winston. Winston is, without a doubt, a special and unique talent. But he has, time and time again, lied to all of us. I'm not willing to be a pushover anymore. My line in the sand has been drawn. I'll walk the tightrope and find a way to support this team without supporting Jameis Winston. I personally hope that Sean Maguire has us winning by 3 touchdowns and gives Jimbo Fisher enough food-for-thought that maybe we're better off without Jameis Winston.
Does the team still support Jameis? Probably. But maybe they feel as betrayed as we do.
The things he shouted should never be shouted. All it required to avoid that situation was one iota of self-restraint. He's not even capable of that, however.
So why is it fair that we still support him when he can't even muster the effort to show us he's moved past his laundry list of infractions? He hasn't shown his peers much respect and that's a character issue. Winston can sure overcome this, but it won't be anytime soon.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson so artfully expressed, "what you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say." Jameis, stop talking. We don't want another empty apology that will only be broken several weeks or months down the line.
People around you have bent over backwards to help you. When you're ready to help yourself, let us know.
It was September of 1992 and I was heading to my very first football game as a young 5 year old.
Growing up in the Upstate of South Carolina all the talk was Clemson Football. I come from a long line of sports fans and naturally my family bled orange. My first football game was a night game and I was dressed in the appropriate orange and white. Once I got to the game though my attention span was only captured by the visiting team. Clemson would lose to Florida State that night and ever since then I was hooked on the warchant. I would quickly trade my orange and white in for the garnet and gold. Florida State athletics would become my passion and ultimately I would end up studying business at FSU and earning a degree in finance. The new found rivalry between the top two teams of the ACC has always been a match up of epic proportions in my book.
Clemson comes into this game as heavy underdogs this week but that may not amount to much for some. These games tend to have no bias or common trends. When games are supposed to be close they end up being blow outs. The series is also fueled by big hits and big plays. You never know who is going to step up and have a monster game.
One thing is for sure. Questions will be answered after the conclusion of Saturday's game. Where is FSU compared to last year's team? Is Clemson still for real? Are the coaching changes affecting FSU for the better? Will Clemson have a new QB that can rally them to Victory?
This is a huge rivaly for the ACC but an even bigger one for me. If prime time under the lights at Doak doesn't excite you then I'm not sure what will. So go out and make memories, Seminole fans! This is what it's all about!
It is game day, folks! Wow. A week really flew by and our favorite team is about to take the field. Let's think about what we can expect from our boys tonight.
1) What do you expect to see as far as defensive sets against the Citadel?
WallStreetNole: I would think you will see 1 on 1 coverage on the outside (obvious) and an emphasis to stack the box. This is certainly a more applicable team to stand the D ends up and should be a great opportunity for our LB's to make plays. We may get out of the 4-2-5 and play some young guys in different sets. 4-5 DB's or Safeties in on every play is just not necessary against this team.
Duke: The Citadel doesn't have one player that poses a real threat to our team. I see a plain vanilla defense today, but I will be curious to see if they mix-and-match different formations and players. Last year, Pruitt experimented with a few players in a few positions and he eventually found the right mix. I'm curious whether Charles has the capacity to perform such an experiment and whether we will see more variability than we saw last week.
2) In a smaller game like this who are looking to have a breakout game?
WallStreetNole: I'll be excited to see the receivers with BoBo coming back. You would also expect to see Rudolph in with the 1's and at some point Ermon Lane. Either of these 3 could easily put on a show. As far as a breakout game though, I'm hoping for Demarcus Walker and Derrick Mitchel to really step up. This could be a great confidence boost if they are able to make plays and defend the run.
Duke: Sean Maguire (with a little help from his friends Lane, Rudolph, Wilson). We saw Maguire in limited action last year and he looked pretty decent. I'm guessing he is going to have plenty of time to play and when given the chance, he will prove how far he has come along. I am anxiously waiting to see Maguire.
3) With Clemson lurking, what kind of play calling and offensive agenda do you expect to see?
WallStreetNole: Bland but it will still be an air raid. I can almost guarantee that Jameis will be looking for big plays against a soft Defense. As far as the running plays you may see more east to west play calling like pitches and sweeps to get Los going.
Duke: For the love of Gene Deckerhoff, can we see Jameis throw the ball to the other receivers? I watched the Oklahoma State game and I don't get the trust issues with the receivers. I saw receivers running clean routes and getting open. I saw Jameis targeting Rashad Greene through his entire route. That's not going to cut it. I just want to see us go back to the basics from last year... not forcing things. We weren't overly fancy last year, just effective. I want to see us pick up the crumbs.
WallStreetNole: Noles roll, 56-3.
Duke: Jameis and Maguire throw for a combined 8 TDs, Noles have some fun... 70-3.