Talkin' Florida State
Not having seen a whole lot of Florida State this season, I figured it would be a good idea to go straight to a Seminoles fan for some answers about the team. My thanks to Corey, who blogs over at Sporting Fools and is a BlogPoll voter, for taking the time.
Look for my answers to Corey's questions at his site in the near future.
1) Talk a bit about Drew Weatherford's progression. What aspects of his game have improved since the Miami game?
Well the Miami game was a bit of an aberration because it was his first start and Miami's defense is amongst the top 5 in the nation. They just confused and frustrated him to no end. Drew is a solid, accurate quarterback. He hadn't really gone out and tried to win games, but he showed he can make a big play on his own last week against Maryland. He gets the ball in the right people's hands. I'd still like to see him go downfield more and challenge the defense with a deep ball. To be honest, I'm not sure if he has the arm yet. That should come in time.
2) As a team, FSU ranks near the bottom of the ACC in rushing, which suggests that the Seminoles haven't been effective on the ground this season. Yet Lorenzo Booker and Leon Washington both average well over 4 yards-per-carry, which suggests just the opposite. What's going on here? Are Booker and Washington not getting enough carries?
No, they aren't getting enough carries and it's probably the reason the team is 7-1 instead of 8-0. The offense has gotten a little pass-happy this year and it's going to be an issue in the last 4-5 games unless this team gets a little more balance. Leon Washington is out for this week so I hope Jeff Bowden has enough faith in Antone Smith to give him 10-12 carries and make sure Booker gets about 15-20.
3) Tell us about Florida State's wide receivers. They don't seem to have garnered much attention outside of Tallahassee yet, but I have been impressed with what I've seen. Greg Carr in particular looks like a monster.
The young guys are just terrific. Greg Carr, at 6'6, is just a raw, physical specimen. He's a mismatch against any corner in the league. The other freshmen -- Richard Goodman, Rod Owens, Fred Rouse will be spectacular in due time. The veterans have really stepped up. Willie Reid is finally healthy and making plays, Chris Davis has improved greatly and Joslin Shaw is getting in the action, he made some blocks last week that were worthy of ESPN's "Jacked Up". De'Cody Fagg should return this week and he's the number one guy. This group should be one of the top three units in the nation next year.
4) What--if anything--concerns you about the matchup with NC State?
The Wolfpack's defensive line is one of the best I've ever seen from a talent standpoint. They are as good as those FSU lines were in the 90s. The problem seems to be mental, they haven't shown up to play each week, most notably a couple of weeks ago against Clemson. For whatever reason, these guys aren't responding to what Chuck Amato is telling them. That being said I hope the Seminoles don't get a false sense of security because of what they see on film. I expect the Wolfpack to be fired up and I expect them to pressure Weatherford and put pressure on the defense with this newfound commitment to running. Chuck knows the FSU schemes as well as he knows his own family. I'm very concerned.
5) Prediction time. How do you expect the game to play out, and what will be the final score?
I expect a very close game for three quarters, I wouldn't be surprised if N.C. State has the lead going into the fourth. There will be some points scored and some big plays. I expect the Noles to pull it out at home, 38-28.