Scouting Report and Game Prediction: Florida State

OFFENSE

After three straight years of offensive frustration, offensive coordinator
Jeff Bowden was forced out and replaced by highly regarded Jimbo Fisher. Fisher
arrives from LSU where he obtained the reputation for having an innovative, big
play offense. Fisher looks for a balanced offense, and to assist the running
game, FSU brought in one of the top offensive line coaches in the country in
Rick Trickett from West Virginia. Trickett’s zone blocking schemes with wider
splits in the line helped create the spread offense that has made West Virginia
so dangerous. So far the offensive results have not improved over Jeff Bowden’s
offense, but Trickett’s blocking scheme generally takes some time to learn, and
Fisher does not have the type of personnel that he would like, so the verdict is
still out on the improvement in the Florida State offense.

Quarterback

Drew
Weatherford (#11, 6-2.5 215, r-Jr., 4.85) is a drop-back quarterback with some
mobility, but he is most effective when he sets and throws on rhythm.
Weatherford’s throwing mechanics can break down when pressured, so Tech will
undoubtedly try to get him to move in the pocket. Last year his decision making
faltered when pressured, forcing passes into coverage and making bad reads.
However, this year he has limited the mistakes and appears to recognize defenses
better. Still, Bud Foster will likely give Weatherford some unique looks.
Weatherford’s ability to read the Hokies’ coverage schemes will likely be a
major key for the FSU offense.

Running Backs

Antone Smith (#6, 5-8.5 187, Jr., 4.35) is a big play back with breakaway
speed. He is amazingly strong for his size with a 440 bench press. He can break
tackles running inside, but Smith is most dangerous when running outside. Smith
is more of an explosive back who can break tackles than a “make you miss” back.
He is an effective receiver and FSU will try to find ways to get Smith into the
open field. He is improving as a blocker, but his size limits his effectiveness
against bigger pass rushers. As a side note, Smith is good friends with former
Hokie basketball player Zabian Dowdell, who also attended Pahokee High School.

Jamaal Edwards (#33, 6-0 210, Sr., 4.41) backs up Smith, and he is another
talented runner who is better running between the tackles. Edwards is strong,
with a 400 pound bench press, and possesses very good speed, but he is not as
elusive as Smith. Edwards is more of a “slasher” and has seen increased action
as the season has progressed. Edwards has yet to live up to the reputation he
garnered as a high school back for Dudley High School in Greensboro.

Florida State uses a fullback quite a bit, and the fullback will often get
carries in short yardage situations. Seddrick Holloway (#42, 5-10.5 248, 4.89,
So.) is a solid player with good inside running skills. He is a good lead
blocker and plays physically. FSU’s depth at fullback has been hurt by injuries,
as talented Marcus Sims (#35, 6-0 230, 4.56, So.) broke an ankle earlier in the
season and veteran Joe Surratt (#32, 6-0.5 250, 4.93, Sr.) broke his leg in
preseason practice.

Receivers

De’Cody
Fagg (#81, 6-1.5 215, Sr., 4.50) is a talented big receiver who reminds me a lot
of Tech’s Josh Morgan. Fagg can make big plays deep, and he is effective going
over the middle. In previous years, he tended to drop some easy passes, but Fagg
has shown improved hands this year. He had a huge game against BC catching 6
passes for 111 yards, including a 42 yard TD pass. Fagg is only one of a couple
of FSU players to have played in Lane Stadium, as he attended Hargrave Military
Academy after high school.

Greg Carr (#89, 6-5.5 215, Jr., 4.62) is a big play threat who uses his size
well. While not a burner, Carr is a long strider with deceptive deep speed. He
specializes in going up over smaller defensive backs to make big plays. Carr has
outstanding hands and excellent ball skills. He

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