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CIS Roundtable: FSU Week - Part 1

CIS Roundtable: FSU Week - Part 1

Stefan Adams
As we get ready for the 63rd edition of the long and storied rivalry that is Miami-FSU, we decided to bring back the Roundtable series to see what our writers are thinking heading into "The Big One". This is part one of a two part series. Let's dig into it.


Q1: Miami is on a four-game winning streak and considered the heavy favorite (-13.5 as of this writing). How confident are you feeling about the game going into Saturday?


Stefan Adams: Probably the most confident I’ve ever felt in a Miami-FSU game that I can remember. And that terrifies me. The defense has been crushing and the offense is running as smoothly as they ever have. The Canes haven’t played down to their competition this season and that’s refreshing to see from UM for once. Miami is the better team in almost every statistical category and position group and finally has a stadium atmosphere where there is a real home field advantage again. On the flip side, the Noles’ look as bad as they ever have, worse than last season even. Still, you can never sleep on a team that has nothing to lose: FSU is a team that knows they aren’t winning anything important this year and is simply fighting for a bowl berth at this point. This game is going to be their Super Bowl and they’re going to lay it all on the line and then some; they'll be plenty awake for this game. As with any game in this series, Miami’s going to have to earn it.

Roman Marciante: Very confident. I like what I have seen from redshirt freshman N'Kosi Perry since he has taken over as the starter. He adds another dimension with his game, in particular, his authority on intermediate passing concepts. I think we are a different team under his leadership and ability. I really do. There is an innate crispness about it. I also believe we improved since week one. I am looking at this microscopically from an X/O standpoint of course.

Matthew Suero: With the defense dominating and the QB situation looking like it’s solved, you have to be feeling good about Miami right now. Defense wins championships, and Miami is currently number 8 in total defense, 14th in yards per play, and 1st in opponent 3rd down conversion rate. 3rd down especially is a huge improvement from last year and has me feeling pretty good about the state of this team.

Cory Grimes: N’Kosi Perry is free. The defense is playing lights out. I like the overall trajectory of the program at this point. But all momentum would be halted with a loss to this FSU team on Saturday. This is a must win game no matter how you slice it. I expect the defense to continue their exceptional play, but I am eager to see more of this Perry led offense.

Phil Wood: Miami's not just winning, they're crushing teams. The defense has been stout aside from a 10 minute span against Toledo, and the offense has looked faster with Perry starting. With the only loss up to this point against the 5th ranked LSU Tigers, I will say I'm cautiously optimistic.


Q2: How do you view Florida State's early struggles? Just a slow start or a sign of things to come?


Stefan: I gave them a pass for VT. But then I watched that game against Samford; the Bulldogs were the better team that day, and if it wasn’t for some timely turnovers, FSU would have lost to an FCS team at home. That’s inexcusable for the type of talent on the Noles’ roster and that goes beyond simply adjusting to a new system; that’s absolutely a failure in coaching and getting your team ready to play. And the Syracuse game was just an abomination. This all from a nationally ranked team to start the season with 4 and 5-star kids at every position. There are some really bad signs here, but obviously Taggart will get time to work out the kinks. However, due to his performance in the first half of the season, his leash just got a lot shorter.

Roman: The signs of FSU's struggles are real. Willie Taggart is in over his head. He is 2-15 vs ranked teams and it took a late pick 6 vs. Samford and a bonehead call vs Louisville or he'd be 1-4. I have been very vocal from the jump that I thought Taggart was a premature name and not the right guy for their program. Ultimately that benefits Miami in the long run. We had our fair share of sub-par coaches. It their time to shine.

Matthew: FSU is not a very good football team and Willie Taggart is not a very good football coach. Taggart’s lethal simplicity is only lethal to his team’s chances. Let's look at some numbers here: FSU scored 3 points at home against Virginia Tech, and then Old Dominion put 49 points up on that same Virginia Tech defense. Also, FSU needed a 4th quarter comeback to beat Samford at home. Since then, Samford has lost to Mercer, Chattanooga, and Kennesaw State. Three real powerhouses. To answer the question, no this is not a slow start, FSU is just a dumpster fire.

Cory: If anyone somehow has any Willie Taggart stock left, get rid of it now. He’s an under .500 football coach for his career, and this program will continue to be a sub .500 football with him running the show. And that’s exactly what this program has been for the past year. A show. A comedy at that. With that being said, there is certainly talent on this football team. They will be able to steal some football games just because they have guys who are able to win one-on-one matchups. Overall, this team will continue to underachieve and the Seminole Circus will continue for the near future.

Phil: It's a sign of things to come. They looked terrible against Louisville and were lucky to sneak out of there with a win. I'm still waiting for Francois to go off, but up until this point, he's just a shadow of his former self. Not to mention the defense cannot stop anyone.


Q3: Over the many years of the rivalry, many legends have been born from this game, with some completely unexpected like Darrell Langham last season. Who from Miami needs to put their stamp on this series and make some big plays in the 2018 version?


Stefan: I’m going with Jaquan Johnson. The senior safety returns to the field this week and you know the leader of this defense has been resting up for this game specifically. He’s raring to play and I’m expecting a momentum type play from Johnson to swing the tide of this game, similar to last season against Virginia. Johnson’s return is only going to improve the #1 secondary in the nation (in terms of passing yards) that has played half the season without their best player and will make it very difficult on Deondre Francois to get in a rhythm and sustain drives. Plus, more of him means less of Robert Knowles, and we all know how 20 looked in this contest a season ago.

Roman: Perry. He is the redshirt freshman in this game and new to the rivalry. He needs to carve out his own legacy. Now, Perry is much more talented and has way more tools than his predecessor Rosier. But Rosier went into the most hostile of environments and ripped the hearts out of the Seminole faithful. Perry needs to prove himself by beating FSU in order to really solidify the fact that it's his team. Brad Kaaya never beat FSU and that really was a contentious hot spot for Hurricane fans. So I think FSU will ultimately try and have Perry beat them. Load up and stop the run and challenge the receivers with their skill guys. If Perry can step up and consistently win those one-on-one match ups that FSU will give, Miami will eat.

Matthew: I am going to cheat here and pick two players, Jon Ford and Pat Bethel. Whoever is playing next to Gerald Willis needs to step up big time. The FSU offensive line is weak, but Gerald Willis needs some help when he is being double teamed every play. Both Pat Bethel and Jon Ford need to win some 1v1 matchups and wreak havoc in the backfield. If they do, Miami will dominate this game.

Cory: Easy answer here: N’Kosi Perry. An FSU win is always huge, no matter how good or bad either team is. A big game on Saturday would do wonders for Perry’s confidence. He is going to continue to progress with each and every snap, and he will have plenty of chances to cut it loose against an FSU defense who allowed 400 yards passing to Samford. Perry and all the weapons on this Hurricane offense needs to capitalize on the opportunities for big plays that have been missed in the past. Just the simple presence of N’Kosi Perry on the field appears to have given every person around this program a newfound confidence. Another solid outing from Perry will mean another Hurricanes dub.

Phil: It has to be Perry. Protecting the ball will be paramount to the Canes success. If Perry continues to play as he has, then the Canes will be fine, but if he gets sloppy and has a few turnovers, this is going to be a tough game to win. Remember, FSU was bad last year, but they gave Miami all they had and Rosier made huge plays at the end to solidify the victory. Can Perry do the same?


Q4: In past games of this series, what seemed like easy wins for one team turned into nail-biters or outright upsets. What about FSU makes you nervous?


Stefan: Look no further than last season: one team was in a New Year’s Six Bowl and the other had to reschedule a cupcake just to get to a bowl at all. Sound familiar? Yet last year’s game still came down to the final play. Like I’ve said, blowouts are rare in this series and it sometimes comes down to being able to make a few crucial plays or avoid the big mistake. FSU’s defense is better than people are giving them credit for, as they have constantly been put in bad positions by the offense, and they’ve come up with a lot of big stops in games where they had to have one. If their offensive line can simply play average, FSU has the backs in Cam Akers and Jacques Patrick to give Miami problems, and Francois has the weapons to hit on a big play or two.

Roman: I respect and admire Francois' toughness and skill set. FSU's running woes are well-documented and I don't think they suddenly find a consistent running game vs us this week. Sure, adrenaline alone can spring a big pop run if we miss a gap, but ultimately all game? I don't think we let FSU get going. So if FSU is going to win, it will be Francois. He needs to play at an elite level if FSU is going to pull this upset off. Francois has the ability to do so. So that is the only thing that is concerning me about them.

Matthew: My biggest concern here is the fact that FSU is playing Miami. This is the biggest game of the year for these guys and they are going to bring everything they have. It is safe to assume they will play much better than they have in any other game this year. Emotions are running high and Miami needs come out strong in order to crush their spirits early.

Cory: Deondre Francois is a good college QB in my opinion. He’s just playing behind an abysmal offensive line, but I believe he can spin it to just about anywhere on the field. And with Murray and company on the outside, they are equipped to create plays. Any lapses in the secondary could end up in 6 points. Jaquan Johnson returning to the field is huge for the Canes to shore up the back end. Either way, the Miami defense can’t have any mental lapses because Francois is more than capable of making them pay if he has the opportunity.

Phil: How bad they are. I'm serious. If Miami loses this game, it's going to be a huge blemish on the Canes' record. No one will care that it's a rivalry game, all they're going to see is a home loss to a bad FSU team. FSU is bad. The defense is bad and the offense isn't clicking. But so was Pittsburgh last year and look how that went.
 

Comments (12)

VALID REPLIES....BUT YOU CAN'T ROUND TABLE THE CURB STOMPIN' THAT IS ABOUT TO COMMENCE....
 
I think our linebackers show out, Mccloud ate in the backfield last game, Shaq, Pick, Fin, watch out for Smith too...Canes 38-13 👐
 
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I agree can never count them out regardless of how bad they are playing right now, but we need to come out like we did against ND last year and just throttle them not just the first half but second half as well.
 
To be honest, I am still shocked at how bad FSU has played. Before the season, I posted on this board questioning why everyone thought such a talented roster would be so bad. Many of you guys basically knew they'd suck, so credit there.

Is Taggert that bad? I know the OL is crap, but come on ... Samford? I would think that with the talent they have, you could just roll the ball out there and beat these cupcake teams by 2 TDs. How the hell can they be so bad?!

I still wouldn't lay 13.5 in a rivalry game, but I am cautiously optimistic. I think they still win probably 7 games. But I don't see how they can block us.

I'm with Stefan that Quan is our most important player. Unless they get long, busted play-type TDs, they won't consistently move the ball. 21 points should be enough to win it for us.
 
Q1: Miami is on a four-game winning streak and considered the heavy favorite (-13.5 as of this writing). How confident are you feeling about the game going into Saturday?

Well Stef, I'll tell you what. If what I'm hearing out Hecht and from several players on the team is accurate, there is no reason to think we shouldn't win by multiple touchdowns.

Q2: How do you view Florida State's early struggles? Just a slow start or a sign of things to come?

I was speaking with one of the main FSU boosters earlier this week and he told me they are not surprised at the shoddy start. He was vehemently against that Taggert hire and is thinking of pulling all funding until he's gone.

Q3: Over the many years of the rivalry, many legends have been born from this game, with some completely unexpected like Darrell Langham last season. Who from Miami needs to put their stamp on this series and make some big plays in the 2018 version?

I was talking about this with Randall Hill. He said it's going to be Deejay Dallas. He told me "Deejay could be on my team anytime."

Q4: In past games of this series, what seemed like easy wins for one team turned into nail-biters or outright upsets. What about FSU makes you nervous?

I had a chance to catch up with Schnellie and Jimmy down in Islamorada on Monday and we talked about the mystique of this game. They said it came down to the competitiveness of SFLA athletes and a innate desire to crush each other. But, they said, don't be nervous.
 
If FSU doesn't have any success early in the game i see them laying down and losing big. I've watched every one of their games and i don't see any leaders on offense, defense, or the coaching staff.
 
If FSU doesn't have any success early in the game i see them laying down and losing big. I've watched every one of their games and i don't see any leaders on offense, defense, or the coaching staff.

That's a really good point
 
Louisville left at least 4 TD passes on the field last Saturday. The throws that Pass couldnt make, Perry can. We have seen him make those throws already. I just can't see FSU slowing down our receivers. Everything they are bad at, we are good at. DL should live in their backfield tomorrow. We SHOULD steamroll them on Saturday.
 
If FSU doesn't have any success early in the game i see them laying down and losing big. I've watched every one of their games and i don't see any leaders on offense, defense, or the coaching staff.

agree, but they didn't have success early vs Louisville... If we get them down early, we gotta stay aggressive and curb stomp those fruitcakes. No taking the foot off the glass like Richt did last week
 
One of the keys to the game will be putting FSU in 4th and long. FSU is desperate sorta like Ed Orgeron was coming into the season so he was EXTREMELY aggressive. It felt like if we got LSU to 4th and 2 or shorter then went for it no matter where they were and I think FSU will do the same.

Get FSU into some 4th and 5-plus and they'll be forced to punt unless things get ugly.

Also we have to make FSU offense look like how they've look all year.
 

2022 Commits

WR
6'2"
185
Nashville, TN
CB
6'0"
160
Lexington, MS
QB
6'4"
205
Valdosta, GA
CB
6'1"
175
Fort Myers, FL
WR
6'1"
185
Mandeville, LA
MLB
6'1"
210
Manvel, TX
OT
6'7"
275
Sandersville, GA

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