Key matchups vs. FSU

Key matchups vs. FSU

DMoney
Here are a few critical matchups to watch tomorrow. These guys won't be facing each other all game, but when they do, there will be moments that could swing the game.

Alec Eberle (#54) v. Kendrick Norton

Eberle is a 295-pound, low-rated center who has become a symbol of Rick Trickett's recruiting struggles. Because of his lack of strength, he has a tough time with powerful defensive tackles. Da'ron Payne of Alabama pushed him around, and Norton dominated him at times last year. If Norton can control the middle of the field, FSU will struggle to get traction in the run game.

Kc McDermott v. Josh Sweat (#9)

Sweat will line up everywhere, but I'm interested in the matchup on the blindside. McDermott had a great camp and has generally been solid this season. But he has a couple bad plays every game, and those bad plays have been terrible. Toledo's Olasunkanmi Adeniyi, an NFL prospect, beat him several times, and Duke's DE blew by him on Berrios's TD catch. Sweat sets the tone for FSU's defense with his energy and get-off. If McDermott loses his poise, Sweat is gifted enough to cause disasters.

Tyler Gauthier v. Derrick Nnadi (#91)

Nnadi doesn't get enough credit as one of the best DL in America. He beat up Nick Linder last year and caused a ton of problems for our offense. Gauthier is bigger, stronger and better than Linder. The offense took off when he took over. Can he hold up against his toughest challenge of the season?

Chad Thomas v. FSU's Interior OL

Chad is more of a disrupter than a finisher, and the havoc he causes as an inside rusher creates opportunities for guys like Joe Jackson. FSU's interior struggled with communication, technique and pure talent against Wake. Will they be able to handle the quickness of Thomas?

Overall, I think this will be a defensive battle decided by a few big plays. In the past, Dalvin Cook has made those explosive plays. This year, we have the elite playmakers in Ahmmon Richards and Mark Walton. Let's hope both guys are at full speed (I've heard nothing to the contrary).

The big plays can also be turnovers. Malik Rosier has made excellent decisions so far, but he hasn't faced a ton of pressure. James Blackman has already dealt with pressure but is only a freshman. Malik needs to be the smarter, more poised quarterback.

Lastly, I want to see the kickoff unit set the tone. They haven't been great this year, and FSU can make big plays (see Derwin James opening kickoff against Wake). It would be great to hear some pads popping early.
 

Comments (94)

Sweat vs McDermott will be HUGE...mcdermott has to have his best game of his career I think. I also think it'll be a defensive battle, special teams will be key. I expect jimbo to try to steal some possessions with fake punts, fgs, onside etc... canes win a close one 24-17
 
Gauthier better be eating nails, listening to metallica, and headbutting a wall right now to be ready, Nnadi's no cakewalk.
 
Seems like the gameplan is the same on both sides, use the talented DL to beat a weak(ish) OL and force the QB to make mistakes. I think we've got the advantage here as our OL hasn't been as bad as theirs, but it'll come down to execution and heart. We execute, we win.
 
that right guard position got obliterated vs Duke with 2 true freshmen holding fort, not sure if its Nnadi or Xmas but thats a major one to watch
 
Good stuff, D. Nnadi (you can throw in Christmas in there, too) will make it very difficult to run inside. I don't think we'll have much success there (heck, we didn't really against Duke). Sweat terrifies me going against McD. I really like our DL vs their OL matchup a lot.

As for other areas, I think they can match up 1x1 against our WRs not named Richards. If I were FSU, I'd double Richards and let Berrios, Harley, Cager beat us. Those 3 guys have struggled getting separation against press coverage this year. I hope we're creative in the passing game.

FSU's defense is pretty tough - Richt is going to have to get creative on offense with misdirections, pace, etc.
 
Danny what about 82 vs Derwin James? I have to believe they will have help on 82 most of the game.

Our other guys need to step it up.
 
I think our safeties need to play well too. In run support, and in the passing game. FSU will try to get the short passing game going, and Redwine continuing to do what he did last week will help shut that down. And Jaquan Johnson is due to have a big game. He hasn't taken the next step yet. Our pressure along with a true freshman under center could make for fun in the middle of the field.
 
Lastly, I want to see the kickoff unit set the tone. They haven't been great this year, and FSU can make big plays (see Derwin James opening kickoff against Wake). It would be great to hear some pads popping early.
My biggest concern. Special teams in general.
 
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Danny what about 82 vs Derwin James? I have to believe they will have help on 82 most of the game.

Our other guys need to step it up.
richards vs mcfadden is the key matchup here
 
Biggest matchup for me is young King Don against those FSU DTs. He struggled against Puke, and these guys are better than Puke's guys. He's a prideful kid and a quick learner, so I expect him to be better this week.

If our OL can hold up and get us any sort of creases in the run game and not have Rosier throwing with DL draped all over him on every dropback, then we should win. It's an experienced unit with some good size and talent, so there's no excuse to get abused up there.

Rick needs to help them out. This one's on him. Rick v. Kelly is another huge matchup. Kelly whipped him last year.
 
Good stuff, D. Nnadi (you can throw in Christmas in there, too) will make it very difficult to run inside. I don't think we'll have much success there (heck, we didn't really against Duke). Sweat terrifies me going against McD. I really like our DL vs their OL matchup a lot.

As for other areas, I think they can match up 1x1 against our WRs not named Richards. If I were FSU, I'd double Richards and let Berrios, Harley, Cager beat us. Those 3 guys have struggled getting separation against press coverage this year. I hope we're creative in the passing game.

FSU's defense is pretty tough - Richt is going to have to get creative on offense with misdirections, pace, etc.
No one has covered Berrios this year. We must be watching different games if you think he's had trouble getting open.
 
Lastly, I want to see the kickoff unit set the tone. They haven't been great this year, and FSU can make big plays (see Derwin James opening kickoff against Wake). It would be great to hear some pads popping early.
My biggest concern. Special teams in general.
FSU had 2 really long KO returns vs Wake and Gavin has been doing it since last year. Our KOR unit better stay in lanes and tackle
 
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Lastly, I want to see the kickoff unit set the tone. They haven't been great this year, and FSU can make big plays (see Derwin James opening kickoff against Wake). It would be great to hear some pads popping early.
My biggest concern. Special teams in general.
FSU had 2 really long KO returns vs Wake and Gavin has been doing it since last year. Our KOR unit better stay in lanes and tackle
Jersey Mike needs to kick line drives through the endzone. I don't want anything to do with us trying to cover kicks against those return guys.
 
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Need to put our coverage teams against their return teams on that list.We have sucked for what seems forever at covering kicks/punts.

They have guys that can House it in a heartbeat.I don’t want to grab momentum and shut that fricking chant up on one play only to have them turn the volume back up with a KO return for 6 10-15 seconds later.
 
Good stuff, D. Nnadi (you can throw in Christmas in there, too) will make it very difficult to run inside. I don't think we'll have much success there (heck, we didn't really against Duke). Sweat terrifies me going against McD. I really like our DL vs their OL matchup a lot.

As for other areas, I think they can match up 1x1 against our WRs not named Richards. If I were FSU, I'd double Richards and let Berrios, Harley, Cager beat us. Those 3 guys have struggled getting separation against press coverage this year. I hope we're creative in the passing game.

FSU's defense is pretty tough - Richt is going to have to get creative on offense with misdirections, pace, etc.
No one has covered Berrios this year. We must be watching different games if you think he's had trouble getting open.
Berrios has succeeded mostly against a zone coverage or if someone (safety or nickel) plays off of him like on the seam route against Duke.
 
Lastly, I want to see the kickoff unit set the tone. They haven't been great this year, and FSU can make big plays (see Derwin James opening kickoff against Wake). It would be great to hear some pads popping early.
My biggest concern. Special teams in general.
FSU had 2 really long KO returns vs Wake and Gavin has been doing it since last year. Our KOR unit better stay in lanes and tackle
Jersey Mike needs to kick line drives through the endzone. I don't want anything to do with us trying to cover kicks against those return guys.
100%. I think he tries to get too cute with some of these high, coffin-corner kicks, but I wouldn't leave it to chance.
 
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Im really hoping we run more I. With there interior Dline, I get worried about those shotgun zone reads if they are blowing up the middle. Get up field ASAP!
 
Biggest matchup for me is young King Don against those FSU DTs. He struggled against Puke, and these guys are better than Puke's guys. He's a prideful kid and a quick learner, so I expect him to be better this week.
Good point. That will be fun to watch. It may actually help Donaldson to face bigger guys. His balance isn't all the way there yet, so smaller, quicker guys like Mike Ramsay give him trouble.

Watching Donaldson last Friday reminded me of watching those huge Golden lines with Seantrel, Feliciano and Linder. Little lines like Maryland really gave them headaches.

Donaldson is a freshman, so bad plays will happen, but he can match Nnadi and Christmas physically.
 

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CB
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TE
6'2"
205
Miami, FL
CB
5'11"
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