Inside Clemson-FSU: Seminoles offense v. Tigers' D breakdown, pt. 2

FSU quarterback Jameis Winston (AP Photo)

FSU quarterback Jameis Winston (AP Photo)

Tuesday, we tackled tendencies and Brent Venables’ first tango with the Seminoles. Today, we’re analyzing FSU by formation – looking at what they do on tape – and what Clemson did against the top offense they’ve faced…

Case Study: FSU/Maryland

I know – you’ve probably heard as much as you can stand of Jameis Winston and his torrid start.

The problem is, he really is that good. Here’s Winston in one play…

But we’re not here just to talk about Famous Jameis – instead, more of what the 2013 Seminoles bring overall.

They are “multiple” – a variety of personnel groups, formations and they can hurt an opponent in a variety of ways.

Formation 11 (R/P/X/TD) 21 (R/P/X/TD) 10 (R/P/X/TD) 20/22/23 (R/P/X/TD)
Shotgun 10 (2 R/8 P/2 X) 5 (3 R/2 P/2 X) 7 (2 R/5 P/1 X) 20: 1 (1 R)
I-form 0 6 (6 R/TD) 0 22 - 3 (3 R)
Singleback 2 (1 P/1 R) 0 0 0
Goalline 0 0 0 23 - 2 (1 R/1 P/2 TDs)
Pistol 1 (1 P) 0 0 0

Key - R (Run), P (Pass), X (explosive play), TD (TD), 11 (RB/TE formation), 21 (Two back/TE), 10 (One back), 20 (two back), 22 (two back/two TE), 23 (two back/three TE).

Against Maryland, FSU scored on eight-straight possessions en route to a 63-0 win. Winston put up a career-high 393 yards and five touchdowns, completing 23-of-32 passes. Overall, FSU averaged 11.1 yards per pass.

Strong second half starts have been a hallmark of the ‘Noles. FSU has posted scores on its first second-half possession every game – all touchdowns in the last four.

Here’s how they started versus the Terps…

- Backed up to the endzone, Jimbo Fisher goes for the jugular with one-on-one coverage on the outside on the speedy Rashad Greene. Just a great pass from Winston, dropped in perfectly.

- And they just keep attacking, more big yardage over the middle and they’re at the Maryland 25 in two plays after starting at their own 6.

- Maryland reads the run out of shotgun well, but in 3rd and 15, Winston shows what he can do on the run for the first down.

- Back to the 20-gun, Winston looks off a receiver on the outside knowing he’ll have his tight end Nick O’Leary over the middle for the touchdown.

Formation 11 (R/P/X/TD) 21 (R/P/X/TD) 10 (R/P/X/TD) 20/22/23 (R/P/X/TD)
Shotgun 8 (3 R/5 P/1 X/2 TD) 2 (2 P/TD) 11 (2 R/9 P/7 X/2 TD) 20: 11 (7 R/4 P)
I-form 0 5 (5 R/TD) 0 0
Singleback 1 (1 R) 0 0 0
Goalline 0 0 0 0
Pistol 0 0 0 0

- Back to the formations, the ‘Noles ran over 70 percent of their plays out of the shotgun and nearly 20 percent out of their version of the I-form (18). They displayed more Pistol against Pitt than versus Maryland and Boston College, but that's about the ratio they've shown in all conference games thus far.

- With the game in hand, they ran a ton of 20-gun and shotgun period. Could be just some extra practice, and also not wanting to give Clemson any more looks at their other formations.

- In the I (and their own modifications on it), they ran all 14 times in the set. I’d expect a lot more playaction Saturday, which they showed more against Pittsburgh and BC.

Misc. FSU Offense Thoughts

* One thing I noticed was just how deliberate FSU was getting the call in. They won’t be able to do that with the crowd going crazy Saturday night.

* Winston’s receivers make his numbers that much better. He has veterans in Rashad Greene (23 catches for 407 yards/4 TDs), Kenny Shaw (23 catches for 466 yards/3 TDs) and Nick O’Leary (11 catches for 132 yards/5 TDs). Redshirt sophomore Kelvin Benjamin gives the Seminoles a big – and I mean big – target at 6-5 234 (17 catches for 299 yards/3 TDs). They give Clemson a run for its money in terms of elite receiver units.

* FSU had some success in the ground game against Nevada (two 100-yard rushers), but against FBS competition since, the Seminoles haven’t had a rusher post over 50 yards and 4 yards per carry. They have a good variety of backs, but haven’t been able to get that going of late.

The Good, Bad and Ugly from UGA game

Outside of Georgia, Clemson really hasn’t faced an offense near the caliber of Florida State. So, for examples both good and bad for the Tiger ‘D’ so far, we look at the tape…

- ESPN does a breakdown to start the drive of what Clemson had been doing right, but the first play, Georgia’s Aaron Murray hits Keith Marshall out of the backfield for eight yards.

- Clemson then stuffs the I-form run with Stephone Anthony filling the gap. They make the stop on third down as well, but Georgia pulls out the fake punt to extend the drive.

- That’s clearly a play that takes the wind out of your sails, but out of the gates, the Bulldogs get a mismatch with a WR on a LB and gain a first down. Clemson’s nemesis at times this season – the playaction – hurts for a big gain. Nobody was there to account for the backside except for the d-lineman, and he attacked the QB.

- The Gurley touchdown is a coordinator’s worst nightmare – they get plenty of penetration, but the Tigers block each other out and there’s a gap for the talented Georgia back to burst through for the 12-yard TD.

- Clemson allowed 10.7 yards per play on the drive. Georgia had a pair of rushes for no gain, but Murray hit two passes out of the backfield for 47 yards. FSU has some pretty good receivers out of the backfield as well.

- The Bulldogs open out of the gun and Quandon Christian gets his hands up to break up a screen that would have gone a long ways without his hands being there.

- Back to the I-form, Clemson’s DTs hold the line, Corey Crawford crashes in and linebackers Spencer Shuey and B.J. Goodson surge to the football to hold the run to no gain.

- Third down…time for the blitz. Clemson has just three down lineman spread out – Corey Crawford, Vic Beasley and Grady Jarrett – and three guys right around the line in Spencer Shuey, Stephone Anthony and Quandon Christian. Clemson brings five with Shuey and Anthony – Crawford gets there first and Anthony gets the strip. Shuey recovers in Georgia territory. Clemson goes on to tie it up, 21-21, and they don’t trail again in the 38-35 win.

- Outside of the TD drive above and a three-score run in the first quarter, Clemson held a potent and mostly-at-full-strength Bulldogs’ offense to eight drives of four plays or less with three forced turnovers. They’ll certainly take that Saturday, keeping Winston and co. on the sidelines and wearing out FSU defensively.

Categories FSU Clemson
Yards per play - allowed 7.9 4.7
Yards per pass - allowed 10.65 5.5
Yards per carry - allowed 4.4 4.2
3rd down % - allowed 51.5 18.46
RZ scoring (TD %) - allowed 15-15 (80) 2-5 (40)
Explosive plays (ACC) - allowed (season) 12 4.3
Total Turnovers (margin) - forced (margin) 1 (1.3) 10 (1.5)
Categories Clemson FSU
Yards per play - allowed 6.6 5
Yards per pass - allowed 9.7 5.8
Yards per carry - allowed 3.9 3.4
3rd down % - allowed 40 19.4
RZ scoring (TD %) - allowed 14-17 (71) 7-9 (44)
Explosive plays (ACC) - allowed (season) 10 5.2
Total Turnovers (margin) - forced (margin) 6 (1.5) 5 (1.33)

Editor's note: There are multiple videos and tables in this post for those checking in on the mobile site.

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Comments » 1

clemvol writes:

Give the seminoles a look on defense that they have not seen yet, that they have not practiced for, a look and a tendency that is not consistent with what they have not seen on film. Pressure, pressure and more pressure which includes bump and run to throw off any timing. On offense for the Tigers.....turn loose the offense. Bring the kitchen sink. For the Tiger offense there will not be, and i repeat, there will not be any fumbles, no interceptions and no dropped passes. Show no mercy, Go Tigers

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