Game Preview: Florida State at Miami

After a disappointing start to the Mike Norvell Era, the Seminoles will look to overcome a mountain of adversity. Not only will the Seminoles have to face a seemingly very good Miami offense and a very good defensive line, but they will also have to overcome a struggling offense without their play-caller Mike Norvell. Norvell, having contracted COVID-19 last week, is unable to be back with the team for at least 10 days, assuming he has a negative test.

MIAMI DEFENSE: At a glance

Outside of a talented defensive line, it seems as though the Miami defense has some holes that the Seminoles can take advantage of. Talented edge rushers Jalen Phillips, the former #1 WDE in the country and Quincy Roche, AAC defensive player of the year, will set the tone for the canes. Up the middle, the main defensive tackle to know would be Nesta Silveria, who was a very talented recruit coming out of high school, and has finally earned the starting nod. Playing alongside him is Jonathon Ford, who has proven to be a very solid piece for Miami.

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Their linebackers have certainly taken a step back from the likes of Shaq Quarterman, with Bradley Jennings Jr and Zach Mccloud as the starters. With the lack in talent, they make up for in communication. None the less, I would expect FSU to attempt and target them. For Safeties, Gurvan Hall and Bubba Bolden are solid defensive backs. Bolden had an excellent game against Louisville, making some great open-field tackles. But by far, the glaring weakness of this ‘Canes defense are their corners Al Blades Jr. and DJ Ivey. If the offensive line can hold up long enough to take shots against Miami’s corners, the Hurricanes could be in for some trouble

MIAMI OFFENSE: At a glance 

Miami’s offense starts and ends with the run. They have a nice stable of running backs, with Cam’Ron Harris leading the charge. To this point in the season, he has already amassed 268 rushing yards and 3 TD’s. Also, expect to see Freshmen RB’s Don Chaney and former FSU commit Jaylan Knighton get touches. Aside from the RB’s, QB D’Eriq King has proven to be electric with his legs as well as his arm. Florida State will need to contain the run if they have any hope to win this game. Outside of the running game, Miami lacks an X factor receiver. That is, except for All-ACC tight end Brevin Jordan. Nole fans should expect him to be heavily utilized in the passing game.

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Three burning questions

Can the defensive line set the line of scrimmage? 

The Georgia Tech game was a huge let down in a lot of ways, but particularly when the defensive line, who was billed to be one of the best defensive lines in the country, played supremely average. If FSU wants to win this game, there has to be more production up front. The defensive line will need to play a large role in shutting down King and the run game, and if it cannot, it will be a long night in Coral Gables.

Can the offensive line hold up long enough to execute? 

Surprisingly, the offensive line looked decent against Georgia Tech. But that was only when there weren’t any injuries. When key pieces such as Maurice Smith and Devontay Love-Taylor went down, the line struggled. The offensive line will not only need good injury luck, but be on their A-game in order for this offense to execute at a high enough level to win the game.

Can the offense rebound without Mike Norvell? 

The biggest worry of Saturday night will be how the offense looks without their play-caller present. Blackman and the rest of the offense will need to rebound for a poor showing against Georgia Tech to beat the Arch Rival Hurricanes. Without Mike Norvell present, can the Nole offense rebound? Tune in on Saturday 7:30 and find out.

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