Preview: Colorado Buffaloes Defense vs. Florida State Seminoles Offense

Coach: Bobby Bowden (302-81-4 in 32 seasons; 375-120-4 overall in 42 seasons)

In 2007: 7-6 overall, 4-4 in the ACC (fourth in ACC Atlantic).
Returning starters: Offense: 5. Defense: 7. Special teams: 1

Key losses: Offense-T/G Shannon Boatman, G Jacky Claude, WR DeCody Fagg, T David Overmyer. Defense-T Andre Fluellen, T Letroy Guion, LB Geno Hayes, FS Roger Williams. Special teams-K Gary Cismesia.

 

Colorado_helmet_medium        VS.        Florida_st_medium

Colorado Buffaloes Defense vs Florida State Seminoles Offense

Going to try something new this week for the preview. Give you a little less clutter, more defined sections and how CU will try and stop the Florida State Seminoles

OFFENSIVE STYLE:

Unlike the Buffs last two opponents, the Seminoles will run a tradition style of offense; a pro-set offense with two backs. The Seminoles have always liked to put the quarterback in the shotgun and I would expect them to do the same this weekend. The next head coach, Jimbo Fisher, is currently the offensive coordinator who right now is not providing the Seminole faithful a lot to be impressed with. To Fisher's defense, this offense may be younger than the Buffs offense and just as inexperienced. After playing two weak FCS opponents, most of the fan base was expecting a breakout game against Wake Forest. Instead they got 7 turnovers, 5 of which were interceptions, 12 first downs, 3 points, an average of 3.4 yards/play and 220 total yards on offense. Many ‘Noles fans are eagerly awaiting the results from the CU game to make their judgment on this years' unit. Let's hope the Buffs can be as opportunistic on defense as Wake Forest was last week.

 

RANKINGS AND STATISTICAL LEADERS:

Team Rankings
Team   Stat National Rank
Colorado Buffaloes Total Defense 320 yds agasint/game 45th
Florida State Seminoles Total Offense 425 yards/game 34th
Colorado Buffaloes Rush Defense 143 yds agasint/game 71st
Florida State Seminoles Rush Offense 196 yds/game 28th
Colorado Buffaloes Pass Defense 177 yds agasint/game 39th
Florida State Seminoles Pass Offense 229 yds/game 57th
Colorado Buffaloes Scoring Defense 18.3 points against/game 38th
Florida State Seminoles Scoring Offense 39.3 points/game 17th

 

Key Players
Passing
QB Christian Ponder - 30 of 57 / 428 yds / 52.6% / 6 TD / 3 INT / 139.9 Rating
QB D'Vontrey Richardson - 20 of 38 / 240 yds / 52.6% / 2 TD / 2 INT / 112 Rating
Rushing
QB D'Vontrey Richardson - 17 for 152 yds 3TD
RB Antone Smith - 28 for 148 yds 2 TD
RB Jermaine Thomas - 18 for 125 yds 2 TD
Receiving
WR Greg Carr - 9 for 144 yds 1TD
WR Bert Reed - 7 for 129 yds 2TD
WR Corey Surrency - 5 for 101 yds 3TD
WR Preston Parker - 3 for 34 yds 0TD

WHO TO LOOK OUT FOR:

Based on some of the answers I have received from our Q&A, the only position that really gets Seminole fans excited is wide receiver. Florida State has three pretty good ones in Preston Parker, Greg Carr and Corey Surrency. Junior wide receiver Preston Parker showed the most big-play ability last season. Parker caught 62 passes for 791 yards and also ran for 270 yards on 52 carries.  The 'Noles really like JUCO transfer Corey Surrency, who stands 6'5" 210 lbs. The Buffs were actually in the bidding for this guy. FSU also gets help at the TE position with the return of Caz Piurowski from the "three game suspension team." Piurowski is a 6'7" 265lb junior that will help aid the young offensive line as well as provide the quarterback(s) with a big target.

The Buffs will definitely have their hands full trying to contain these three WRs. Colorado's defensive line will have to be on the FSU quarterbacks from snap one. I realize that last week both quarterbacks completed only 33% of their passes and threw 5 interceptions but give a quarterback time, especially with this trio of wide receivers, and he will make you look bad. Hopefully the Buffs defensive backs continue to impress those like me who continue to believe that they are one of the weak spots on this Buffs' team.

STRONGEST UNIT:

The wide receivers...see above.

WEAKEST UNIT:

Can there be a couple? I think if you asked any Seminoles fan their opinion on FSU's running game, they would probably tell you they are not crazy about it. RB Antone Smith should get the majority of the carries against the Buffs. He has not been the impact player the Seminoles were hoping for to break the curse of Warrick Dunn. Did you know that since Warrick left for the NFL, the 'Noles have not had a 1,000 yard rusher? This is probably a product of poor offensive line play and in this year's case, an inexperienced offensive line. As most are quick to remind, it is not as if this group isn't talented, they are just very young and will need to grow together. Sounds very familiar to the Colorado Buffaloes offensive line. The Buffs may actually have the experience advantage compared to FSU...that is how young FSU is up front. Last week, FSU lined up thee freshman and two sophomores! The best offensive lineman is G Rodney Hudson but he is only a sophomore. I have no doubt in a couple of years that this offensive line should be pretty talented especially with former West Virginia offensive line coach Rick Trickett at the helm but for now they are very inexperienced.

The jury is still out on the quarterbacks. Drew Weatherford must have had a big fall out with Jimbo Fisher or he is one the fastest descending starting quarterback's ever. FSU likes Ponder and Richardson's athleticism but they are very raw and still trying to learn the offense. Tools are there, experience is not. 

So what do you do with an inexperienced offense...throw the kitchen sink at them especially if you are the Buffs with a good front seven. Show a ton of line ups, blitzes from different positions, multiple coverages...everything you can do to make the offensive line and most importantly, the quarterbacks see "ghosts." If the Buffs do their job on defense you will see Ponder/Richardson trying to describe the Buffs defense to the coaches on the sideline, defending what he "thought he saw." That is when we will know that the Buffs have confused the young team. The Buffs need to also limit the big play. Nothing gives a young team more confidence than a big run or a big pass play. FSU athletes want to make the big play, throw the big ball, make the big block. That has been their M.O. for years. If the Buffs make FSU impatient, you will see a team start to force the ball up the field and that is where the turnovers come into play. Finally, the Buffs offense needs to help out the defense like they haven't done in the past. Getting up by two possessions on FSU will force FSU to make plays through the air and we saw what happened last week when FSU tried to throw the ball.

X FACTOR:

Quarterback play. Was last week an aberration or should we expect inconsistent quarterback play for the entire year?

FINAL WORDS:

Don't make FSU's offense better than they are. Play disciplined football. No bad penalties, no dropped interceptions and be solid tacklers. Give FSU no help on offense and the Buffs should have a good day stopping the 'Noles from being productive.


 

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