Florida State University
Location: Tallahassee, Florida
Students : 40,838 (31,005 undergrad)
Coach: Jimbo Fisher (9-4 in first year as head coach)
Record vs. USC: 15-3 overall, last meeting was in 1991
Georgia Dome: Capacity 71,228
2009 Chick-Fil-A Bowl: VT 37-Tennessee 14
2010 FSU Football by the numbers on Offense: Florida State will bring in an offense that averaged 386 yards a game, 219 in the air and 167 on the ground. The Seminoles also averaged 31 points a game.
Players to watch on FSU offense: The Noles are lead by senior QB Christian Ponder who threw for 2038 yards this season, with 20 passing touchdowns and 8 interceptions. Ponder is coming off of an injury and back up E. J. Manual could see playing time as well. For the season, Manual has thrown for 777 yards, with 3 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. (Read This – Florida State Football: Player To Watch on Offense ). At running back, the ‘Noles are led by Jermaine Thomas and Chris Thompson. Thomas has rushed for 522 yards and 6 touchdowns; Thompson rushed for 723 yards and 5 touchdowns thus far in 2010. Know these 3….Bert Reed, Taiwan Easterling and Willie Haulstead…as they are Ponder’s favorite targets. For the season, Reed has 589 yards on 56 receptions and 2 touchdowns, Easterling has 541 yards on 41 receptions and 4 touchdowns, and Haulstead has 573 yards on 36 receptions and 6 touchdowns.
2010 FSU Football by the numbers on Defense: On the season, FSU has given up 19.8 points a game, which ranks them 25th in the country and 5th in the ACC. The ‘Noles defense also gave up 349 yards a game on average (127 yards on the ground and 221 yards in the air). Florida State did lead the nation for most of the year in sacks, getting to the opposing QB 46 times.
Players to watch on Defense for FSU: The ‘Noles defense is led by a pair of linebackers, a fast secondary and a defensive front that had no problem getting to opposing QB’s all season. Linebacker Nigel Bradham leads the team in tackles with 93 tackles, 5.5 for loss and added 5 sacks. Senior LB Kendall Smith was second on the team in tackles with 91. Defensive end Brandon Jenkins lead the team in sacks with 13, and added 19.5 tackles for loss. Greg Reid might be small, but he has the speed to make up for it. Look for Reid to be matched up on the much taller Alshon Jeffrey, which will be a tough test for the sophomore. Reid, on the season, racked up 60 tackles and 3 interceptions. Nick Moody will also cause the Gamecocks trouble from the safety position, as Moody has the size to match up with the larger Gamecock receivers. Moody had 72 tackles on the season, and just one interception. Also check out this – Who To Fear on the Florida State Defense .
What might happen in our view: The Gamecocks look to play better this time in Atlanta after the Auburn Tigers dismantled the Gamecock defense earlier this month. Florida State isn’t Auburn, but is still capable of scoring points in bunches. Carolina’s defense seems to be better built to defend a pro-style offense then the spread offense Auburn runs. Look for Garica and company to get off to a slow start, as they haven’t played a game in a couple weeks. The first quarter should be a defensive battle but once both FSU and USC get their offenses going, it could be a high scoring game. FSU will look to shut down Alshon and Lattimore, but as most teams have found out this season, it is easier said then done. Lattimore will have a decent game, but without senior Garrett Chisolm playing, the line will have problems against FSU’s defense. Look for the Noles to blitz often to see what kind of mistakes that can get Garcia to commit. Alshon will once again have a big day, scoring at least 1 touchdown, and going over the 100 yard mark once again.
In the end, USC will find a way to get pressure on Ponder, this will cause him to throw a couple interceptions and USC will use Lattimore to pound away at the Seminole defense. Lanning will need to hit a couple chip shots to put the game out of reach late.
Gamecocks celebrate the last day of 2010 with a victory in Atlanta and get win #10.
Prediction: USC 27 FSU 21
We here at LOHD wish all of you a Happy and Safe New Year. Go Cocks! Beat FSU!