Reasons For Florida State to Loathe and Be Excited About Miami
Only a handful of fan bases have to actually worry this weekend. With the majority of college football scheduling essentially "practice games," few teams are in for a test in the very first game.
Florida State and Miami are two of those teams. On top of playing each other in their first game, they have to wait two extra days from college football Saturday to play each other.
FSU fans are eager to get the troubled offseason behind them, and all can be forgotten with a win over the Hurricanes on Monday night. Otherwise groans will be heard if Miami leaves Tallahassee with a win.
Why FSU should be worried against Miami
Defensive Line: The line was already thin. Now we add preseason injuries.
Senior Budd Thacker dislocated his toe during practice and is questionable for Miami. Demonte McCallister was listed as doubtful by Bobby Bowden. Kendrick Stewart is recovering and practiced on Wednesday. Jaccobi McDaniels has gotten praise in practice but is still a true freshman and is untested in a college atmosphere.
Kicking/Special teams: True freshman Dustin Hopkins essentially won the starting job and has been pretty accurate in practice but has still yet to face the pressure of a college game.
The kick/punt return team must replace Michael Ray Garvin who was one of the top returners in 2008. The special teams have been trying out various players and the official depth chart is listing Patrick Robinson and Bert Reed as returners.
New Miami coordinators: With new coordinators on both sides (Mark Whipple on offense and John Lovett on defense), FSU has nothing to base their gameplan on. Trick plays have worked for Miami in the past (fake field goal for a touchdown pass in 2007 and halfback pass in 2008) so essentially the entire playbook for Miami could be a surprise for Jimbo Fisher and Mickey Andrews.
Why FSU should be excited to face Miami
Offensive Line: The line was responsible for 310 rushing yards against Miami. As a backup, Jermaine Thomas had two rushes for 51 yards against them last year.
Christian Ponder looks to have more confidence in this offensive line and looks to stay in the pocket more.
Jamie Robinson: The safety has had an interception in almost every preseason practice.
New Miami coordinators: This could work in FSU's favor. The new coordinators have to go into a rival's stadium on a Monday night. The FSU students will be loud. The players are anxious to play.
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