FSU Opponent Preview: Duke

Fool me twice.

This is perhaps the roughest season for FSU in recent memory. Yes, that includes both last season as well as the 2011 season. What began as a promising season with veteran stars has now fallen in the shadow of what it could have been. The loss of Deondre Francois has crippled the offensive capabilities of the team, however elite programs work through such deficiencies.

Make no mistake, FSU fans: FSU may have elite talent, but it doesn’t have an elite team (or coaching for that matter).

I’ll stand by the comments I’ve made in every post before this: FSU has more talent than any team they face on their schedule, including Clemson. But I believe we’ve seen enough to know the direction this program is heading.

FSU is a shadow of it’s former glory, and largely you can place this blame on failed messaging, which falls mostly to coaching. Mark my words: there will be firings at the end of the season, and if there aren’t, you can bet on FSU sliding into a dark future, much akin to the lost decade.

My biases are gone, and I have little patience for the product that’s being pushed.

Shame on me.

Off to face the Blue Devils!

Duke Football: (4-2) (1-2 in Conference)

Strengths: Run Defense, QB

Weaknesses: Secondary, Receivers

Comments: I am familiar enough with Duke to know they beat up on a pretty ho-hum Baylor squad, a decent Northwestern squad, and lose a closer-than-seems game versus Miami and outright to Virginia. What I do know is Duke could use a rebound game after losing to Virginia and Miami two straight weeks. Simultaneously, FSU is recovering from their first loss to Miami in eight years. My concern isn’t in talent, FSU out-talents Duke. My concern is motivation. Does FSU have the motivation to play this game against a tricky Duke team and on their turf? Has FSU packed in for the season, or are they willing to fight for, at minimum, Bowl eligibility and perhaps bragging rights over Florida? If so, they should beat Duke convincingly (as Miami pulled away in the 4th). However, FSU is injury plagued: starting OL Landon Dickerson is out for the season, starting safety Trey Marshall is out with concussion like symptoms, outside linebacker Jacob Pugh is out, WR Auden Tate and George Campbell are both out, and FSU has been without Deondre Francois (QB), Baveon Johnson (OL), and Jauan Williams (OL). While I firmly believe in “Next Man Up,” much can be said for a team that doesn’t have much more to play for this season, and with messaging being lost on the players from the coaches, it is certainly questionable whether FSU has the drive at the risk for further injury. This is a true shame, and shows the downward spiral that FSU is finding itself in. But it has to be considered a very serious possibility.

FSU secondary is supposed to be solid, yet shows it cant play a complete game. FSU linebackers are solid, and should be able to stop the run. Duke secondary is porous, however I have doubts at the receiving game from an inconsistent Nyquan Murray. The game may very well come down to the run game, and thankfully for FSU, it seems as though Cam Akers is making a statement and taking stride.

Final Prediction: I may have my reservations about FSU, but I’m no idiot. FSU has a 19-0 win streak over Duke and despite the record, I still think this team can be good against teams it is definitively more talented than and more experienced than. Duke has weaknesses, and did lose to Virginia. Miami blew them out on their own turf, even if it was mostly in the 4th quarter. FSU should of won versus Miami last weekend save a poor defensive showing in the final two Miami drives.

Please don’t make me regret this FSU: FSU: 37 Duke: 24

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>