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2 posts from September 20, 2013

September 20, 2013

Previewing the Opponent: Bethune-Cookman Wildcats


Bethune-Cookman Wildcats
2013 Record: 3-0
Head Coach: Brian Jenkins
All-Time: 0-0 (First Meeting)

Overview: The Seminoles host the Wildcats on Saturday for the first time in the history of both programs. Despite being an FCS opponent, don't sleep on Bethune on Saturday. If FSU sleeps on them, the Wildcats could give the Seminoles a tough game. The Wildcat defense has surrendered an average of just 220 yards and 9.7 points per contest, and that includes a win over an FBS school, FIU. 

Last week in that 34-14 win over FIU - their first over an FBS school in the program's history - the Wildcats ran for 311 yards and four touchdowns. They are averaging 244 yards per game this year and will likely try to control the pace of the game and attack the Seminoles on the ground this week.

Last Saturday Nevada had success by changing their tendency and trying to attack FSU with two tight ends, big sets and ball-control, power run offense. They held the ball for 17 minutes and averaged 4.1 yards per carry in the first half too. FSU had two late drives that scored touchdowns, otherwise you see Nevada go into the tunnel up 7-3 on the 'Noles last weekend. 

Look for Bethune to try to capitalize on that strategy to control tempo and keep Florida State's offense on the sideline. If they can move the ball consistently, they have a solid foundation for an upset. If not, they have struggled to throw the ball early on this season and could be in for a long afternoon.

How FSU Stacks Up: It would take a perfect storm for the Wildcats to beat the Seminoles, but to pretend it's not possible would also be naive. If FSU sleeps on Bethune and the Wildcats can grind out first downs on the ground then you could see the Seminoles get taken into the 4th quarter. 

And keep in mind FSU will be without both of their starting defensive ends and senior LB Christian Jones for this one. 

That being said, Florida State should be fine in this one if they don't beat themselves. The 'Noles have their opponent outclassed in terms of talent and with the way the Seminole offense scores the Wildcats could be forced to abandon the run early if FSU has some success in the air. 

“They play a lot of cover 4, and that’s going to give us some big shot opportunities," said QB Jameis Winston. "We’re just going to keep preparing for them and we’re going to know they’re going to come with it. They’re not going to be scared. It’s not the fact that we walk on the field and they’re scared. We know they’ve got some great players and they’re going to come with it, but we got to bring it harder.”

As long as FSU sticks to that mindset and plays a smart football game they should handle their business against Bethune-Cookman. 

Three to Watch:

1.) Anthony Jordan, RB - MEAC Offensive player of the week for his 21-150 TD performance against FIU.

2.) Whoever is at QB - Three players have been under center for Bethune this year, they have totaled almost as many rush yards as pass yards, have thrown as many picks as TD's and could be in trouble if FSU gets up big. 

3.) Jarkevis Fields, LB - The Wildcats' leading tackler has 23 stops and a sack so far this season.

Quote of the Week: "I got to have a positive voice and my voice has to be strong, I can’t say a play weak with no confidence. I have to be strong and set the tempo because those guys will follow the person they think they can trust."

-Jameis Winston


For all the latest Florida State news and updates follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...

A Little More on Jalen Ramsey

If you haven't had a chance to check out the feature on Jalen Ramsey from this morning's paper, you can read it here.

One of the worst parts of writing a feature with space limitations is what ends up left out of the final story. I had a chance to talk to both of Jalen's parents and his high school defensive backs coach and there were plenty of other good tidbits and insights from those interviews. Fortunately, the Herald FSU blog is a great place to put a lot of that.

For instance, there wasn't much opportunity to talk about Ramsey's competitive nature, but he thrives in competition according to Jamie Redmon, his coach at Brentwood High:

“Jalen is a very, very competitive kid. In high school you would love to play man coverage and sometimes you can’t because you don’t have the confidence to do it, [but] from the time Jalen walked on campus we started playing man coverage almost every game," said Redmon.

"He’s just a phenomenal athlete because you know he has the size, the height, the arm-length but most of all he’s very competitive, the higher the stakes he’s going to play at that level. He’s just a tremendous athlete as well.”

Redmon also mentioned that Ramsey wants to lockdown the best player on the field, he's not interested in a matchup that gives him an easy game.

“He has tremendous confidence in his abilities, big time," Redmon added. "If I told him in the game ‘hey you’ve got their best receiver,’ he wants to challenge that receiver every down. There’s no doubt in my mind

“He loves going against someone that’s very good, he doesn’t shy away from competition, at all.”

Here are a few other tidbits:

##- Jalen's mother, Margie Tidwell, was highly confident he would start from day one:

“Jalen’s very confident and he’s always been that way, we had no doubts - his father and I - had no doubts that he would be starting if he continued to work," said Tidwell. "He worked hard during the Summer, he never stopped working out, he did what he had to do to prove himself so I had no doubts that he was going to start.”

##- Without going into too many details, you got the idea that the problems at USC under Lane Kiffin may have been as big a factor in Ramsey flipping his commitment in the 11th hour as Pruitt's late push was:

“That was solely his decision and something where he felt comfortable with Coach Fisher and Coach Pruitt who were recruiting [him],' said Tidwell. "So you know there were a couple factors but that was something he decided he wanted to do."

##- Jalen's favorite player growing up was Devin Hester:

“Devin Hester, he liked him more because he was so versatile," said Lamont Ramsey, Jalen's father. "He was a wide receiver and running back also while he was in high school and actually he was ranked pretty high as a wide receiver coming out of high school too. He just liked the versatility that Devin Hester had too.”

Ramsey can also return kicks, per both his father and Redmon.

##- And finally, Lamont may be more nervous than Jalen before every Florida State game:

“I’m real proud of him, very proud but I’m [also] nervous at the beginning of every game, I want him to do so well that you get nervous about it, but very proud of him.”


For all the latest Florida State news and updates follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...



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