Plant The Spear is a weekly column previewing the upcoming match-up for the Florida State Seminoles. Opponent strengths and weaknesses are discussed, a plan of attack is formed, and an honest prediction by yours truly is given.
*Author’s Note* Regardless of my membership with the Seminole Boosters, or my being an FSU fan since I was 10 (I’m 31 now), or the fact that my wife is finishing her master’s degree from Florida State, this is still a No Homer Zone. Always has been, always will be. I’m a college football fan above all else, and you-the fans, deserve a voice of the people. With all that being said…..Go Noles!
Fun fact time. Last year in Tallahassee, the Noles dominated the Wolfpack to the tune of 34-0. The last time FSU was in Raleigh in 2010, NC State came out on top of the #16 Seminoles 28-24. In fact, over the last 10 seasons, the Noles are just 2-4 against NC State when ranked. The biggest upset in the series came way back in 1998, when the #2 Seminoles fell to a Torry Holt-led NC State squad 24-7 in front of a rabid Wolfpack crowd. Saturday marks the highest ranking the for the Seminoles (#3) in over 10 years, but Carter-Finley Stadium and the Wolfpack have a history of playing spoiler. This time around the Noles should be focused and ready to take on their first true hostile environment. (Most USF fans last week at Raymond James were just loud, rowdy or upset because they couldn’t get into FSU or UF- most left after the third quarter) With the first BCS rankings right around the corner, the Noles need to step up and establish their dominance this week against an over-matched NC State team.
I know that most of you have seen the movie The Hangover, and if you haven’t, you should consider entering the 21st century and watch it already. In the movie there is a guy named Alan. Alan considers himself a “one-man wolfpack .” I consider NC State QB Mike Glennon a “one-man wolfpack.” (See, because he really is the only good player on the team- hence the “one-man” and the team just so happens to be named the “Wolfpack”) Now that I just blew your mind, let’s take a look at what Mike “Lone Wolf” Glennon can bring to the table. Glennon has a very strong arm, is experienced and at a towering 6’6″, can see quite well over the offensive line. He hasn’t started the season as many had expected, but he has completed 62 percent of his passes in 2012. Against Miami, Glennon was 24 of 42 for 440 yards, with four touchdowns and two interceptions in the loss. On the year he has thrown for 1,422 yards, 10 TDs and 6 picks. The biggest problem Glennon has had this season is staying vertical. In only five games, Glennon has been taken down 15 times already, which so conveniently brings me to my next point…..
Heading into the 2012 season, NC State was looking toward the offensive line to provide stability and protection for senior QB Mike Glennon. As it turns out, the offensive line has been pretty offensive (the other kind) so far this season. The Wolfpack have confirmed in their injury report that three starting O-linemen will be out for Saturday’s game against the Noles. So basically, the best defensive line in college football gets to feast upon the timid souls of the NC State B-Squad for 60 minutes. I mentioned earlier that Glennon has been sacked 15 times already this season, and overall the line has given up 16 total sacks in five games.
The defensive side of the ball has been just as ugly as their offensive brethren. The Wolfpack are dead last in the ACC in passing defense, giving up an average of 278.6 yards per game through the air. NC State allowed the Hurricanes to rack up 651 yards of total offense, including 566 yards and five touchdowns through the air. All-American junior CB David Amerson is the lone bright spot on the Wolfpack defense, and although he has been torched Stay Puft style throughout the season, still leads the team with three interceptions.
The Seminoles face their first true road test this Saturday against NC State. Last week against USF, the Noles looked a little sluggish after an emotional victory against rival Clemson the week before. Sticking with our theme, the Noles won’t suffer from a “hangover” this week in Raleigh. (It’s just too easy, friends) The FSU defense will decimate a patchwork NC State offensive line, terrorizing QB Mike Glennon all night long. (Lionel Richie, anyone? ) With an 8pm kick time, Wolfpack fans will have ample opportunity to knock back the moonshine so the stadium will be a bit raucous at first, but it won’t last very long. I can see a tight first quarter, but the Noles will simply prove to have too much fire power on offense while overwhelming NC State on the defensive side of the ball. Seminoles make a statement on prime time.
FSU 41 NC State 13
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[youtube_sc url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1tktbX3BfY” autohide=”1″]Plant The Spear: NC State Wolfpack by David Botello