As the number two defense in college football last season, Florida State isn’t looking to change much. Still, the Seminoles know they can utilize their talent better.
Florida State operated under a defensive scheme that keyed on their exceptional defensive line to generate pressure and bottle up the run. After sending their biggest names to the NFL, Florida State may need to tweak their approach. The result could be a Florida State defense that is much more exciting to watch.
The defensive front four last season were among the most talented in football, but the athletic secondary and linebacking corps could have been used more effectively – or at least given a bit more freedom to exploit matchup advantages. This year, after bringing in coaching from the lone defense that ranked ahead of them in 2012, the Seminoles will be much more aggressive.
Look for the linebackers to finally get involved this season and look for Florida State to stray (albeit slightly) from the technical and assignment-driven schemes of last year in order to disrupt offenses with chaos and athleticism. Most of all, look for a perennially talented defensive group to finally become exciting to watch.
While last year’s group was enjoyable in a grinding sort of way, this year’s team will blitz and wreak havoc on opposing game plans. The sit-back style of play that characterized last season’s success will become unpredictable and, as the players are calling it, “fun”.
Fun to watch and fun to play in, the Florida State defense will be much more exciting, if not more effective, in 2013.