When facing a high-powered offense, like the Clemson Tigers will this weekend against the Florida State Seminoles, it becomes extremely important finding a way to disrupt that offense. If you can keep a team off the scoreboard, especially one that’s used to putting up points with ease, you can get them playing tight and give your team a better chance to pull away. For Clemson, the plan of attack will be to bring pressure, and lots of it, against redshirt freshman quarterback Jameis Winston. Leading the charge to knock him down will be standout pass-rusher Vic Beasley.
The junior defensive end has been a terror off the edge for the Clemson defense against opposing quarterbacks. He leads the ACC with nine sacks on the season and has two additional quarterback pressures, two forced fumbles and five passes batted down. Against the Boston College Eagles last week, he picked up a fumble and returned it for a touchdown to ice the game for the Tigers and get them into their matchup with the Noles this week with their undefeated record intact.
Beasley has been the key in the Tigers’ stingy defense this season and is a major reason why they lead the country averaging 4.0 sacks per game. On Saturday, FSU will have to be very concerned with slowing him down as he chases down Winston in the pocket which will open up some rushing lanes for his teammates. If the Noles’ offensive focus shifts to where Beasley is lined up (or who he’ll be opening up a lane to the quarterback for) then FSU might have less time to think about breaking a big play down the field.
To stop a high-powered offense like Florida State, sometimes you just have to stop it from getting started. Beasley has the speed and the power to get into the backfield with regularity and short-circuit any offensive rhythm that the Noles will try and create. Will Beasley be able to break down the FSU attack by busting it up in the backfield on a regular enough basis to get the Tigers a win this weekend?