A lot of Seminole fans were so happy with the offense this past Saturday that it almost redirected them from blaming the defense. Coming into the game, there was a misguided perspective on our defense vs their offense. As many know, our defense plays a lot of cover-0 – both linebackers blitz, safeties and corners get a man – and relies on pressure to force the quarterback to make a rushed decision. Coming into the game, North Carolina State had only allowed four sacks. After the game, North Carolina State had only allowed four sacks. Many misguided ‘Noles thought our four- and five-star defensive lineman would generate the same pressure they had all season. A Twitter user on #FSUTwitter brought some perspective on why that quarterback pressure did not happen.
If you just look at the respective recruiting rankings, what happened Saturday is unthinkable. But the truth is that the Wolfpack offense, with Ryan Finley at the helm, counters aggressive teams. Their offense relies on the short pass and run game to keep teams from getting home with 4 linemen, and the quick decision-making and release of Finley helps to ward off any blitzes that may come. We mentioned this in our NCSU preview:
FSU should come out of the gate and not blitz. If they get up a couple scores, and Finley has to throw longer routes, then we might be able to increase pressure. Otherwise, we must be able to execute our defense and stop the run with the front 4 while dropping 7 to cover.
#FSUTwitter user @Real_JRoe gives some perspective here – NO ONE gets pressure on the NCST offense, not even Clemson’s all-world D-Line. So to the NCSU offense, we of Fifth Quarter tip our cap to your O-Line (and grumble about why we can’t have one, too…). To the FSU fans upset at the defensive line for this game, we suggest you do the same, and hope that Harlon Barnett can teach his men to play zone defense the next time we tangle with the ‘Pack.