Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tennessee Waltz

No, this article is not about the Tennessee Volunteers, it is about whether the students at Florida State will get to enjoy themselves visiting each drinking establishment located on Tennessee Street in Tallahassee during a postgame celebration after toppling #1 Oklahoma. This is possibly the biggest home game Florida State has played in almost a decade. Everyone knows the struggles the Seminole’s have experienced since their National Championship Game defeat to none other than Oklahoma following the 2000 season. Many thought last year’s game in Norman was going to be the re-establishment of the Seminoles as a national power. However, in only their third game under Head Coach Jimbo Fisher Florida State was no match for the Sooners and were crushed 47 -17.

This year’s game has several story lines starting with this being a matchup of top five teams, #1 Oklahoma versus #5 Florida State. For the Seminoles the big question is how much the defense has improved under Defensive Coordinator Mark Stoops, yes, the brother of Oklahoma’s Head Coach “big game” Bob Stoops. In Florida State’s favor is the defensive line led by All-American Brandon Jenkins, which is considered one of the best in the nation. Along with the defensive line the Seminoles boast a talented and fast group of linebacker’s that have only given up 1.8 yards per rush attempt in their first two games. Look for the Seminole defense to be vastly improved over the group that wilted under the pressure in Norman last year.

Every unit on Oklahoma’s team looks to be elite as expected since they are currently ranked as college football’s best team. However, the unit that will determine the outcome on Saturday night is the Sooner’s fast paced offense. The Sooner’s run a no huddle style of offense in which they snap the ball approximately every 18 seconds during an offensive possession. The Sooner offense is led by quarterback Landry Jones and wide receiver Ryan Broyles and put up 663 yards in the opening week versus Tulsa. This offense has the potential to be one of the best in recent memory and could potentially lead them to a National Championship.

The Sooners are only favored by 4 points against a team that they beat by 30 last year, so some very smart people in Vegas think that the public has a lot of confidence in Florida State. The x-factor for this game will be the kicking game. Florida State’s Dustin Hopkins has converted his last 11 field goal attempts and will answer the call in the final moments of this game to deliver a 23 – 20 Seminole victory and starting the party on Tennessee Street.

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