BAMA vs Florida State
Game Day Info:
When: Saturday September 29th @ 4:00PM CST
Where: Jacksonville, Florida
BAMA Team Stats
Total Offense: 463ypg (52nd) Total Defense: 326ypg (82nd)
Points Per Game: 35ppg (55th) Points Per Game Allowed: 20ppg (75th)
Rushing Offense: 205 (54th) Rushing Yards Allowed: 146ypg (118th)
Passing Offense: 231 (89th) Passing yards Allowed: 179ypg (70th)
BAMA Key Stats and Personnel
Passing: John Parker Wilson (72-133, 851, 4TD)
Rushing: Terry Grant (73-483, 5TD)
Receiving: D.J. Hall (16-337, 2TD), Mike McCoy (16-115)
Florida State Key Stats
Total Offense: 332ypg (166th) Total Defense: 305ypg (48th)
Points Per Game: 22ppg (160th) Points Per Game Allowed: 18ppg (48th)
Rushing Offense: 132ypg (159th) Rushing Yards Allowed: 74ypg (18th)
Passing Offense: 200 (142nd) Passing yards Allowed: 230ypg (159th)
BAMA Quick Hits
BAMA will travel to Jacksonville, Florida to meet Bobby Bowden's Seminoles in what could prove to be one of the pivotal games of the season. Depending on how the Tide rolls in this one might determine whether they finish the year with 9 wins or 6.
If the Tide is going to be successful this Saturday a lot of it will depend on the play of quarterback John Parker Wilson. So far this year Wilson has had his ups and downs in the new offensive system implemented by Major Applewhite. The one point of concern regarding Wilson's play that has most people scratching their heads is his inability to get going against zone defenses. Against man coverage the BAMA offense has thrived, but in the last 2 weeks teams have shown the Tide a steady diet of zone coverages to keep Wilson and the receivers from getting into a rhythm. Although Florida State has superior athletes in the secondary they may also employ some zone in an attempt to keep BAMA off balance. BAMA must counter this by rushing the ball with effect early on.
Defensively, the Tide should get a boost with the return of middle linebacker Darren Mustin. Mustin has proved to be the emotional leader of the Tide's young defense so far this season.
Tide Player FSU Must Focus On: John Parker Wilson will have to up his play for BAMA to win this game. If the Seminoles can mix up coverages as well as utilize the talent they have in the secondary to stay latched on to BAMA receivers it could be a long day for the Tide. If BAMA comes out and gets consistency in the passing game they should be able to win against a Seminole team that has not been able to put it together offensively so far this year.
BAMA Will Win If: Again, the key is balance on offense. The 'Noles might not be as talented this year as in years past, but the team has a lot of raw athletic ability and a solid defense. They currently rank 18th in the country in rushing defense so BAMA will have to pick on that FSU secondary. If Wilson and the receivers can do that they should win going away.
Florida State Quick Hits
This isn't your father's high-flying, high-octane Seminole team with an explosive offense featuring Charlie Ward or Lawrence Dawsey. In fact, it's not even the watered-down Chris Weinke version of that. This is the new and unimproved Florida State offensive attack that does everything but gain yardage, catch passes and put points on the board. Okay, that's a little harsh. All kidding aside though, this FSU team comes in this year experiencing many of the same problems it has in recent seasons. They are not putting it together on the offensive side of the ball....for whatever reason. While the 'Noles come in averaging a decent enough 22 points per game the numbers are a bit misleading unless you are looking at the actual game scores. In two of their games the team has only managed 18 and 16 points, while in their win over UAB they scored 34. That could be considered an offensive explosion for this year's squad.
With all the problems on offense the good news is that the defense is still the same ol tough, physical, fast Seminole bunch that fans have come to expect over the years. They also get a nice boost with the return of linebacker Geno hayes who was indefinitely suspended by Bobby Bowden for Hayes' part in a bar fight earlier this month.
With the Seminole offense struggling, this game may be just what the doctor ordered for State. BAMA comes in with a young defense still learning to string together enough consecutive plays to get stops, a defensive line that generates little pressure, and a secondary that has been suspect at times. Seminole quarterback Drew Weatherford has to be liking his chances going into the game. However, do not make the mistake of underestimating Saban and Steel's defense. They are young but they fly around and play with a lot of emotion. If they can play disciplined, football this weekend and harness that emotion it could be anyone's game.
Seminole Player BAMA Must Focus On: Drew Weatherford, much like John Parker Wilson, could very well end up playing a huge role in this one. Much of it depends on how Alabama plays Weatherford in my opinion. If the Tide comes out and pressures the quarterback they stand a good chance of forcing mistakes and turnovers. If they fail to do so and allow Weatherford time, he'll likely make a number of plays downfield with Florida State's athletic bunch of receivers.
Florida State Will Win If: It could come down to the Seminole defense to win this game for the team. Unless Weatherford comes out and just plays the game of his life it will likely end up being a close one that could go either way. One would have to think that offensively neither team has a decided edge at this point. Defensively however, Florida State gets the nod. If they can keep it close then they could steal a victory over a gritty BAMA team this Saturday.