DURHAM, N.C. (CBSMiami.com) – The Florida State Seminoles are in desperation mode as what began as a season ranked in the Top 5 has devolved into a Noles team with a losing record.
FSU’s last victory was against Charleston Southern, who has lost to a Division III school this season. Luckily for FSU, they get a bit of a reprieve on the perennial ACC football doormat, the Duke Blue Devils.
“I have not seen any hanging of their heads,” Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher told the Associated Press. “It’s time to move on.”
FSU has plenty of history on their side as they square off against David Cutcliffe’s Blue Devils. Duke has played Florida State 16 times and hasn’t won a single game. In fact, Duke hasn’t kept any FSU games closer than 19 points.
Cutcliffe, a quarterback guru, has the Blue Devils offense moving thanks to the passing of quarterback Sean Renfree. The junior quarterback is averaging 270 yards through the air, but through five games has just 5 touchdown passes.
Still, Duke’s passing offense is only ranked 106th in the nation, averaging just 279 yards per game.
Florida State will counter that with a Top 25 ranked pass defense that is allowing just 192 yards through the air. The Noles have also intercepted three passes on the season.
And if Duke looks to run the football, FSU’s run defense is even better. The Noles are allowing just 91 yards a game on the ground on 39 carries a game. That translates to a 2.36 yard per carry average. In addition, FSU has only given up three touchdowns on the ground in 2011.
But the problem for FSU has been its own running game. The Noles rushing attack is only averaging 86 yards per game, which is worse than schools like Florida Atlantic, New Mexico State, Central Michigan, and many others.
Not surprisingly, FSU has become completely dependent on the pass. The Noles are ranked 13th in passing offense in the country, averaging 325 yards per game. But, FSU’s problem in the air has been interceptions.
Through the early part of the season, the Noles have thrown for 15 touchdowns while also throwing for 10 interceptions. FSU’s interceptions allowed rank them 115th in the country out of 120 teams.
FSU will look to get back on the winning track starting at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday on Fox Sports South.