TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – The Florida State Seminoles head into the final third of their schedule with a game against the Atlantic Coast Conference Coast Division leading Duke Blue Devils on Saturday.
That wasn’t an error; Duke really is leading the ACC’s Coastal Division. The Blue Devils are 6-2 on the season and 3-1 in conference play heading into the game against the Seminoles this weekend.
Florida State is coming off a rivalry victory over the Miami Hurricanes last weekend. Duke is fresh off a victory over rival North Carolina Tar Heels. FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher knows his team will have to cut out the mistakes, but is confident in the team’s ability to overcome deficits.
“We overcame penalties…losing our best offensive football player 20 plays into the game…and still had 450 yards of offense and scored over 30 points,” Fisher said of the Miami game. “We haven’t done that here for a long time in the past. Other teams out there, good teams, don’t always do that.”
The Seminoles have the nation’s fifth-ranked scoring defense, allowing just 12.6 points per game, according to cfbstats.com. The Noles defense has pulled down 21 sacks and is averaging 2.63 per game in 2012.
Florida State is especially stout against the run, giving up just 2.35 yards per rush this season and 69 yards per game, good for second in the nation. Overall, the defense gives up just 3.51 yards per play in 2012, according to cfbstats.com.
The Noles offense is carrying plenty of the weight of the team as well. The Noles average 44.4 points per game and have gone over 600 yards of total offense multiple times this season. Overall, the Florida State offense is averaging 520.1 yards per game.
Duke has undergone a nearly complete revival under head coach David Cutcliffe. Duke is no longer the ACC’s cupcake school in football, Duke threatening to capture the division and earn a trip to the ACC Championship game.
The Blue Devils are especially lethal throwing the football. Duke has a two headed monster at receiver in Conner Vernon and Jamison Crowder. Combined, the duo has caught 102 passes for 1,378 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Needless to say, Duke’s talented receivers will provide a good test for the Seminoles secondary if the Blue Devils’ offensive line can give quarterback Sean Renfree enough time to throw the football.
Duke and Florida State will kick off at 3:30 p.m. on ESPNU.