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2023 ACC Football Championship Opponent Breakdown: Florida State Seminoles Offense

NCAA Football: Syracuse at Florida State Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Norvell is known as one of the best offensive minds in college football and he has earned that moniker this season. Norvell deploys an arsenal of screens, misdirection, and deep throws in his passing attack that he balances with a power-running game. With the talent he has amassed for the Seminoles, he makes it hard to key on just one player. UofL will have its hands full trying to keep up with all of the threats.

Jordan Travis was lost for the season a few weeks ago but UofL fans are familiar with Tate Rodemaker the veteran backup who stepped in to be the starter. Rodemaker came into the game against FSU last year around halftime and led the Noles to a comeback win. While he wasn’t dazzling in his play, he was efficient and accurate. He has shown in his limited time on the field that he has the poise and decision-making ability needed to play quarterback at a high level.

A few times this year I’ve stated that the opposing running back or wide receiver is the best that Louisville will face this year. You can throw those statements out the window. Trey Benson is the best running back Louisville will face before the bowl game. Benson is the complete package as a running back and he has only improved from the guy that the Cards saw last season. He mixes great speed with unbelievable power and tackle-breaking ability. But he also expanded his role as a pass catcher out of the backfield. UofL is in for a long day if they continue to struggle with tackling.

Lawrance Toafili is back as the second-string running back for the Noles. He has broken some big runs this season and he has also been a target on a good amount of screen plays as well. Toafili also runs very hard and breaks tackles in the open field. He doesn’t make people miss in tight spaces like Benson does but he is nimble in the open field and he can run around guys to extend chunk runs into explosive runs.

One of the best receivers in the country lines up outside for FSU in Keon Coleman. Coleman became a household name in the first game of the season when he put up 3 touchdowns against LSU. Since then, he has continued to pile up touchdowns as well as highlight catches on the way to being a Biletnikoff semifinalist. There is no real defense for Coleman as he will do everything from quick screens, stop routes, deep crosses, and go routes. He will also make plays after the catch with really good agility in the open field to go with good speed. At this point, I think he will be a top-15 pick in the draft in a few months.

Louisville fans are also familiar with Johnny Wilson after he had a breakout game against the Cards last season. Wilson is a huge target at 6-7/237 and he has enough speed to make big plays but he is at his best when he is being used for contested catches on third downs where his size and physicality can take over. Wilson has had problems with drops during his career but as we saw last year, he can take over a game in the right situation.

The Cards haven’t had to worry about too many tight ends this season but that won’t be the case this weekend. Jaheim Bell is a big-time talent and Norvell uses him in some of the most unique ways I’ve ever seen. Bell is at his best with the ball in his hands and the Noles like to use him on tight end sweeps and screens. He will also do the traditional things like seam routes and choice/option routes in the middle of the field. But, the quirky things they do with him to get him into space against defensive backs are what most concern you for a defense. He can really cause issues with his athleticism.

While I think Miami’s offense line was the best on UofL’s schedule, FSU isn’t far behind. What used to be the laughing stock of the country has been transformed by Alex Atkins over the last couple of years. The Noles have a veteran group of players that have spent a lot of time playing together and they have been molded by the fire of keeping Jordan Travis upright while he runs around making plays. I think they are at their best when they play bully ball and just take it to defenses in the run game. UK had success doing so in the second half last weekend so it is something of a worry that FSU will try to do the same.