TALLAHASSEE — Eye discipline was the phrase du jour around the Florida State facilities this week.
Coach Jimbo Fisher believes his defense was overaggressive in the 48-34 win against Boston College. The Eagles piled up 200 yards rushing on 45 carries as the eighth-ranked Seminoles were caught out of position and missed tackles.
They can’t afford to do that this afternoon against No. 25 Maryland. The Terrapins run a read-option offense that emphasizes misdirection and play-action.
“We had a couple knucklehead things we did with eye control, gave up a couple big plays that were very simple,” Fisher said of the BC game. “You want to see guys make plays, but sometimes on defense you have to realize that you don’t make every play.
“A couple of our situations came from eye discipline, trying to be overaggressive and not staying with what we had to do and within the scheme.”
That’s Maryland’s goal, “Just trying to get your eyes out of whack,” Seminoles linebacker Christian Jones said.
Boston College running back Andre Williams ran for 149 yards, including a 30-yarder in which two Florida State defenders missed opportunities to bring him down. Two more defenders missed tackles on the first-quarter touchdown pass to tight end Jake Sinkovec. Blown chances were common.
“Just some little eye violations,” Florida State safety Terrence Brooks said. “We’re a very aggressive defense. We want to get to the ball fast. That right there kind of killed us a little, too.”
“We did tackle well. We just weren’t in the right place all the time or didn’t have our eyes on what we were supposed to.”
At 4-0, the Terrapins are off to their best start since 2001, and quarterback C.J. Brown leads the ACC in total offense with 331.5 yards per game, including 70.8 yards rushing per game. There’s going to be plenty of misdirection today, and the Florida State defense has had tackling issues the first four games.
“When you’re facing the Marylands, the Oregons, those types of teams that run those types of offenses, you have to be very sound with your eyes,” junior nose guard Tim Jernigan said. “The biggest thing is being in the right gap, doing what you’re supposed to.”