No. 8 Florida State wants quicker offensive pace

Associated Press  |  Last updated September 19, 2013

JACKSONVILLE, FL - JANUARY 01: Offensive coordinator and future head coach Jimbo Fisher of the Florida State Seminoles walks the sidelines while taking on the West Virginia Mountaineers during the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl on January 1, 2010 at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida. Florida State defeated West Virginia 33-21 in Bobby Bowden's last game as a head coach for the Seminoles. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
The eighth-ranked Florida State Seminoles are a no-huddle team looking to pick up the pace. The Seminoles scored five offensive touchdowns during an 8:15 span in the 62-7 rout against Nevada last weekend. That was impressive, but coach Jimbo Fisher believes the unit can move faster. Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston checks with the sideline after every play. Offensive linemen take their positions as receivers and backs hover and await the next call. Fisher wants to quicken the process, put opposing defenses on their heels and wear down opponents. ''Coach Fisher says it all the time, he wants to play fast,'' FSU left tackle Cameron Erving said. ''He wants to get a lot of snaps a game on offense. As an o-line, we try to make it happen. ''We want to get a lot of snaps on offense and keep our defense off the field as much as possible. But at the same time, we're not Oregon. ... We do something, they do something different. But that's definitely in the right area. We want to be up there on the same level, at a certain speed as those teams.'' Oregon has been the FBS standard-bearer when it comes to playing at a break-neck pace. The Ducks averaged 72 offensive plays per game in their first three contests this season, their lowest average in the last four seasons. That's not a surprise with former coach Chip Kelly now in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles. Oregon ranked No. 9 in the FBS last season with 81.4 plays per game, according to STATS LLC, and was the second-highest scoring team in the nation (49.6 points per game). Clemson was eighth in the country in 2012, running 81.7 plays per game. The Tigers ranked No. 6 with 41.0 points per game. Baylor, which leads the FBS with an average of 69.5 points per game this season, averaged 76 plays in its first two games. Florida State averaged 67.2 offensive plays per game in 2012 - the team-high in four years under Fisher - and were ranked 88th among FBS schools. The Seminoles have run an average of 63.0 plays in two games this season - tied for No. 111. Fisher wants more and a veteran offensive line, including four juniors and a senior, has him optimistic about the rest of the season. Their next chance comes Saturday against undefeated Bethune-Cookman (3-0). ''That line can now really feel comfortable getting up there in a hurry, making calls and not have to decipher all that stuff. You've got a mature line,'' Fisher said. ''We were still a young team last year on offense. Even though we had a good offense. ''I think the maturity allows you to do more, just play faster and make the calls better and get in a better rhythm.'' The offensive line can help, but tempo primarily rests with the quarterback. The offense ran at a quicker clip with a senior quarterback in EJ Manuel. Winston is a freshman with just two games of NCAA experience. The Seminoles averaged a play every 26.8 seconds of possession in 2012. That number has risen to 29.6 in 2013. Winston is ''still trying to learn. He doesn't know it all,'' Erving said. ''He pushes the tempo just as much as EJ would. ... Jameis pushes us to pick up the tempo, but at the same time, it's a slower process because Jameis has to slow down. He has to make his calls. Make sure everything's right, everything. ''The last couple games, we've gone pretty fast. At the same time, we're still not at the tempo that we know we can be.'' Winston added, ''What do they say? `A team's only as good as its weakest link?' I'm not going to say I'm the weakest link, but I am the youngest on the offense.'' Pace doesn't directly translate to national championships. Neither Oregon, Baylor nor Clemson have won a BCS title. Alabama, which ranked No. 112 running an average of 64.1 plays per game in 2012, has won of three of the last four. The Seminoles, however, are in the championship discussion with one of the top young quarterbacks in the game. They should remain in contention, especially if Winston and the rest Florida State's talented offensive cadre start getting more snaps and more opportunities to challenge defenses.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

CFL fines head coach for meeting with Johnny Manziel rep

Reuben Foster hung up on Saints when 49ers called him

Packers ‘taking calls’ for No. 33 pick in draft

Bears confirm that Mike Glennon is their starter for the 2017 season

Report: Jets making calls trying to trade Sheldon Richardson

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Broncos players take to Twitter to call for team to sign Gary Barnidge

Report: Paul likely to re-sign with Clippers; Griffin more uncertain

Report: Larry Bird quitting as Pacers president

Rivers on if Chargers had picked QB: ‘It wouldn’t have been great’

Browns reportedly were shut down on Jimmy Garoppolo trade attempt again

Browns plan to use Jabrill Peppers on offense and defense

The 'Beast Mode as a parting gift' quiz

Best of Yardbarker: Don't sleep on the Stanley Cup Playoffs

Our favorite undrafted players of all time

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

Kicking it: Orlando surges while the Galaxy struggles

Three Up, Three Down: Madison Bumgarner gets grounded

Box Score 4/28: NFL Draft gets younger every year

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'NFL Draft Day is finally upon us' quiz

Most memorable 'NFL Draft weekend drama' stories

Stanley Cup Playoffs: Eastern rivalries take center stage

Marshawn Lynch gives an already-spurned city hometown appeal

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Don't sleep on the Stanley Cup Playoffs

The 'Beast Mode as a parting gift' quiz

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

Our favorite undrafted players of all time

Kicking it: Orlando surges while the Galaxy struggles

Three Up, Three Down: Madison Bumgarner gets grounded

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'NFL Draft Day is finally upon us' quiz

Most memorable 'NFL Draft weekend drama' stories

Stanley Cup Playoffs: Eastern rivalries take center stage

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker