Following a balanced and systematic win over Maryland, Florida State's offensive line will enjoy its film review with coaches Jimbo Fisher and Rick Trickett more than it did after the trip to Blacksburg. The Seminoles accomplished a little bit of everything Saturday, headlined by 237 rushing yards and a per-carry average of nearly six yards.
Let's take a closer look at what was a rousing success for the offensive line against the 16th-ranked defense in the country.
Florida State offensive line
The Seminoles capped off a balanced opening drive with Devonta Freeman's first rushing touchdown of the day. The score came one play after the line generated just enough of a push on 3rd-and-1 for James Wilder Jr. to convert for a fresh set of downs. In this play highlighted above, look at the surge the big guys generate past the line of scrimmage, lined in black on the ESPN broadcast.
The push generated by the front group puts Freeman in an advantageous situation - isolated against a second-level defender. If Freeman wins the battle, he scores. That's exactly what happened on this play.
Manuel to O'Leary for TD
One snap after Chad Abram forced a fumble on a Maryland kick return, the Seminoles were able to make quick work of a red zone opportunity. Florida State's offensive line gives EJ Manuel his own field to work with in the pocket, which was more than enough space for the senior to throw a strike to tight end Nick O'Leary for a 10-yard score.
One thing of importance here is O'Leary's clean route. Priority one for the sophomore on this particular play is to gain outside leverage - that is to say he needs to position himself between the defender and the boundary. This opens an uncontested window for Manuel to deliver the football.
On another note, had O'Leary not been open on the play, Manuel does have another option on the in-route highlighted with the red diamond. In this case, the tight end was number one in Manuel's progression.
Freeman's big run
The duo that had an especially productive game within the offensive line was the guards. Sophomore Tre Jackson helps set the tone here on Freeman's 47-yard run along with fullback Lonnie Pryor.
Go back and watch the full replay of this run, and Maryland plays into the Seminoles' hands after the snap. Both the Terrapin linebackers and secondary attack the box, leaving Freeman again in a one-on-one situation against a second-level defender.
The diving tackle attempt at Freeman's legs is unsuccessful at the point of attack, although the sophomore would eventually be tripped up inside the Maryland 10-yard line. Freeman's strengths are significantly different than those of the injured Chris Thompson in that Freeman can usually make the first guy miss with both power and agility. Though he does not possess the patience or elite-level burst of Thompson, Freeman capitalized on the opportunities provided him by the offensive line.
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