Friday, December 5, 2014

2014 ACC Championship Game Scouting Preview

Despite entering Saturday’s ACC Championship Game with an undefeated record, the defending-champion Florida State Seminoles are barely hanging onto the final spot in the inaugural college football playoff. A loss to Georgia Tech would most likely bump them out of the playoff picture, fairly or unfairly, but it will be a tough task for the Yellow Jackets to knock off the Seminoles without arguably their top prospect, senior wide receiver DeAndre Smelter, who tore his ACL last weekend against Georgia. At 6-2 and 233 pounds with game-breaking speed, Smelter has accounted for 44 percent of Georgia Tech’s receiving yardage and 41 percent of their touchdowns through the air.

While the Yellow Jackets are a run-heavy team, ranking third in FBS with 333.8 rushing yards per game, the dynamic skill set of Smelter will be missed in the red zone, on third downs and on gadget plays that help their offense move down the field. Florida State has a few good prospects on their defensive line, but the Seminoles rank just 42nd in FBS against the run, allowing just over 145 yards per game on the ground. Georgia Tech will need to dominate the ground game and keep the ball away from Florida St. to have a chance to win this ballgame.

Florida State

Jameis Winston, QB, #5

One of the more divisive prospects eligible for the 2015 NFL Draft, redshirt sophomore Winston has endured a bumpy road on the field as well as off it lately. A four-interception performance against Florida last weekend marked the sixth consecutive game with a pick for Winston, including three games with multiple turnovers. Winston continues to show impressive memory loss and refuses to fold late despite his mistakes, but his decision-making and accuracy need to improve if the Seminoles want a legitimate chance at another title. Winston is the only QB with a chance to unseat Marcus Mariota at the top of the position rankings, but will need to clean up his play down the stretch.

Read the rest at Optimum Scouting

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