Football

Shafer praises Florida State’s all-around talent

Last Saturday was just another blowout for No. 2 Florida State. The Seminoles piled up 59 points and held Wake Forest to just three.

But FSU totaled just 296 yards of offense. Instead, Florida State leaned on seven takeaways to spark this rout.

The Seminoles are more than just Jameis Winston — they’re one of the best all-around teams in college football.

“It starts up front,” Syracuse head coach Shafer said during his weekly press conference Thursday.

Florida State’s defense, and its line in particular, haven’t put up some of the outlandish number of other elite defenses, but Shafer likened their stats to a top quarterback recruit who only throws for 1,200 yards.

“There’s a part of me that almost feels bad for them because they’re out of the game early a lot of times,” Shafer said, “so they haven’t had the ability to put up some of the stats that other teams are.”

And the Seminoles are just as strong on the other side of the ball. Left tackle Cameron Erving and center Bryan Stork are both NFL prospects. Gaps are hard to come by.

As an old defensive coach, Shafer first takes a look at the opponent’s offensive-line scheme. Then he takes a look at the players, trying to find a weakness to exploit.

“We’ve had blitzes in the past where we’ve said we’re checking the blitz to that guy,” Shafer said. “There’s not a guy like that at Florida State. They’re all really good players.

“I haven’t seen a weakness in this team. I really haven’t.”

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