Despite Florida State’s overall record of 4-3 and 2-3 mark in the ACC the Seminoles are never a team to overlook for Clemson.
The Tigers and Florida State have had some bitter battles in recent years as well as during the Tommy Bowden era. But now a new chapter begins in the rivalry as No. 2 Clemson travels to Tallahassee Saturday to take on Willie Taggart’s Seminoles.
With Taggart now leading the way backed by a new coaching staff, Florida State is a very different team schematically than what it was under former head coach Jimbo Fisher.
Under Fisher, FSU ran a pro-style system using two-tight end sets with one running back and drop back tendencies from the quarterback.
“The system is different,” Venables said Monday. “It’s just a different flavor, different DNA of the spread offense. They go really fast. They give you multiple formations, you are going to get zone read, you’re going to get pop passes.
“They are going to take shots down the field, motions and screens. Again, unbalanced sets. That’s the spread offense that we all know. It’s just a different flavor and variety.”
After missing all but one game during the 2017 season due to a season-ending knee injury against Alabama in the season opener, quarterback Deondre Francois is healthy again and having a lot of success.
“Great toughness. Super tough guy,” Venables said. “I have great respect for Deondre and obviously we didn’t have to play him last year. He was hurt. But he’s a terrific player and he’s starting to get into a rhythm and get comfortable with what they’re doing on offense.”
Now that he is back to full health, Francois has been extremely productive this season. He is second in the ACC, just under NC State’s Ryan Finley in passing yards and average per game.
“Francois, they have a lot of designed QB run game that’s there for him if he chooses it,” Venables said. “’RPO’s, I can throw it here. I can take the quarterback counter here based on numbers.’ He gets the ball out of his hand fast. He reads defenses very well. He throws with velocity and accuracy.”