Last season, the Florida State Seminoles had one of the best defenses in college football under defensive coordinator Mark Stoops.
However, their lack of aggressiveness often hurt them down the stretch of games, especially in losses to the North Carolina State Wolfpack and Florida Gators.
In the offseason, Stoops took the head coaching job at Kentucky and the Seminoles brought in the Alabama Crimson Tide‘s defensive backs coach, Jeremy Pruitt, to run the defense. Pruitt has installed a more aggressive scheme, focused on forcing more turnovers.
After picking off only 11 passes last season, the Seminoles lead the country in interceptions with 18 interceptions through nine games.
“To me, a gamble is an educated guess, if you do it the right way,” Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher told Brendan Sonnone of the Orlando Sentinel. “They can be physical and tackle. Nate [Andrews] can fill up there, those guys can plug holes . [Lamarcus] Joyner, he thinks he’s 7-foot-2, 390 [pounds.]”
In a 59-3 win over the Wake Forest Demon Deacons Saturday, the Seminoles allowed only seven completions and picked off six passes.
The second-ranked Seminoles will be back in action Saturday when they host the Syracuse Orange at 3:30 pm EST on either ABC or ESPN 2.