TALLAHASSEE -- The Florida State Seminoles have been the college football equivalent of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde so far in 2012.
When donning their garnet jerseys in the friendly confines of Doak Campbell Stadium, the Seminoles have been dominant, averaging 55 points per contest with more than 600 yards of offense in four of their five home games.
The lone game below 600 yards, against Savannah State, was called 20 minutes early because of inclement weather while Florida State lead 55-0.
Since 2000, Florida State has had more than 600 yards of offense six times – four of which have come this year.
On the road, however, Florida State has looked like a much different team.
In two trips to South Florida and North Carolina State, FSU is 1-1. Their offense averages 205 fewer yards, down from 589 per game at home to 384 yards on the road. They have scored far fewer points, down 32 from their 55 point average at home to 23 points per game.
“Our two previous road games we had some issues, but you know I think now since we experienced that, it will help us when we get to Miami,” said senior running back Chris Thompson.
While Florida State will be heavily favored in Saturday night’s rivalry game with the Hurricanes, what Seminole team shows up at Sun Life Stadium is anyone’s guess.
Two weeks ago in Tampa, the Seminoles faced their first road test and struggled against a scrappy South Florida team. They pulled out a 30-17 win, but the Bulls had their backs against the wall early in the second half after blocking a punt deep in Seminole territory.
“We all had to learn a lesson as an organization that it’s pretty tough to go into someone else’s home,” junior safety Lamarcus Joyner said. “They’re going to fight you hard. They are going to claw.”
The week after, after jumping out to a 16-0 first-half lead against N.C. State that seemed to make good on the previous week’s lesson, the Dr. Jekyll-like Noles arrived in the second half. FSU’s offense sputtered to just 121 second-half yards and mustered no points as the Seminoles lost their first game of the year, 17-16.
Back home on Saturday night, with Seminole fans wondering what team would show up to take on Boston College, it was back to Mr. Hyde. FSU pounded the Eagles 51-7 behind a career day from EJ Manuel and returned to the form that had many pegging them as a title contender this season.
“We [have to] take everything one week at a time, never look ahead to anything” said junior linebacker Christian Jones. “This game is over, now our focus is on Miami.”
So which Seminoles team will it be Saturday night?
“Every team that plays at home, they’re going to be hyped to play there so we’ve got to go out there and max that energy,” Jones said.
“This week it’s Miami, it’s going to be a big rivalry game so we won’t have the let-ups.”