“BC, from what I watched in their film, had a really good offense and offensive line, and they had success running ball a little bit. We think we can do that, too, if our guys are communicating well,” Canes left guard Jonathan Feliciano said. “FSU’s strength is up front on their D-line. We know that. If we don’t do well, our offense won’t do well. We just have to bring it this week.”
Feliciano said FSU’s front is similar to that of the Gators, whom UM struggled against earlier this year, in terms of talent. But the Seminoles run multiple schemes — a mix of three- and four-man fronts — and “FSU has some bigger guys.
“They’re tough up front, and they have good linebackers that can run outside and are quick enough to get to the edge and make the tackle,’’ Feliciano said. “We really got our work cut out for us. I can’t wait to get in there and start doing stuff.’’
When Miami had its most success running the football in the fourth quarter of its wins at North Carolina and at home over Wake Forest, the offensive line rotation didn’t change much offensive coordinator James Coley said.
The unit UM went with: Ereck Flowers at left tackle, Feliciano at left guard, Shane McDermott at center, Jared Wheeler at right guard and Brandon Linder at right tackle.
"I guess we just kind of gelled a little better when we had to," Feliciano said. "Duke and Dallas also made great plays when we didn’t block well. I think it was just more of them doing what they do and making us look better."
With Johnson battling injuries and leaving games early a couple times this season (migraines, concussion) and also battling a few fumbles, his teammates say it was encouraging to see Johnson using his stiff arm and demanding the football in the fourth quarter last Saturday. With Crawford emerging a week before that, there’s confidence building UM could run its way to success against Florida State.
"I feel like for them, they’re just playing must faster than before," fullback Maurice Hagens said of Johnson and Crawford. "I see a different look in everybody’s eyes, really. They know this entire week its crunch time."