Thursday, January 10, 2013
By the Numbers: Depth on the line
By David M. Hale
With the 2012 season officially in the books, we took a look through the stats to determine some of the most significant improvements and problems Florida State endured this year, with five stats that defined 2012.
The numbers don't always tell the whole story, but these numbers shed some light on some of the biggest reasons Florida State won 12 games and its first ACC title in seven years, and also why those other two games got away.
Cornellius Carradine (31) stepped in and had a monster senior season after Brandon Jenkins went down.
That's the number of sacks recorded by Florida State's defensive ends this season, just one of which was made by Brandon Jenkins.
Jenkins thrilled Florida State fans when he decided last offseason to return for his senior year, but that enthusiasm lasted all of one quarter before he went down with a foot injury that ended his season. The loss could have been devastating, but as it turned out, Jenkins was hardly missed.
In his second season at FSU, Cornellius Carradine blossomed when he was given the chance to step into the starter's role. For the season, he recorded 11 sacks and 13 tackles for loss -- roughly doubling his production from a year earlier. He teamed with Bjoern Werner (13 sacks) to finish out the year as the most prolific defensive end duo in the nation.
Of course, Carradine didn't finish out the year, either. He, too, succumbed to a season-ending injury, tearing his ACL in the fourth quarter against Florida. With Carradine out, freshman Mario Edwards Jr. stepped in, was exceptional against the run in FSU's final two games, and finished the year with 17 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 2.5 TFLs and a pass breakup.
In all, Florida State recorded six more sacks in 2012 than it had in 2011, despite two of its stars missing a combined 15 games. That's particularly encouraging given that Werner, Jenkins and Carradine will all be playing on Sundays next year. Expect Chris Casher and potentially Giorgio Newberry to step into those roles.