Sunday, October 20, 2013
Seminoles D grabs the spotlight
By Ivan Maisel
CLEMSON, S.C. -- As it turned out, the weeks-long debate over whether No. 3 Clemson fifth-year quarterback Tajh Boyd is better than No. 5 Florida State first-year quarterback Jameis Winston, proved irrelevant Saturday night at Memorial Stadium.
(Pregame hype irrelevant? Say it ain't so!)
Ronald Darby and the Seminoles defense harassed, hounded and, well, made life miserable for Sammy Watkins and the Clemson offense.
What we learned, courtesy of the Seminoles' 51-14 beatdown of the Tigers, is that Clemson fifth-year quarterback Tajh Boyd is not better than Florida State first-year defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.
With all due respect to Winston, the wonder who threw for 444 yards and three touchdowns, Florida State won this game on the other side of the ball, which Pruitt has revamped and revived in 10 short months. The Seminoles limited Boyd to 156 yards passing and forced four turnovers from a team that had only six in the first six games.
"I'm gonna tell you, the key tonight was defense," Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher said. "... Creating the turnovers, creating the opportunities. And just making those guys [Clemson] work for everything they got. [Our defense is] really grasping the whole system, and I'm extremely proud for those guys."
Pruitt is the 38-year-old, first-year defensive coordinator at Florida State, and a graduate of SDU -- Saban Defense University. Fisher, another former assistant to Alabama head coach Nick Saban, spirited Pruitt out of Tuscaloosa, where he spent three seasons and won two rings coaching the defensive backfield.
Fisher, like his former boss, doesn't allow his assistants to speak to the media. But here's what you need to know.