- Heather Dinich, ESPN Staff Writer
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Here are three keys for Florida State against South Carolina in the Chick-fil-A Bowl:
1. Stop the run. Florida State has been much better against the run this year -- No. 25 in the country and third in the ACC -- but it showed some weaknesses against Virginia Tech in the ACC championship game that the Gamecocks can exploit. Marcus Lattimore has run for 1,198 yards and 17 touchdowns this year, and quarterback Stephen Garcia has scored six rushing touchdowns this year.
2. Pressure Garcia. Florida State is No. 2 in the country and first the ACC in sacks with 3.54 per game. The Noles have had 46 sacks this season, and Garcia makes mistakes under pressure. South Carolina’s ability to pick up the rush and handle defensive ends Markus White and Brandon Jenkins will play a huge role in the outcome of the game.
3. Establish the run. Florida State’s tailbacks have been banged up this year, but this could be the healthiest they’ve all been in a while. Ty Jones, Chris Thompson and Jermaine Thomas will force the Gamecocks to be disciplined, but South Carolina has a knack for finding the ball and has also improved against the run this year, ranking ninth in the country and leading the SEC with 104.31 yards per game.