The Daily Nole

FSU Spring Game: Defensive Match-Up Analysis

FSU athletics

Before the Final Four tips off in Minneapolis on Saturday, Florida State will play its annual spring game between the Garnet and the Gold.

The game could serve as a first step in ridding fans of the bad taste of 5-7 that the 2018 season left in their mouths. It will also serve as the debut in a game setting for early enrollees, transfers and new coaches.

On the defensive side of the football, FSU looks to bounce back from giving up more points per game than any other squad in program history. Here’s a look at what both the Garnet and Gold will bring to the table defensively on Saturday and which team will have the advantage at each position:

Defensive line
Garnet notables: Dennis Briggs (DE), Cedric Wood (DT), Ja’len Parks (DT), Tru Thompson (DT), Robert Cooper (DT)
Gold notables: Joshua Kaindoh (DE), Janarius Robinson (DE), Xavier Peters (DE), Jamarcus Chatman (DE), Malcolm Lamar (DE), Marvin Wilson (DT), Cory Durden (DT)
Analysis: The Gold team may have Florida State’s entire starting defensive line with Joshua Kaindoh, Janarius Robinson, Marvin Wilson and Cory Durden. Malcolm Lamar and Xavier Peters are also a couple of second-year players who could make a significant impact. Peters is suspended indefinitely and may not play on Saturday. The Garnet team has just one defensive end in Dennis Briggs. The four defensive tackles it has will have a real chance to prove themselves on Saturday.
Advantage: Gold

Garnet notables: Dontavious Jackson, Jaleel McRae, Emmett Rice, Adonis Thomas
Gold notables: DeCalon Brooks, Amari Gainer, Josh Brown, Leonard Warner
Analysis: Dontavious Jackson headlines the linebacker unit and he finds himself on the Garnet squad along with impressive early enrollee Jaleel McRae, who fans will get to see for the first time. The group of linebackers on the Gold team outside of redshirt sophomore DeCalon Brooks are great fits for a 3-4 scheme should the Seminoles go that route.
Advantage: Garnet

Garnet notables: Hamsah Nasirildeen (S), Levonta Taylor, Kyle Meyers (CB), Carlos Becker, Cyrus Fagan (S), Isaiah Bolden
Gold notables: Asante Samuel, Jr. (CB), Stanford Samuels III, Carlos Becker, Akeem Dent (CB), A.J. Lytton (CB), Raymond Woodie III (S), Jaiden Lars-Woodbey (S)
Analysis: Carlos Becker is listed on both rosters, but the Garnet squad has the more veteran secondary while the Gold secondary is full of youngsters and potential. The spring game will provide an opportunity to see last season’s leading tackler Hamsah Nasirildeen in a linebacker hybrid role and Levonta Taylor getting work at safety. For the Gold team, it will be the debut of early enrollees Akeem Dent and Raymond Woodie III. Sophomores Asante Samuel, Jr. and A.J. Lytton will also get to make a push for playing time on the outside.
Advantage: Garnet

Special teams
Garnet notables: Tommy Martin (P)
Gold notables: Logan Tyler (P), Ricky Aguayo (K), Grant Glennon (LS)
Analysis: The special teams units don’t usually go in full speed in spring games and the kicking specialists usually kick for both teams. As it stands right now, all three scholarship specialists are on the Gold squad.
Advantage: Gold

Mike Ferguson is the editor of The Daily Nole. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson

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