November 25, 2013

In 2013, Tallahassee is college football's Pick City

There's no question that this year, Tallahassee is college football's pick city. Through 11 games, Florida State has 23 total interceptions, coming from a staggering 16 different defenders. The Seminoles intercepted Idaho four times Saturday afternoon, taking back two to the end zone.

Before we head to a couple of breakdowns, note this: FSU is up to eight defensive touchdowns with three games to play.

Pick Six I: Telvin Smith

The starting unit turned in two interceptions Saturday, and it was senior Telvin Smith that got it going. Though this look here can be confused with a quarterback spy, Smith is actually in man coverage. The Seminoles kept things vanilla as they should Saturday and this play was no different. Because the tailback stays in to protect, Smith keys in on the quarterback's eyes.

Smith intersects with the ball and his teammate, ultimately coming away with the interception and turning in a nifty return of 79 yards.

McDaniel, Keelin Smith get first INT's

The starters' second interception came on a pinball-like play in the second quarter, with the ball ending up in the meaty mitts of senior Jacobbi McDaniel. McDaniel can thank teammate Mario Edwards Jr. for the proper sendoff: Edwards made the whole play on a traditional pass rush, getting his hands up and deflecting a low pass.

Keelin Smith's interception was a product of a prayer throw by Idaho's Josh McCain. The intended receiver is running up right-hand sideline on a vertical rout and is covered well by Nick Waisome. Smith simply follows the telegraphing eyes of the quarterback to make the play. Smith nearly beat E.J. Levenberry to the punch as the provider of the Seminoles' eighth defensive score. Instead of a 51-yard pick six, Smith was ruled out of bounds at the seven-yard line.

Pick Six II: A study in bad camerawork and athleticism

The final interception, a wildly athletic play by Levenberry, was visible for only an instant to those tuned into Saturday's play-by-play. The freshman linebacker makes a cat-like stab with his left hand to deflect the pass into the air. Levenberry came down with the deflection instants later and took off for a 78-yard touchdown return.

Unfortunately for the viewing audience, only the most alert eyes could have seen Levenberry secure the ball. From there, his whereabouts were anyone's guess.

The cameraman makes an adjustment, swinging wildly down the field. Yet still, apparently Levenberry's superhuman speed eludes the frame.

Thankfully, replay caught all the action. Look at this still after the deflection and note the intense focus on the football.

In a season that's seen its share of big defensive plays, Levenberry effectively closed down Doak Campbell stadium for the year in appropriate fashion.

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