FSU's defense is preparing for Auburn by watching tape of Alabama. (January 2, 2014)
FSU DB Terrence Brooks discusses Jeremy Pruitt's defensive scheme and how it can help against Auburn's offense.
The first-year defensive coordinator came to FSU this offseason after serving as an assistant at Alabama since 2007.
The time spent in the SEC, and specifically his knowledge of Alabama’s defense, could be useful when the Seminoles face Auburn Monday in the BCS National Championship Game.
“I’m very familiar with the players at Alabama, the talent level, who they are,” Pruitt said during media availability on Thursday. “Schematically, obviously us and Alabama are very similar. So how [Auburn coach Gus Malzahn] attacked Alabama, what he had success with, what he didn’t have success with.”
Auburn beat then No. 1 Alabama 34-28 in November, a game the Seminoles have watched ad nauseum, to the point where FSU defensive back Lamarcus Joyner likened to where the brain shuts down after cramming for an exam.
“It’s almost like growing up in life and you have a big brother, and he makes the mistakes in life for you,” Joyner said. “You don’t want to learn the hard way, you want to learn from others’ experiences.
“To see a great defense like Alabama, and a coach like Coach Pruitt who comes from that pedigree, we run similar things. To be able to critique things and not make the same mistakes is tremendous for us. We couldn’t have a better head start.”
Auburn, which leads the country in rushing yards per game (335.69), ran for 296 yards against Alabama – nearly triple the Crimson Tide’s season average.
Pruitt regularly speaks with Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, but Smart will not give his former protégé any tips about slowing down the country’s top rushing attack.
“They still got the whole SEC going at it now, there’s some pride there,” Pruitt said with a chuckle.