Florida State Seminoles fans watching FSU’s new ‘Gulf Coast Offense’ undoubtedly noticed the new frenetic tempo at which the Seminoles operate. But did they notice where the receivers are lining up? Wide. Really wide. “Spitting on the sidelines” is how one Florida State coach described it.

Take a look.

That’s weird. But it’s by design.

With all the matchup zone being played in college football, defenders are able to help each other. But they can only do that if they are close enough to get there to help on time. With the horizontal stretch created by the width of the receiver splits in Willie Taggart’s offense, that often isn’t the case. FSU is creating more obvious man-to-man opportunities, which it is betting its athletes can win. Given how Florida State recruits, that seems like a good bet.

“That’s big spacing, it gives our running back a lot of room to work,” receiver Tamorrion Terry said. “We’ll make that linebacker make a decision, and we’ll come back with a hurry-up play and the defense won’t be lined up.”

“I know I’m taking it to the house,” Terry said about what he feels when the safety doesn’t creep over and he recognizes he has a 1-on-1 matchup.

Defenses already have to make a vertical choice when it comes to how shallow it wants to play its safeties, whether close to the line of scrimmage to stop the run, or deep to help prevent the big pass. But Taggart’s receiver alignments (which were first popularized by Art Briles at Baylor) make the defense choose both vertically and horizontally. If the safety doesn’t get out near the sideline before the snap, he often cannot cover that much ground to help out after the snap. The same applies to the alignment