FSU Opponent Preview: North Carolina State

Florida State versus North Carolina State

Amazing, we’re about a quarter of the way through the regular season, and FSU only has one game under their belt! No fault of their own, it just came after a heart-wrenching loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide, a season crippling injury to Deondre Francois, and a devastating Hurricane that impacted seven Collegiate football programs and eight scheduled FBS football games. While, thankfully, no program was significantly impacted by the Hurricane (save for Miami, who has spent the past week preparing for Toledo in Orlando), it has come to the detriment of the schedules of many of these programs. Florida State, Miami, Florida, are three such major programs that now face 11 game seasons (even fellow neighbor Georgia Tech now faces an 11 game schedule with the cancellation of the UCF game). Indeed, Florida State vs Miami has even been postponed until October 7th.

So what to make of FSU’s first home opener: the North Carolina State Wolfpack

2017 Football Record: 2-1

Strengths: Ryan Finley (QB), entire front seven

Weaknesses: Secondary, Special teams

Thoughts: Please excuse my rust, much like the Noles, I haven’t put one of these out in a while. I also haven’t been following much NC State football, so I’ve had to rely on outside sources. Also, it is difficult to get a gauge on this game with just one game under FSU’s own belt. What I will say is that NC State has a star in Ryan Finley. I’ve no doubts that he’ll make an NFL team happy when he gets picked up in the draft this year (the guy’s declaring I’d say). But despite best efforts, NC State lost on a neutral field, with a full off-season to prepare, while statistically out-performing South Carolina.

NC State now faces a much more formidable FSU Secondary and defensive line that ought to give even Ryan fits, coupled with a less-than-stellar run game. The game is away at FSU, at noon. FSU has had two weeks to now prepare a true freshman for the transition, and apply necessary changes to a special teams that was woeful versus the Crimson Tide (granted, they’ll usually make teams pay on special teams). Given that FSU played it close with the top team in the country for over two and a half quarters (by my count, a missed holding call on Alabama and no special teams blunders would of left the score at 14-13, but alas, history can’t be changed so we have 24-7), I imagine we will see an angry FSU squad ready to make a statement after being so easily forgotten after their first game (due to the misfortunes of mother nature).

Supposing the special teams woes on both sides cancel each other out, I imagine that NC State will have luck stifling the FSU run game (although if they struggle here, the game will be a blow-out). Despite this, their secondary is questionable, and Blackman is rumored to have an arm. With talented receivers (WR and TE) littering FSU’s roster, I can easily see the game getting out of hand for the Wolfpack. This game is no longer a trap game for FSU, who have all their focus on the Pack. The Pack have been practicing for other teams prior to FSU, while FSU can dedicate all their prep towards dismantling the WolfPack.

There’s a reason why Vegas set the odds to -12.5 for FSU (like dropped to -11.5). I like the Noles to cover. In fact, I can see this one getting out of hand for NC State pretty quick, given what I do know about the strengths and weaknesses of both programs at this stage.

Final Verdict: FSU will play with rust at first, NC State will hang for a quarter, maybe a quarter and a half. FSU pulls away towards the end of the first half, and I can see the game going over two touchdowns in the third quarter, with blow-out potential by the fourth. FSU 34 – NC State 14

Man, it’s great to be back! GO NOLES! (and Go ACC!)

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