#3 Florida State comes to town for the Red Bandana Game. The Seminoles are coming off a drubbing of Southern Miss, while BC escaped a loss to FCS Holy Cross. But hey, FSU lost to the subdivision’s Jacksonville State just two years ago and look at them now! These two squared off in an ugly contest last year that was over before it started. FSU dominated 44-14. The Seminoles are building on a 10-win season and are now on the warpath to the College Football Playoff with the Eagles in the way.
After putting up 45 points on then #5 LSU, Mike Norvell’s team tacked on three more touchdowns more on Southern Miss. The BC defense will have more than enough to deal with.
At quarterback, Jordan Travis returns and has been nothing short of spectacular. Against LSU he threw for 347 yards and accounted for five total touchdowns. He’s had the mobility since he arrived from Louisville, and has blossomed as a passer under Norvell. Last season, he took great care of the ball only throwing five interceptions, and complete 64% of his passes for over 3000 yards and 24 touchdowns. A second team All-ACC selection last season, this year he finds himself as the second favorite to win the Heisman Trophy.
Against Southern Miss, the Seminoles flexed their run game as things were rolling so well. Nine players toted the rock, and they amassed over 300 yards rushing with Trey Benson leading the way. Benson is the main man and punched in three touchdowns that day. He had two against the Eagles last year as well.
Michigan State transfer receiver Keon Coleman has been dominant as well. He had a sensational 9 catches, 122 yards and 3 touchdown performance against the Tigers in week 1.
Then this past weekend he hurdled a defender and scored on the next play. Just a day in the office for the 6-4, 215 junior who has pretty much settled who the #2 receiver in the upcoming draft is. His counterpart Johnny Wilson casually eclipsed the century mark against the Tigers as well.
On the offensive line, the team’s starting left tackle and center missed last weekend’s game and are in doubt for this weekend as well, but they’re Florida State and have plenty of depth with upperclassmen across the board. The FSU offense controls the clock and puts up points pretty much at will, and that just leaves their defense a tad fresher...
Florida State’s defense just about shut down LSU in the second half of their game. They held them to 3/10 on third down and forced a fumble and an interception. They did just about the same and more to Southern Miss. The Seminoles will bring physicality BC has yet to face this season.
Florida State features one of the nation’s best defensive lines. At edge, they have the ACC’s defensive rookie of the year in Patrick Payton and yet another future first round pick in Jared Verse. Verse had nine sacks last year good for top ten in the country. In the middle of their line, Fabien Lovett returns from injury and Braden Fiske arrives from a dominant season at Western Michigan with 13.5 sacks, 81 pressures, and 47 run-defense stops. All among the best in the country. This season, they haven’t proved themselves completely in stopping the run though. They rattled the Golden Eagles quarterback, but they did hit over 100 yards rushing despite the blowout.
As mentioned, the secondary has logged turnovers in both weeks. The defensive backfield returns multiple starters and has similar depth all around. Coming off a season where they were nation’s fourth best pass defense, they’re only getting better.
In comes Fentrell Cypress, a second team All-ACC player, from Virginia. A prize transfer get, he’s helped a lot on the outside. Renardo Green has been at FSU for some time now and coming off one of his best seasons. The senior leader has tabbed one pick so far this season and is an eager tackler.
A last name to watch is Shyheim Brown. The sophomore replaces one of the team’s top playmaker from last season. Brown was the one who blocked LSU’s extra point to win last season’s opener. Now he steps into the Buck role to make plays at every level of the defense.
That number 3 ranking in front of their name is no joke. This is an elite unit on both sides of the ball and the Eagles will have their hands whatever is more than full.