06 October 2011
After a much needed bye week, the Florida State Seminoles are gearing up for their second road ACC game of the season looking to avoid a losing record overall and in the conference. This is a big game for both teams, as Wake Forest is off to a 3-1 start that could very easily be 4-0. The biggest thing for Florida State will be sound execution and the elimination of big mistakes and penalties. Talent wise, Wake Forest has a huge deficit to make up but they are well coached and would likely capitalize if Florida State plays sloppy. Let's see what Harry, Pete and Randy have to say about tomorrow's game.
Harry Homer says: Greetings cliff jumpers! I know a lot of you are still in an uncontrollable, emotional downward spiral over back to back losses. I get it, nobody wants to lose back to back games and it can most definitely take the wind out of your sails. That being said, I'm here to tell you to keep a stiff upper lip and stick by our boys! Now listen, even I can tell you that this Wake Forest is a better team than anticipated before the season, that much is clear through the first four games of the year. Still, I expect this game to be a walk in the park for Florida State. Let's keep competition in mind here and remember that Wake Forest is yet to be tested this season! Quite literally each of their first three wins have been against teams with a losing record. Wake's competition has gone a combined 7-12 through four weeks of football and their two ACC opponents (Boston College and NC State) are both completely decimated by injuries and misfortune. Now, we must pay kudos to Wake Forest for winning these games of course because at the end of the day you control what you control and play whoever is placed in front of you. Even when you take that into consideration, it's not as if Wake is just walking on the field and dominating these teams either. These have been some pretty competitive games and at the end of the day, despite having three wins this early in the season a reasonable expectation for the Demon Deacons on the year is six or seven total on the year.
So what does this mean for Florida State? It's a sack-up game! Time for the boys to come out and make it clear that they are still the class of the ACC. Does Florida State need to win this game in some huge and dominating fashion? Honestly, they probably do. Just to shut you cry babies and all the national pundits who only look at box scores up. This Seminole team is still loaded with talent on both sides of the ball and has the ability to shut down whoever they're matched up with. It was discussed on the site yesterday that Chris Givens makes up 30% of Wake's total receptions and 50% of their receiving touchdowns on the season and earlier in the week, you learned that good old Tanner Price may be talented but he hasn't had to run long, sustained drives down the field much all season. Do you really think he's going to be able to string together good solid offense with a running game that isn't much better than ours and going against a defensive front like the Noles? Get real. This game won't be nearly as close as some of the clown predictions I've seen and heard all week. Florida State 43, Wake Forest 13.
Pete Pessimist says: Once again, I'm truly hoping you all won't let Harry the fool and his kool-aid drinking ways get you too pumped up for this game. Could FSU blow Wake Forest out? Maybe. Will they? Well you know me, I have to see it to believe it. Let's just face it, we have no idea who this team really is. Are we the stone cold, stingy, mean ass defense that showed up at home against the #1 team in the country? Or are we the stumbling, undisciplined squad that flashed its ugly face against Clemson? Your guess is as good as mine, surely we fall somewhere between the two. I'm waiting to see how well these kids bounce back from the disappointment and I'm especially anxious to see if they can even get themselves up emotionally for a game that people quite honestly don't seem to care about. The football atmosphere in Winston-Salem is about as awful as one can get and this game is a 12:30 kickoff. If Florida State comes out with a business like attitude and executes, I'll actually agree with the moron above me and say this game gets out of hand. But in all honesty, I'm a bit nervous and still very bothered by the fact that we have no running game to speak of. All these talented backs and nothing to show for it? Absolutely turns my stomach. We cannot afford to come out flat or uninspired in what is a very tough game to get excited about.
I know a lot of people are excited about the passing game and that's all well and great, but because Jimbo is so tight lipped and cryptic when it comes to injuries we still don't know whether we're going with EJ Manuel or Clint Trickett tomorrow. So what right? Clint Trickett threw for 330+ yards and 3 TD's against Clemson on the road and hur hur hur. Let's be clear, that won't be the norm for that kid. He played a great game and that's wonderful, but it's not some formality or given that he goes out there and lights things up every single week, he's still a freshman QB. As for the threat that Wake poses, let's keep in mind the nature of their offense. They will take Chris Givens and move him all over the field. He'll line up in the slot, he'll take some carries on end arounds and reverses and he'll line up on the outside. You also have to be mindful that Josh Harris, their running back is a very good player and while our defense has done great against the run all year, all it takes is one missed assignment for him to make us pay. I'm not quite ready to predict a blow out here and I expect there to be a little more resistance than expected. Florida State 34, Wake Forest 24
Randy Realist says: As usual, both Randy and Pete are right in their own special way. Let's see if we can dig a little deeper into what we're dealing with in Wake Forest this weekend. Ultimately, this is a game that Florida State should and most likely will win in a relatively easy manner. Wake Forest will put up a fight, as they are well coached and do have some athletic skill players to deal with both on offense and defense but at the end of the day they simply do not have the fire power to stick with FSU all day long. If Florida State takes care of business, this game should start to show separation around the middle of the second quarter and be put away by the halfway point of the third. Wake has done well against the opponents they have played thus far and had Tanner Price not been injured late against Syracuse in the season opener, they could very well be undefeated. Regardless of that fact, none of the teams Wake Forest has faced have been very good measuring sticks as both NC State and Boston College are likely to have losing seasons in very down years. My prediction for the game is Florida State 31, Wake Forest 10.
Key players to watch for
WR Chris Givens (WF): Givens already has nearly 500 yards receiving on the season and has hauled in 27 receptions. While he hasn't faced defensive backs as talented as the ones he will see on Saturday, do not be surprised to see the Demon Deacons star make plays and be targeted quite a bit.
CB Merrill Noel (WF): Noel is a very talented sophomore DB, who spent a brief period of his 2010 senior season committed to play for Florida State. He is a Pahokee native with solid size and is also a threat in the return game, where has already notched a 48 yard return that would lead to a Wake Forest score this year.
QB Tanner Price (WF): Price has done well taking care of the ball this season, throwing just two interceptions. How well he handles that increase in talent and pressure will be a huge factor in Saturday's game. Florida State has one of, if not definitively the best defensive line and secondary Price will see in 2011. It's a big game for the sophomore.
WR Rashad Greene (FSU): This true freshman has scored at least one touchdown in each game of his career thus far. He also leads the team in receiving yards and is just barely getting his playing legs under him. Will he be able to continue his hot streak?
CB Greg Reid (FSU): The return of Reid to the FSU defense will do as much scheme wise as it does from an individual talent standpoint. Florida State was unable to run its nickel package as much as they would have liked to last week with Greg Reid out of the game. He also has a tendency to make positive plays for the defense that would have been helpful.
LB Christian Jones (FSU): The super sophomore looked human last week. He could play quite the role both in coverage and in getting to Tanner Price throughout the day on Saturday. If Jones is going to live up to the monstrous expectations, tomorrow will be the perfect game to continue verifying the claims of his greatness.
Storyline to keep an eye on
Florida State's offensive scheme: Are the Seminoles going to make a serious effort at running the ball this week? And if so, how will they go about doing it? The suggestions and speculation has been endless over the past few weeks. Some believe the backs are the issue and Florida State should go much less Ty Jones and more James Wilder Jr or Devonta Freeman. Others continue to scratch their heads, trying to figure out why Jermaine Thomas, the career leader of the bunch in rushing yards, only has four carries on the entire season. The other theory is that Florida State's offensive line needs a makeover. Will the Noles start to shuffle things up to see if some of the younger guys can get the job done?
There is yet another faction that thinks the Noles may just lean heavily on its obvious strength, an extremely talented and athletic receiving corps that has five or six legitimate threats. Through four games, five different FSU receivers have caught touchdown passes while two more have come close and this is despite missing two to three top contributors for much of that stretch. Florida State could turn to the screen and short passing game to compensate for a lack of ground attack, or simply take to the airs and force opposing defenses to stop the passing attack. This is something to keep a close eye on in Saturday's game.
TV: ACC Network
Commentary: Steve Martin and Dave Archer
Kickoff Time: 12:30
Location: BB&T Stadium (31,500 capacity), Winston-Salem, NC.
Give us your opinions, Noles! We want to hear your score predictions for tomorrow's game, so drop in on the comment section and let us know what you think!
|< Prev||Next >|