Today at 4 PM on WatchESPN/ foxsportsgo Florida State will host the Jacksonville State Gamecocks.
The series is tied at 1-1 with Jacksonville State besting FSU in 1947 and FSU picking up a win in 2009.
Observations from the last game
Almost everyone played poorly except Lawrence Toafili, Camm McDonald, Kentron Portier, Amari Gainer and Asante Samuel.
On the first drive on second and goal Kenny Dillingham ran a quarterback draw out of the shotgun. He should’ve run a quarterback sneak.
Multiple starters were sidelined before the game and Tamorrion Terry and Keyshawn Helton played, but didn’t look 100%. During the game several more players had to leave the game.
Florida State offense versus Jacksonville State defense
According to the new depth chart James Blackman will be the starter under center once again. The other three quarterbacks, Jordan Travis along with freshmen Tate Rodemaker and Chubba Purdy, are available as well.
In 2019 the Gamecocks did well defending the pass but didn’t get a handle at stopping the run. A big part of why JSU was able to hold it’s own in the passing game was because of defensive end DJ Coleman, who had 10.5 tackles for loss last year. Florida transfer Umstead Sanders will play opposite of Coleman creating a solid pass rushing duo. Cornerback Yul Gowdy can make some plays in the secondary as well. In order for FSU to move the ball the combination of running backs Lawrence Toafili and Jashaun Corbin, Jordan Travis’ running ability and jet sweeps by the receivers should be the focal point of the offense. Hopefully, the big play receivers like Terry and Helton will be healthy enough to balance out the attack.
Florida State defense versus Jacksonville State offense
The Gamecocks’ offense is led by Clemson transfer quarterback Zerrick Cooper. Cooper is one of 17 FBS prospects on the Senior Bowl watchlist. Last year Cooper threw for 3,404 and ran for 320 yards. His favorite target is tight end Trae Barry, who had 25 catches for 330 yards despite being injured for most of the 2019 season. Cooper is a talented quarterback so if FSU is unable to get it pressure on him on a consistent basis he is capable of sitting back there and finding open receivers.
The offensive line returns multiple starters so getting pressure might be an issue once again. Amari Gainer has played well at linebacker but showed great versatility last year in being able to play LB/DE. If Janarius Robinson and Josh Griffis are unable to make an impact, maybe we’ll see Gainer lineup at end. JSU also returns dual threat running back Michael Matthews, who recorded 708 all purpose yards and 8 TDs last season.
JSU has to choose between 3 place kickers, but the punter will most likely be Preston Knight. Ryan Fitzpatrick was 1/1 last weekend so we will see if he is still the starter over Parker Grothaus. Alex Mastromammo will continue to be the punter for the ‘Noles.
Jacksonville State is a talented team and has enough experienced players and coaches to beat plenty of FBS opponents, so Florida State better be ready to play. With several players returning to the field and another week to learn the new systems, I think FSU will play better than last week and pick up a win. Florida State 30 Jacksonville State 21.