FSU will host the Jacksonville State Gamecocks Saturday at 8 PM on the ACC Network.
Jacksonville State is 0-1 on the year after getting pummeled by UAB 31-0.
The ‘Noles beat the Gamecocks 41-24 last year in Mike Norvell’s first victory at FSU.
If the opening weekend of 2021 is any indication the Seminoles are trending upward and JSU is going in the opposite direction.
Observations from the last game
It was a breath of fresh air to see the ‘Noles play confident and aggressive without an ounce of quit. Yes, a few mistakes were made like pre-snap penalties, turnovers and bad snaps but it wasn’t every other play like in years past.
And yes, Mackenzie Milton is back! His ability to make quick decisions can really help the offense.
Jordan Travis performed admirably leading 4 touchdown drives but still wasn’t able to pull the trigger on a few pass plays, which forced him to scramble.
The centers, Maurice Smith and Baveon Johnson need to work on their snapping and pass blocking. The running backs Jashaun Corbin (144 yards), Lawrence Toafili (34 yards), Treshaun Ward (76 yards) lived up to the preseason hype.
Transfer defensive ends Jermaine Johnson and Keir Thomas brought the pass rush and set the edge against the run, which set up opportunities for the linebackers and DBs to make plays. Linebacker Kalen DeLoach and defensive backs Sidney Williams, Brenden Gant and Jarvis Brownlee showed their off-season improvement by playing aggressive but within themselves, which helped the defense immensely.
Florida State offense vs Jacksonville State defense
In last year’s game, FSU got off to a horrible start until Jordan Travis led the comeback and has been the starter ever since. Corbin and Toafili had big games as well. After last year’s dominance on the ground, I expect Norvell and offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham to call lots of run plays until FSU is up big enough to work on the passing game.
Florida State defense vs Jacksonville State offense
JSU quarterback Zerrick Cooper (22/30 for 232 yards) played well against the ‘Noles last year but this match-up may be different with Coopers favorite targets leaving and FSU’s new look defense. Jacksonville State returns its leading rusher in Josh Samuel, but he was held to only 13 yards versus UAB. However, the Gamecocks did lose their top three leaving receivers. I expect the Seminole defense to control the game except for a couple plays where the defense loses focus. This lack of focus could lead to chunk yardage plays ending with points for Jacksonville State.
FSU’s Ryan Fitzgerald and Alex Mastromanno have the advantage over the Jacksonville State specialists.
FSU will look like the better team in this match-up, but the scoreboard might not be as lopsided as most people think. Due to a short week for the garnet and gold and 3 extra days for JSU to prepare, FSU will need to stretch the depth chart. Florida State 40 Jacksonville State 14.
That was a devastating loss. Team morale will take a hit, recruiting will suffer and current commits will reconsider. Sadly, it’s not a stretch to say that FSU has the potential to lose to ANY team in the country, including FCS teams. That’s almost inconceivable considering we were at the top of the mountain less than a decade ago. Forward your thank you letters to Thrasher and Wilcox who together crushed a once great program. Good luck for the rest of the season, Go Noles!
Ok… what I really meant with my prediction last week of a 20-17 FSU win, was a 20-17 FSU loss this week. We may be looking at only a 3-win season at best. And that might only happen if we scrimmage with local high school and/or pop warner teams.
Woke + Doak = Broke
Scott Jr. another insightful review.
Keep up the fantastic writing.
Travis has Winston’itis… he holds on to the ball too long and either doesn’t know or doesn’t trust the plays. Either that, or he simply doesn’t understand the concept of a timing play… as evidenced by Milton’s first play from scrimmage upon taking the helm last week. You could see a clear change in”team” attitude when he stepped it. As was the case with Jamis and the Bucs… the team doesn’t trust its leader.
This is no time for CRT or Woke Supremacy, coach… put the best man in to lead the team… your job depends on it.
Thank you Mr. Carswell I really enjoy your FSU reporting!
As a Seminole and 2x grad of FSU, my heart has been broken many times over the past six years. So today i feel cautious, guarded. Can we put this team away early? Play like the big boys – again? I say YES. Bring it on.