On Saturday the ‘Noles will be in Raleigh, North Carolina to take on the NC State Wolfpack. The game will be on the ACC Network at 8 PM.
The No. 15 Wolfpack are 4-1 on the season with wins against East Carolina, Charleston Southern, Texas Tech and Connecticut with the loss versus Clemson.
FSU has a 26-15 all-time record against NCSU.
Observations from the last game
The Seminoles made too many mistakes on offense in the first half to keep with up with the Wake offense. The quick nonproductive drives had the defense on the field for too long.
The depth of the offensive and defensive lines were tested and the experience Wake lines took advantage.
Even with all the penalties and inexperienced players in key positions, FSU was a couple plays away from taking down a ranked team.
Florida State offense versus NC State defense
The North Carolina State defense is one of the best in the FBS and is very balanced in their ability to stop the run and the pass. The ‘Pack’s defense brings it’s fair share of blitzes but only have 2 sacks. However, they give up very few big plays.
The strength of the Seminoles is still the running attack led by Ward, Benson and Toafili but hopefully this week Jordan Travis can add the threat of the quarterback run.
The NCSU defense is led by linebackers Drake Thomas and Payton Wilson along with safety Tanner Ingle. Since the strength of the defense is up the middle I believe Norvell and Travis will try to work the outside with Johnny Wilson, Ontaria Wilson and Malik McClain. This strategy should have more success in the first half due to NC State’s most experienced cornerback, Derrek Pitts, being sidelined for targeting.
Florida State defense versus NC State offense
NC State offense was supposed to build on a successful season last year but has had a tough time getting it going against Power 5 opponents this season. The big expectations were due to talented quarterback Devin Leary (1335 yards and 13 total TDs) and the savvy receiver Thayer Thomas (24 catches for 301 yards in ’22) coming back.
The keys for the Seminole defense are limiting slot receiver Thayer Thomas and continuing to make the opposing offense drive the length of the field in order to score. A healthy Jared Verse and Amari Gainer will try to provide the pass rush to get the NCSU offense off the field on 3rd down.
Return game, punting and kick coverage. Advantage: FSU Kicking. Advantage: NCSU
The Seminoles have always struggled in Carter-Finley Stadium and I see this year being no different against the physical and experienced Wolfpack. It’s possible for FSU to come out with a victory but the defensive tackles and Jordan Travis must play great. Avoiding noncompetitive mistakes and turnovers are a must as well.
Florida State 16 North Carolina State 23.