On Thursday the ‘Noles will be in Orlando to take on the Oklahoma Sooners in the Cheez-It Bowl. The game will be on ESPN at 530 PM.
The Sooners are 6-6 on the year and have a 6-1 all time record against the Seminoles.
Observations from the last game
The sold-out crowd and intensity from both teams made it feel like the FSU/Florida games of old.
Jordan Travis had to make big play after big play to make up for the mental mistakes from his teammates. Trey Benson, defenders Derrick McClendon and Jammie Robinson and the offensive line had great games to propel Florida State to victory.
Mike Norvell and the staff have assembled the 19th ranked high school recruiting class and the TOP ranked transfer recruiting class. So far FSU has picked up 3 offensive lineman, 2 tight ends, 2 defensive tackles and a running back through the transfer portal. Adding more experienced depth in the trenches will be a priority throughout the offseason.
Florida State offense versus Oklahoma defense
FSU’s blueprint for success this year has been to establish the run first then let Travis and the receivers play off of that. I don’t expect that to change as the Oklahoma defense is 103rd in the FBS in rushing yards allowed per game.
To make matters worse the Sooners will be without 2 defensive tackles. Trey Benson needs 35 yards to break the 1,000-yard mark and I expect him to get it done early.
The Sooners have had a tough time stopping the pass as well so if the ‘Noles can establish the run Travis and the receivers could have big days. Players to look out for on the Sooner defense are the tackling machines at linebacker, Danny Stutsman (118 tackles) and David Ugwoegbu (101 tackles).
Florida State defense versus Oklahoma offense
The Oklahoma offense is led by quarterback Dillon Gabriel, who has thrown for 2,925 yards and 24 touchdowns. The pressure will be on him to make the plays as the offense will be without the starting running back, 2 receivers and both starting tackles.
The two new tackles will have their hands full having to deal with the Seminole pass rushers Jared Verse, McClendon and ACC defensive freshman of the year Patrick Payton.
If Gabriel has time he will be looking for Marvin Mims, who has 53 catches for 1,006 yards, and tight end Brayden Willis. Running backs Javantae Barnes and Marcus Major will be filling in for Eric Gray. The 2 backs will need to take advantage of the average FSU run defense to give Gabriel a chance against Florida State’s lockdown pass D.
Advantage: Florida State
The offensive line led by Robert Scott Jr and Dillon Gibbons will pave the way for Travis and Benson to put up plenty of points. The defense will force enough mistakes for the ‘Noles to roll to victory. Florida State 42 Oklahoma 21.