Saturday at 6:30 on CW the No. 4 Seminoles face off against the North Alabama Lions from the United Athletic Conference. Before the game the seniors will be recognized.
The Lions are 3-7 with wins against Chattanooga, Tennessee Tech and Utah Tech and have losses to Mercer, Tarleton State, Tennessee-Martin, Eastern Kentucky, Abilene Christian, Austin Peay and Central Arkansas.
Observations from the last game
The defense was phenomenal once again (especially in the second half). Miami had one drive in which they converted a few 3rd downs and eventually ended in a touchdown. The other score came on a mental breakdown by the safety, which should have been intercepted or at least resulted in a just a 1st down.
Senior linebacker Kalen DeLoach had a stat padding effort and now leads the team in sacks (7) and tackles (59). Cornerbacks Jarrian Jones and Greedy Vance held Xavier Restrepo to zero catches.
The offense was sloppy at times but made just enough plays to win. The offensive line and tight ends struggled in blitz pick up situations putting the offense behind the sticks. When they were able to pick up the blitz good things happened. Jordan Travis also ran into the pass rush a few times that resulted in negative plays.
The special teams played great and might have been the difference in the game. Punter Alex Mastromano booted 4 punts over 50 yards and had one downed at the 2.
Florida State offense versus North Alabama defense
UNA has given up 27 or more points 6 games in a row, so I don’t expect Travis and company to have much of an issue putting up points. Players to watch on defense are linebacker Edwin White Schultz (60 tackles), d-lineman Philip Ossai and defensive back Philjae Bien-Aime (2 interceptions).
I expect the running backs Trey Benson (721 yards rushing), Lawrence Toafili (292 yards) and others to get plenty of carries and have a huge game. Jordan Travis (2,734 yards passing and 27 total touchdowns) will be playing in his final game at Doak and hopefully the offense is sharp so he can hand it over to Tate Rodemaker early.
Florida State defense versus North Alabama offense
The Lions have a very balanced offense having thrown it 382 times and run it 380 times. They are more successful through the air when they don’t turn the ball over. Quarterback Noah Walters has 2,280 yards passing and 19 TD passes but has 11 interceptions. Walters is also a threat with his feet as he has 375 yards rushing. North Alabama’s leading rusher is Demarcus Lacey, 581 yards, and their leading receiver is Takairee Kenebrew, 635 yards and 9 touchdowns.
Advantage: Florida State
The Noles should overwhelm the Lions and put up a few scores in a hurry. Hopefully FSU will be able to clean some things up and stay healthy as they prepare for the Florida Gators. Florida State 59 North Alabama 7