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Week 4 Bold Prediction: FSU forces 3+ turnovers

Logan Stanford / Icon Sportswire

There are multiple reasons why FSU forcing 3+ turnovers is a bold prediction.  First off, Florida State did not force a single turnover against Alabama, nor did they come particularly close to forcing one.  Secondly, NC State’s quarterback, Ryan Finley, has only thrown 1 interception in his last 7 games, dating back to last season.

So why do I believe FSU’s defense will force 3+ turnovers?  Simply put: pressure.  Florida State’s defense will put pressure on Ryan Finley all game.  Florida State’s dominant defensive tackle play, led by Derrick Nnadi and Demarcus Christmas, will not allow Finley to step up and get comfortable in the pocket.  That, coupled with Florida State’s pair of freakish pass rushers (Josh Sweat and Brian Burns), getting hits on Finley all night and possibly even getting a strip sack will never allow Finley to truly settle into this game.

However, no matter how quick the pass rush is on Saturday afternoon, FSU will only truly be able to capitalize on it if their defensive backs come to play.  Fortunately for FSU, they have perhaps the best secondary in the country, led by Derwin James and Tarvarus McFadden, each of whom Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller just named the top player at their position for the 2018 draft.

The last component that compels me to believe that FSU will force at least 3 turnovers on Saturday is the litany of hard hitters that Florida State’s defense has, namely Derwin James, Trey Marshall, Matthew Thomas, Josh Sweat, and even true freshman Hamsah Nasirildeen.  It would certainly be unsurprising to see one of these guys come down hill and blow up a running back or receiver, forcing a fumble in the process.

These three keys lead me to believe that NC State will not be able to consistently handle the pressure that Florida State puts on them, especially if they get into second and third & long situations.  For these reasons, I think FSU will force 3+ turnovers on Saturday.

Ryan Stalder
Football Writer and Baseball Writer; Student at Wake Forest University; Twitter: @RyanStalder12

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