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Game Preview: Florida State vs. Miami

Game Introduction:

Florida State notched its first win of the season last week in a hard fought battle at Wake Forest. They return to Doak Campbell Stadium this week to square off against their bitter rival the Miami Hurricanes. The ‘Canes enter the game undefeated after a solid performance on the road against Duke. A 7 year win streak is on the line for the ‘Noles as Miami heads north to Tallahassee on Saturday. The game will be aired on ESPN at 3:30.

Headlines:

Blackman Faces Biggest Test Yet

For a guy who’s been on campus for only three months now, James Blackman has been impressive. Most importantly, he has thrown zero interceptions and only turned the ball over once. However, he still has only flashed brilliance and hasn’t put together a complete game. Perhaps play calling could be blamed for this, as head coach Jimbo Fisher has been very conservative at times with Blackman behind center. The ‘Canes have two interceptions on the year, but have 11 sacks in just three games. Blackman has struggled at times under pressure, and Miami could very well test his pocket presence. James Blackman will have to bring his A-game on Saturday if the ‘Noles want to escape with a win.

Miami has Great Opportunity to Break Streak

It seems like you hear this every year. The same Hurricanes fan preach “This is Miami’s year” and “The streak ends this year” on social media every year.  But their argument has much more legitimacy this year. The ‘Canes are undefeated and have plenty of playmakers on both sides of the ball. This will be their toughest game yet, but QB Malik Rosier has proven to be an efficient passer thus far. His favorite target Braxton Berrios will get plenty of looks come Saturday, and Tarvarus McFadden will certainly have his hands full. Last year was a one point game, and this year could be just as close. 

Offense Needs to Put Points on the Board

Anyone else enjoy settling for field goals? Okay, maybe just me. The ‘Noles continued to stall drives inside enemy territory, and Ricky Aguayo came on to kick far more than he should have. With Auden Tate limited, the passing offense looked lost at times. Wide receievers weren’t getting open, and Blackman found himself on the ground far too often. The run game was once again wildly inconsistent, but Jacques Patrick had some very promising runs. The offensive line is giving the on-campus circus a run for its money, as Wake Forest had 17 tackles for loss on Saturday. These issues need to be fixed if FSU wants to escape Saturday with a W. 

Burning Questions:

Why is FSU Struggling so Much?

Many factors can be attributed to this, but I’m going to give my take on what has caused the mayhem this season. For me, Hurricane Irma is the biggest reason for the disappointing start to the ‘Noles season. 

Can the ‘Noles D-Line Get Pressure?

Forecast:

Ben Brewton
Writer at Nole Gameday covering football and basketball. FSU alum. Follow me on twitter (@Ben_Brewton) and we can talk sports. On the 8th day, God created college football.

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