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Florida State vs Miami Game Preview

Game Introduction:

The Hurricane Warning flags are up in Tallahassee, and that can only mean one thing. The Seminoles of Florida State travel south to take on the Hurricanes of Miami at Doak South Hard Rock Stadium. Both teams started the season with a loss, but Miami has rattled off three straight wins since then. FSU, on the other hand, has stumbled its way into a 3-2 record heading into Saturday’s game. The Seminoles look to continue the momentum gained after last week’s miracle in Louisville. The ‘Canes are looking to beat the ‘Noles in Miami for the first time since 2004. Meanwhile, Florida State looks to build a new winning streak against the Hurricanes after last years was snapped at seven in a row. The game kicks off at 3:30 and will be aired on ABC.

Headlines:

Welcome to Rivalry Week

Every year this game seems to bring something special. Even without national championship implications, this game will be as entertaining as ever. N’Kosi Perry will make his second start at quarterback for the ‘Canes and Deondre Francois will try to remain unbeaten against Miami as the starter. Expect big hits, big plays, and a lot of flags in this one. Miami is the one game a year every ‘Nole circles on their calendar, and vice versa. Trash talk has become a 365-day event between these two teams and fan bases, so make sure you save your best for Saturday.

Fatigue Will be a Major Factor

Miami is essentially coming off a pseudo bye week. Last week, they traveled to North Carolina to take on the 1-3 (game against UCF canceled due to a real hurricane) Tar Heels. That game was played on Thursday night, giving the ‘Canes two extra days of rest and preparation for the ‘Noles. On the flip side of the coin, Florida State has been in a dogfight every game so far, and almost every player on the roster seems to be banged up. Especially at positions where the Seminoles can’t afford to be hurt at (*cough* offensive line). I expect Miami to either come out of the gate explosive or wear Florida State down as the game goes on. Florida State’s defense will be telling if this truly is a factor, keep your eye out for players with hands on their hips when Miami is driving.

Burning Questions:

How does the FSU defense stop new Miami QB N’Kosi Perry?

If you haven’t heard, ‘Canes head coach Mark Richt announced that QB N’Kosi Perry will remain the starter versus the ‘Noles. This will be Perry’s second career start, as last week against UNC was his first. Perry doesn’t have the strongest arm in the world, but possesses great accuracy and can utilize his legs to make plays. FSU has traditionally struggled against mobile quarterbacks, and Perry presents a tough match-up. While Perry was a prolific recruit, not much is known about his game yet. The ‘Noles present the first challenge in Perry’s young collegiate career. In my opinion, Florida State must get pressure and rattle Perry from the first snap of the ball. Brian Burns must have a huge game on Saturday if FSU wants to win. If the ‘Noles can get pressure and make Perry have happy feet in the pocket, we might get to see the Turnover Backpack sported in the Hard Rock.

Can Francois build off his strong second half versus UL?

Deondre Francois threw for a career-high four touchdowns and 294 yards against Louisville last week. Most of that came in the second half, including the game-winning 58-yard touchdown strike to Noonie Murray. Francois was not sacked against the Cardinal, and full credit goes to the offensive line and running backs for keeping a clean pocket. However, Miami’s defensive line is a lot more talented than Florida State’s. I expect Francois to have a dirty jersey on Saturday. With that said, I think Francois is starting to figure out his favorite targets and build chemistry with his weapons. Francois needs to have a quicker release against Miami, and hopefully, Coach Taggart’s game plan will reflect that notion.

Forecast:

What has transpired for both teams this season leading up to this game does not matter. The records will be thrown away on both sides, and both will be motivated and hungry for a win. Each team has plenty of talent to go around, and each team has its own unique advantages. For Florida State to win this game, it needs to create turnovers and it needs a little luck. The ‘Noles have actually forced the second most fumbles in the country, but have only recovered two of opponents’ 13 fumbles. That needs to change on Saturday. For the ‘Canes, the hope is Perry can live up to all the hype and expectations placed on him. If Miami’s defense can keep Florida State under 24 points, I think Miami has a good shot of winning this. And with that, I’ll take Miami 27-20 over Florida State in another incredible game in this rivalry.


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