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Week 2 Bold Prediction: Offensive Line keeps Blackman Clean

Prediction:

Florida State’s offensive line will keep James Blackman clean and will not give up a sack to the Warhawks.

Why it’s Bold:

Florida State’s offensive line has been notoriously bad for many years with the 2018 season as the worst in program history. To put that in perspective, the ‘Noles were one of two Power Five teams to allow an average of over three sacks a game in 2018. Keeping the quarterback clean is something that Florida State has failed to do, even when facing subpar competition.

Why I believe it will happen:

The offensive line did not play terribly against Boise State, but they did have their fair share of meltdowns in the second half. There were obvious signs of improvement with new additions, Dontae Lucas & Ryan Roberts. After an impressive debut, I expect both Lucas & Roberts to build upon their performance from last week. As for the other members of the offensive line, my confidence isn’t so high. Something that does bolster my confidence will be the absences on Louisiana Monroe’s defense. The Warhawks’ top pass rusher is suspended for spitting on an opponent last week vs Grambling State. Their head coach also expects one of their starting linebackers to be suspended for the first half due to an incident with the referee in the Grambling State game. To put the cherry on top, their leading pass rushers backup is expected to miss the match up as well due to a shoulder injury.

These absences come as great news for the ‘Noles who will look to build on their offensive performance last week. I also expect Cam Akers and Khalan Laborn to receive more touches to aid in establishing the run. The Briles offense is known for the quarterback to get rid of the ball quickly and into the hands of play-makers, which we saw examples of in the first half against the Broncos.  Absences from ULM, more touches from the running backs, & getting the ball out quickly will lead to the offensive line keeping James Blackman clean this coming Saturday.


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