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  • Phil Houk

Florida State 101

Updated: Oct 8, 2020


Florida State is 1-2. Week one they lost to Georgia Tech by 3. Then in week two, to #7 Miami by 40 and last week they struggled in the first half before putting away BCS, Jacksonville 41-24.

Mike Norvell is in his first year as head coach taking over for the short-lived Willie Taggert. Norvell comes over from Memphis where in 4 seasons he had a winning program known for its prolific offenses.

The Seminoles QB position has been in flux but may now be settled after dual threat Louisville transfer, Sophomore Jordan Travis, who started the season at third string, entered the game against Jacksonville last week in the second quarter. With the Seminoles trailing at that point 14-0, Travis led FSU to 5 straight touchdowns. On the day Travis went 12-17 for 210 yards and 2 touchdowns, 1 passing and 1 on the ground. Travis ran the ball 11 times for 48 yards.

The top receiving threat for the Seminoles is 6-4, 210-pound Junior Tamorrion Terry. Terry was a 1200-yard receiver a year ago and looks to have the NFL in his future.

Carries out of the FSU backfield have been split three ways but Freshman Lawrence Toafili (Toe-fi-lie) has shown the most pop averaging 8.1 yards on 20 carries good for 1 score.

Defensively the Seminoles are a veteran group that returned 10 of 11 starters from 2019. 6-5, 310-pound Marvin Wilson is one of the better defensive tackles in the nation and will present Irish center Jarrett Patterson with a tough challenge. Wilson has blocked two field goals already this year, and is a ferocious pass rusher.

On the back end Junior cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. is acquiring a lockdown reputation and already has 3 interceptions on the year. Overall, this unit boasts experience and talent at each level.

Florida State is 19-22 since 2017, a timespan over which the Irish are 35-6. Mike Norvell has taken over a program that seemingly has culture and chemistry problems, but they do have talent. In fact, Brian Kelly said this week that he believed that the FSU roster includes 6 or 7 first day NFL draft picks.

It is possible that FSU hit rock bottom and are a team on the rise after falling behind Jacksonville last week in the first quarter, because they dominated the rest of the game, and seem to have found a quarterback.

In addition to a strong 3 quarters and the performance of quarterback Jordan Travis last week, there is the likelihood of a slow start by the Irish after three weeks. But the Seminoles are a penalty prone team and it would be hard to imagine that FSU has sufficiently addressed their issues such that they can stay with the Irish for 4 quarters.

Florida State leads the all-time series 6-3. The last meeting took place in 2018 in South Bend, the Irish emerged that night victorious, 42-13. The Irish rushed for 365 yards in that game including 202 and two touchdowns from Dexter Williams.

The Fighting Irish are 21 point favorites in Vegas. TV coverage on NBC starts at 7:30 PM.

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