First Look: Florida State vs. Boise State
Can Boise State go 2-0 vs. the Seminoles?
Florida State is coming to the Blue
Boise State is looking to beat another Power 5 team on The Blue on September 19, 2020. We will know a lot more about each when the game comes as it will be the 3rd for each team. Florida State will be coming off a home game against FCS foe Samford, and Boise State will be returning home from a road trip to Colorado Springs to face Air Force.
Location: Albertsons Stadium, Boise, Idaho
2019 Record: 6-7 (4-4 in ACC)
Head Coach: Mike Norvell, 1st year (38-15 at Memphis)
After having two coaches over 40 years, both of whom won national titles, the Seminoles are on their 2nd coach in 3 years. Mike Norvell plans to carry over his regular-season success form the University of Memphis and capture his first bowl win as head coach.
All-Time Series: Boise State leads 1-0
Last year’s game at Doak Campbell Stadium was the first matchup between the two schools, and it did not disappoint. Due to Hurricane Dorian, the game had been moved up in time and from a neutral site in Jacksonville, FL to Florida State’s home stadium in Tallahassee. The Broncos were also starting a true freshman quarterback to dial up the pressure even more. FSU quarterback James Blackman and running back Cam Akers put the Seminoles up quickly with Akers breaking a 38-yard run for a touchdown and Blackman following that up with a 75-yard pass to Tamorrion Terry.
After five offensive plays, Florida State had opened a 14-3 lead over Boise State on their way to a 21-6 lead at the end of the first quarter. Unfortunately for the Seminoles, that was the only quarter they won. After being down 31-19 at the half, Boise State started to chip away at their lead. It started with field goals to stay in the game, and the defense making solid stops more frequently and turned into the Broncos Scoring the final 17 points of the game and the defense completely shutting Florida State down in the second half to come away with the 36-31 victory.
2019 Florida State:
The Seminoles came into 2019 looking to improve on the 5-7 2018 campaign. After his first season at the helm, Willie Taggert was already battling to keep his job, and the team did not get off to a good start. After the opening loss to Boise State, FSU had to go to overtime to beat Louisiana-Monroe, 45-44 and lost at Virginia, 31-24. Most of the season they hovered around the .500 mark with big wins against Syracuse and NC State and getting throttled by Clemson and taking a loss at Wake Forest. After their loss at Miami that dropped them to 4-5, Coach Taggert was let go, and the Seminoles were able to finish the season out 2-2, including a bowl loss, under interim coach Odell Higgins Jr.
Florida State 2020 Outlook:
With Mike Norvell taking over, there is a high expectation that offense will be one of the best in the country. With Quarterback James Blackmon and wide receiver Tamorrion Terry returning and the transfer in of former Texas A&M running back Joshua Corbin, those expectations are not misplaced. The most significant question mark is if the offensive line has improved enough to allow for consistent production. The Seminole defense could be returning ten starters, but the defensive strategy of Coach Norvell has been pretty loose. Memphis permitted an average of 29.9 points a game over his four years, so he has relied heavily on his offense putting up points. However, he likely has not had the talent and definitely didn’t have the depth that he will have at Florida State. It will be interesting to see how prepared they will be after the unique offseason.
Final Thoughts and Prediction:
It’s unlikely that a hurricane will affect the game this year in Boise. I won’t say impossible because that’s just the type of year 2020 is being. The game is still in limbo until we all get a better sense of the state of public health. Both fans have to be looking forward to this game. For Boise State, it’s a chance to beat one of the storied college football programs at home, and for Florida State fans, it’s a chance to get the sour taste of last year’s defeat out of their mouths.
Coming off of a road game at Air Force is going to be a much harder turn around than Florida State’s Week 2 matchup, and having to rebuild both the offensive and defensive lines is going to be a tough task for the Broncos as well. A lot of the skill positions are returning including Bachmeier, Holani, and Khalil Shakir at wide receiver, so the Broncos are still going to be able to move the ball providing they can keep the backfield clean.
Even with their returning starters, the Seminole defense was pretty porous last year and now has a coach that doesn’t put much emphasis on that side of the ball. Defensively the rebuilding of the line, and the loss of STUD Curtis Weaver, is going to be difficult to overcome. Still, Florida State’s offensive line had plenty of issues of their own last year, so it depends on who has gelled better through the first part of the season.
This game just feels like a coin flip. Boise State is tough to beat at home, but coming off of a game against Air Force is always tough. In the end, there has been too much instability at Florida State for them to be able to come and (hopefully) have a later evening kickoff, and come away with the win.
Final Score Prediction: Boise State 34, Florida State 28.