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Florida State football preview: Charleston Southern

FSU faces an FCS opponent on short rest between two big early season games.

NCAA Football: Mississippi at Florida State
Deondre Francois
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Following just four days of rest since they wrapped up a 45-34 win over Ole Miss in Orlando late Monday evening, the Florida State Seminoles will host Charleston Southern in their home opener on Saturday. The Buccaneers (1-1) come to town between big games for FSU (1-0) against Ole Miss and at Louisville, setting up the potential for a sleepy start in this 12:30 pm start.

Quarterback Deondre Francois was the star of the show last week, totaling 478 yards of offense, progressing nicely as the night wore on after a less than stellar start. He’ll get some more reps with his wideouts and tight ends — six of whom caught passes on Monday — against CSU without having to face the type of D-line he saw from the Rebels.

Although there’s no official word on the status of RB Dalvin Cook, the back was in a non-contact shirt this week after what appeared to be an ankle tweak late vs. Ole Miss, and if there’s any concern over his status, it’s a safe bet that FSU will sit him ahead of U of L, setting up more chances for Jacques Patrick this week.

CSU’s quarterback situation is far from ideal coming into this one, as starter Kyle Copeland was lost for the season in a blowout win over Kentucky State last week, while backup Shane Bucenell also suffered a leg injury before half. If Bucenell is unable to go, it’ll be redshirt freshman London Johnson taking on FSU’s defense full of 4- and 5-star athletes. Copeland and RB Mike Holloway — who went for 126 yards and 2 TD on 12.6 yards per carry at NDSU — took the Bucs and their shotgun triple-option offense to OT in an eventual 24-17 loss at North Dakota State the previous week.

That’s about all we know of Charleston Southern.

Don’t expect to learn too much from this one as FSU looks to get some reps and stay healthy ahead of what is one of the Seminoles’ tougher games of the season on Sept. 17 at Louisville.