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Staff predictions for Saturday’s FSU football home opener vs. Boise State

Riders on the storm.

NCAA FOOTBALL: NOV 26 Florida at Florida State Photo by Logan Stanford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The 2019 Florida State football season is all but upon us. A hurricane tried but couldn’t derail the ’Noles and Boise State, so now the only question concerns whose horse will finish ahead: BSU’s Buster Bronco, or the Seminoles’ Renegade?

First, let’s do a quick visual comparison. You know what Renegade, included in this story’s featured image, looks like. He’s a majestic, spotted Appaloosa. But let’s get familiar with our guests from Idaho, which, as it turns out, is a state too.

Seminoles, meet Buster:

Boise State University Broncos Football Mascot

Now let’s be fair, Buster looks like a great, fun-loving horse— er, guy in a horse suit. Just look at those chompers. Matt Dillon’s character Pat Healy from There’s Something About Mary would be seriously jealous. And they’re just about wearing the same terrible colors.

But equine hygiene aside (and no, you can’t unsee that), let’s get to our staff picks.

Juan Montalvo III:

Resident amateur meteorologist here. Remember when I cautiously noted that weather conditions may have prevented this game from happening? Well, I was very happy to use my full professional meteorologist language that said absolutely nothing, including that non-declarative opinion that we may see the game cancelled due to weather conditions.

Jacksonville natives involved here include FSU President, Senator and former House Speaker John Thrasher, FSU Trustee Ed Burr and Governor Ron DeSantis. And they made my obfuscated predictions correct.

Boise State will have the misfortune of playing in the gummy atmosphere of a late summer Tallahassee afternoon. And it will not be easy for them.

FSU will see 80 plus plays from its new Briles offense en route to a rocky, but difficult win.

FSU, 31-16


I picked 9-3 in the season predictions & getting to 9-3 means winning this game. Boise State starts out with some early success marching down the field on their opening drive. A bunch of quick, easy throws to take advantage of a chomping at the bit defense; similar to what UM did vs. UF with their freshman qb to the tune of a 7-0 lead. Everyone immediately thinks ‘here we go again’.

That would be their most successful drive of the night at FSU outscores Boise 34-13 the rest of the way for 34-20 opening day victory.

Offensive player of the game: DJ Matthews (plus a punt return for a TD)

Defensive player of the game: Cory Durden

Evan Johnson:

I’m a bit pessimistic about this game. I get the reason for optimism, but then I remember last year. I feel that the offensive line will be better, but will it be enough to win this game? I have my doubts. Ultimately, for me, this game hinges on the differences along the line. Boise State has a defensive end who is expected to go in the first round. Maybe Florida State will field a defensive end. Boise State returns a good bit from a line that ended up meshing well as last season wore on. Florida State...uh...let’s not recount the FSU offensive line.

On the plus side, Boise State is starting a true freshmen at QB and lost a decent amount of their production from last year on offense. They also struggled against the pass last year, but with most of their secondary returning and FSU probably not able to handle the Boise State pass rush, I’m afraid James Blackman will throw too many pics. The game has been moved to Tallahassee and moved up in the day so that makes it a bit more difficult for Boise State. I’m not sure FSU has enough talent at key positions for it to matter. Boise State 28 - FSU 21

Trey Rowland:

This game reminds me of the legendary contest between Don Frye and Yoshihiro Takayama at Pride 21: Demolition. It was a brutal slugfest where both competitors bludgeoned each other into unrecognizable pulps.

It was tight.

However, Frye outlasted Takayama, in the same way that I think FSU’s depth and talent will help the Seminoles wear down the Broncos.

FSU 27 - Boise 20

FSU is the one in the America shorts

Matt Minnick:

Last week I was leaning toward a game where it’s close for the first 35 minutes, then FSU slowly pulled away for something like a 26-17 victory. But Dorian has made this a complete wildcard now. Will Boise be able to handle the north Florida afternoon sun? Will their bodies even be awake? Will it rain? Will there be more than 30,000 fans? Will FSU press in front of the home crowd like the season opener last year and make mistake after mistake after mistake?

I don’t think anyone can even begin to answer most of those questions. But maybe it will be like that episode of The Simpsons where Monty Burns had so many diseases riddling his body that they all canceled each other out? Maybe the more things change, the more they stay the same?

FSU 26 - Boise 17

Austin DeWitt:

As some have pointed out, Boise has the advantage along the offensive and defensive lines, which will likely cause the ’Noles problems. Sure, the Broncos lost a veteran quarterback in Brett Rypien and a ton of production from 1,400-yard rusher and touchdown machine Alexander Mattinson, but every year the Broncos are extremely consistent, and Bryan Harsin has continued that since his arrival.

There are also plenty of questions about Florida State’s offense that we won’t know the answers to until Saturday afternoon. This is Blackman’s team now, and that’s what many of us have wanted for a while (hand all the way up). His leadership is undeniable, but with a third offensive coordinator in as many years, how will he fare? Can we keep him upright? Will the running game be able to get going behind this offensive line?

With that said, I think we out talent them and confidence is slowly creeping back into this team.

I’m not overconfident, and especially after my prediction for last year’s opener (really no need to go back and look), I’ve learned the error of my ways.

Florida State 31- Boise State 21


Short and to the point, FSU wins 30-21 in a sloppy game. There are just too many circumstances for Boise to overcome. Akers, Harrison, and Helton lead the scoring charge on offense.


Oh Boise! The season is finally upon us! With the move to noon at Tallahassee we no longer have to wait all day to see if FSU will once again rip our hearts out or be a pleasant surprise. On one hand, the Kendal Briles experience rolls into town, and there will be plays a plenty. On the other hand, FSU’s offensive line is still a work in progress. Call me jaded but I think FSU starts off the season with a loss.

Potatoes - 27, FSU - 21

Perry Kostidakis:

Florida State football has scarred me so thoroughly that, somehow, picking them in what’s gone from a de facto home game to a real one against a team that’ll be jet-lagged and humidity-infested still feels iffy.

I’ve got confidence that the offense will evolve from unwatchable to tolerable, and the subsequent lightening of load on the defense will lift up their ability to, ahem, #DoSomething. Will that be enough to beat a talented Boise State team, albeit one starting a freshman and in a tizzy from the last few days? It should be, but I also should be about 5’10” according to my doctor, so it’s hard for me to take anything at face value.

I’ll err on the side of a 17-10 game late before a Florida State defensive score solidifies the win.

Florida State 24, The Other team That Wears Orange and Blue 10

Jon Marchant:

I mean, look, I told the Boise State guys I picked FSU 24-20 not even three days ago, so I’m gonna stick with that. As for why? Well, what everyone else said. FSU should be better, but by how much is unknown, and for me that makes this game a toss-up. Boise State is always solid and a tough out. They’re breaking in new coordinators, and a true freshman at QB in Bachmeier. He’s gonna make mistakes. And yet, you can still count on them being good. Can FSU capitalize on any self-inflicted errors? How much better exactly will the offensive line be? Again, I don’t know. This game may come down to luck. After last season, FSU is due.


Is it football season yet?

I don’t really know what to expect out of the ’Noles, but I believe we are more talented across the board, the FSU players will want it more than the players they are lined up against, they will play with more heart, every FSU player will give at least 110% effort, and these important factors will lift and elevate our team to victory over their opponent of the week.

FSU 34 - BSU 21

David Visser:

Here’s the question for me: can FSU be more explosive on offensive than Boise State can be efficient? I’ll answer that with a firm I have no clue— but it’s where the game will be decided.

The Seminoles should have a good defense, but they’ll have to play assignment-sound football and not try to do too much after a disastrous 2018 season that required that of them all too often. I think they have the depth and buy-in to get that done, especially against a true-frosh QB.

On offense, Florida State needs to mask its shortcomings up front by dictating a breakneck tempo, and that means playing smart football, which will allow the ’Noles to use the conditions to their favor. It won’t be easy against a solid Bronco defense, but I think FSU has enough playmakers to ultimately make the difference. If it’s not ahead of the chains, it has to at least remain on schedule. It may not always be pretty (remember that line for just about every other FSU game this season), but I think the Seminoles have enough talent to nose ahead of the Broncos.

Boise State 24, Florida State 27

Finally, as a native of western Michigan, I just wanted to add that the only Buster Bronco I formally recognize is the one representing WMU. Mostly because he’s the mascot equivalent of Slater from Dazed and Confused.

Western Michigan v Purdue

I mean come on. The stoned eyes, the head tilt, the color scheme— even if I completely bone this pick, that’s brilliant.