The Seminoles enter this one as road underdogs against Virginia, the favorites to win the ACC’s Coastal. Florida State boasts some real talent, but are the ’Noles composed enough to get this done on the road? Our thoughts follow.
Earlier this week FSU edge Leonard Warner III had this to say about UVA QB Bryce Perkins:
“Obviously he is a good runner, but I don’t think we’re going to have too much trouble with him…I think we have a pretty good plan for controlling him.”
In all seriousness, I don’t hate Warner’s answer— I just don’t believe it. I think Perkins is going to torch this defense. This is FSU’s first away game of the year and their heading into a very tough place to play. I think (hope?) the offense keeps the final score from being overwhelmingly embarrassing, even if it’s a late score to make it look closer than it was.
The silver lining is that I’ve been dead wrong with my first two predictions, so FSU might have a chance, but probably not.
Florida State 31, Virginia 49
Florida State reminds me a lot of former MMA fighter Kevin Randleman. Both were talented, athletic, and had a penchant for fast starts. No Randleman fight exemplified this better than his epic battle with Pride Heavyweight Champion Fedor Emelianenko.
Randleman was the underdog, but dropped Emelianenko on his neck with a move that is better described as an attempted murder than a suplex.
Believe it or not my Tomahawk peeps, Emelianenko actually didn’t die. Using his combination of unwavering Russian discipline and supreme technical mastery, he actually ended up submitting Randleman shortly after this “deathplex.”
Long story short, FSU is the talented underdog and UVA is the disciplined Russian cyborg. The ’Noles score early like they have in every game, but the Cavaliers pull away late.
FSU 31 UVA 42
I can’t be optimistic anymore. The offense will put up points, but can they stop turning the ball over? This game will really just come down to the defense and whether they can stop Virginia quarterback Bryce Perkins. After their performance against Louisiana-Monroe, I have little to no faith they can. Nothing is working on that side of the ball right now, and I don’t think this staff will go far enough in making the changes that needed to be made, both on and off the field.
The offense would have to play a perfect game for the ’Noles to have a chance, and that’s too much to ask against a pretty sound Cavalier defense. I think Jim Leavitt can improve FSU’s defense, but certainly not in time for this game. I’m going with the score below, but I would also not be surprised with a 38-51 type game either. Either way, not good for the guys in garnet and gold.
FSU 23 - 41 Virginia
I am going to be that guy and predict an FSU victory against UVA. I can’t explain it, I can’t rationalize it, I can’t x and o it, but the ’Noles find a way late.
This OL is better than some want to give it credit for— and Akers is special. I think Briles has saved a few wrinkles for conference play, and they will come in handy.
On defense, Harlon and the gang create enough pressure to force a turnover or two. Young linebackers are the spark this defense needed. This group get just enough stops,
FSU- 38, UVA- 34
It’s hard for me to fathom a way in which FSU wins this game. This team is so under-talented on offensive line and so disorganized on defense that you have to figure anybody that feels anything positive about this game is some kind of idiot or something. Maybe it’s somebody that has had too many concussions playing in the trenches.
So far the FSU offense has gotten out to hot starts before going cold and I feel like against UVA that will stop. Virginia often has a good defense no matter who the coach is and now they have a very good defensive coach in Bronco Mendenhall. FSU won’t likely be able to catch UVA off guard early on and the Cavaliers will almost assuredly force FSU to work their way down the field through the air, which is not likely something they can do.
On the other side of the ball I expect Bryce Perkins to get NFL first overall pick after this game because he will have all the highlights against FSU. The ‘Noles defense gets just two non-touchdown drives the who game.
FSU 21 - UVA 49
I have this theory that this season is trying to parallel last season. The difference is that instead of the offense being terrible and the defense being decent, the roles have reversed. Boise = Virginia Tech. ULM = Samford. Which means the Virginia game will in some ways mirror the Syracuse game. So, expect the offense to score some points, but not enough to win and expect the defense to be pretty bad. I had a dream I read a box score and Virginia scored 83. It won’t be that bad.
UVA 45, FSU 21
FSU is going to win 41-35. Now that Willie has righted the ship...
The gritty triumph over the mighty ULM Warhawks moved my record to 1-1 SU, but FSU’s unrivaled desire and ability to keep the fans entertained dropped me to 0-2 ATS.
Against UVA, I’d like to say the hiring of Jim Leavitt pays immediate dividends. I’d like to say FSU wins the turnover battle. I’d like to say the Seminoles come up with a big score on special teams. I’d like to say the OL overcomes the loss of its starting left tackle. And I’d like to say that Virginia Beach native Levonta Taylor grabs a game-sealing INT in front of all his friends and family.
Unfortunately, I don’t think any of that happens.
UVA 38, FSU 24
UVA does two things really well; create havoc on passing downs and create extra time for downfield throws via Bryce Perkins. Offensive coordinator Kendal Briles has shown a propensity to scheme around FSU’s likely over-matched OL on passing downs but for a defense that hasn’t set an edge or maintained gap integrity at all containing Bryce Perkins in the pocket seems like an impossible task. FSU will score but I won’t believe that they can stop anyone until I see them do it. Terry gets back on track with a couple of TDs but it won’t be enough.
UVA 48-FSU 38
Funny how we’re all almost unanimously picking Virginia in this game. Tell that to an FSU fan in 2014 and they’d think you’d gone insane.
Ultimately, I’m picking Virginia because I don’t believe in FSU’s defense. They’ve been carved up by a true freshman QB and Louisiana-Monroe, so Bryce Perkins should have a field day. I think it’s a shootout, but the Cavs get one or two late stops to put Virginia on top.
Virginia 42, Florida State 30
I’m not feeling at all confident about FSU’s chances against a well-coached, disciplined, talented Virginia team on the road. In all honesty I think the best result that could happen for FSU is an impending coaching change after getting taken to the woodshed by the ’Hoos.
UVA 38, FSU 24
For what has felt like multiple years now, Florida State has simultaneously made me look like a fool and confirmed my worst suspicions. I felt confident picking FSU over Boise State, but even after FSU drew first blood and turned it into a 31-13 halftime lead, I just knew that despite the score, it was a potential blowout being held up by strings. As the Seminoles struggled to decisively put away Louisiana-Monroe last week, despite Cam Akers’ heroics, the same feeling of dread kicked in, and while the suspicions of a blown lead came true, the end result, finally came up Milhouse.
Does this mean that I think Florida State can defy the odds and get its first win against a ranked opponent under Willie Taggart? Well, no, not really. Do I think they can defy the Vegas odds? That’s a little more like it.
You’re matching up the No. 9 SP+ offense (Florida State) against the No. 19 defense, and the No. 71 offense against the No. 109 defense. What happens when a stoppable force meets a movable object? We’ll see when Virginia has the ball on Saturday. Florida State will score the points, it’s just a matter of the defense finally figuring out the balance between bending and breaking.
I don’t think it happens this week, but as we covered extensively above, Florida State always makes me look like a fool.
Virginia 41, Florida State 37
Last week, I correctly picked FSU’s point total, in regulation, against ULM. I just gave the Florida State defense too much credit in thinking that it could hold the Warhawks to 24 points.
But I don’t see overtime being an issue this time around— unfortunately for the Seminoles. When faced with adversity, this Florida State team continues to show itself as weak. The first time I ever experienced the genius of a burger topped with a fried egg was at the White Spot in Charlottesville. It really forged a soft spot in my heart for UVA.
And the ’Noles are just too laden with soft spots for me to pick them here. I thought they’d lose this game before the season began, but now that I’ve seen their defensive struggles, I have a hard time seeing them cover.
This looks like a slow unraveling to me. I know, it’s tough to hear: FSU 27, UVA 48