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Staff predictions: FSU vs. NC State

Kiss of death?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 03 Florida State at NC State Photo by Michael Berg/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Wow, y’all— is this what hope feels like?

Matt Minnick:

Hey hey, I finally got off the schneid ATS last week when I predicted FSU by 10 (if only a couple field goals were made, I would have nailed FSU’s output exactly...). That brings me to 1-3 ATS and 3-1 SU.

Broken clock is right twice a day.

This week I’m counting on FSU to make it two in a row. Regardless of who lines up under center, I would expect the Seminole offense to move the ball quite well against an NCSU defense that has struggled against the only P5 opponent they faced. While it’s true that the Wolfpack welcome back their best edge defender from an injury, Kendal Briles has demonstrated over four games that the ‘Noles are gonna score.

Defensively, the injuries are piling up. But I’m excited about the improvements seen in the first full week with Jim Leavitt on staff and feel like a few of the young guys are ready to step up. As long as Big Marv and the boys continue to make men’s meat mincemeat out of opposing o-lines, I think the D can get enough stops to allow FSU to pull away.

FSU 38, NCSU 24

Perry Kostidakis:

The last time Florida State won two games in a row (Sep. 22 and 29, 2018), one of them was against Louisville, and the other was against a school that had a dog as a mascot (Northern Illinois). Needless to say: the odds are stacked significantly in the Seminoles’ favor.

There’s been improvement on the defensive side of the ball, with no doubt thanks to the arrival of a one Mr. Jim Leavitt and a more focused effort by the players. Should that upward trajectory continue, and should the offense be effective outside of the first quarter, FSU should make the home crowd happy on Saturday night and get a nice confidence boost heading into the bye before Clemson.

FSU 42, NC State 30

Trey Rowland:

Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic is one of my favorite MMA fighters of all time. The former K-1 kickboxing superstar transitioned to MMA and overwhelmed opponents with his frightening blend of athleticism and acumen for the striking arts. Peak Cro Cop was like peak FSU, there were few things more beautiful to watch.

Well, the 2018 NC State game was not peak FSU in the same way that Filipovic’s UFC 70 fight against Gabriel Gonzaga was not peak Cro Cop.

Very un-peaky

However, Cro Cop got his revenge against Gonzaga in their second fight, and I predict the ’Noles to get some revenge against the Wolfpack on Saturday.


It won’t be a vintage FSU steamrolling, but it will provide a nice boost for an eager fanbase.

FSU 35 NCSU 31

Evan Johnson:

It feels a lot like FSU is going into the Louisville game part 2. Not necessarily schematically, but once again FSU faces a reeling division opponent at home. Both teams have QBs that are much better on the ground than in the air, and defenses that will give up points if you want to do that sort of thing. I feel a similar score is reasonable, but I’m a bit concerned with FSU’s new QB. Hornibrook has been known to throw an interception or two but maybe a spread offense can allow him to see the field well enough to limit Hornibrook’s erratic throws. I’m hoping the defense can build on its recent front-7 success and pair that with a competent showing from its secondary— but I’m a bit weary.

All in all, I think FSU finally gets it going and doesn’t blow a good early lead.

FSU 42 NCSU 28


Will they, won’t they. I don’t know who’s going to show this weekend but last week gave me hope it’ll be the new and improved FSU. The train is going forward, but is it on the right track? It sure feels like it, but only so much ball has been played. Invoking my Larry David with this GIF of uncertainty.

Since I have to make a prediction, I’ll go straight homer and pick us to win.

NCST 38 FSU 42


FSU continues its mirror of the 2018 season this week. Last year at this time FSU was playing Louisville. The game would go back and forth with Louisville making a late mistake with an interception. This would lead to a winning FSU drive. I hope it isn’t this close on Saturday, but nothing would shock me. Hornibrook leads the ’Noles.

FSU 35, NC State 24


I am expecting James Blackman to sit this weekend to recuperate from his injury vs. Louisville.

That being said, I’m going big this weekend. I am predicting something that many FSU fans consider to be more mythical than a unicorn. Florida State football will play a complete game. Defensively, I expect FSU to challenge NC State’s QB & WRs to make plays over the top; no more death by a thousand cuts.

Offensively, I’m predicting the highest offensive output of the season; NC State struggles with tempo, and I’m expecting FSU to have a big yards-after-the-catch day from its skill players. Alex Hornibrook will throw for 300 yards despite a single ball not traveling more than 25 yards in the air.

FSU 52


Dakota Moyer:

What happens when a very stoppable force meets a movable object? We’ll find out this Saturday when NC State’s offense faces off against FSU’s defense!

I expect this game to go like most FSU games this season: FSU scores quickly, the defense lets in a few touchdowns, then Florida State pulls away late in the end.

Rinse and repeat.

FSU 31, NC State 24

Jon Marchant:

I’m supposed to sit here and type up what I think is going to happen in this game, but it seems I’ve already been handed a script: FSU will go up big early, blow the lead, and either lose or not lose at the end. Then we tune in next week to do it all over again.

Me typing this is precisely why it’s probably not going to happen.

While FSU’s defense vs. NC State’s offense might at some points tomorrow look like a slapfest of who can try to lose the game the most, I’m just not sure the Wolfpack defense has enough stopping power against Kendal Briles’ offense and FSU’s skill players. If Hornibrook can take care of the football, FSU should win.

FSU 33 - 26 NC State

David Visser:

Everything is great again! Your Seminoles are back! The sun will shine brightly upon okay I just can’t do this anymore. And while my fake optimism just won’t take, I’m heartened by the fact that the ’Noles keep smoothing out deficiencies in their play, as well as the fact that NC State hasn’t played near the competition that FSU has. And the one P5 team NCSU has faced, West Virginia, handled it by 17.

But I’m still concerned about the Wolfpack’s ability to take what it can get passing underneath. If FSU can step up and force NC State to make big plays — which the ’Pack hasn’t really done all year — then I like FSU’s chances in this one.

Hornibrook looks in line to get the start after an injury to Blackman, and NCSU’s inability to get after the passer should bode well for the Seminoles. So here’s my cautious, perhaps misguided, optimism GIF.

NC State 30, FSU 41