We’re back to once again offer our picks for the weekend’s Florida State football game, which this time around means Seminoles vs. Warhawks. And as always here at Tomahawk Nation, optimism abounds. Mostly.
Well, last week sucked.
Anyway, let’s move on!
This is a chance for the Seminoles to recover and regroup after a devastating loss. Much in the same way that Rampage Jackson’s fight against Ikuhisa Minowa at Pride 18 offered him an opportunity to get back in the win column after a brutal defeat to Wanderlei Silva.
Minowa was a game opponent, but Jackson was just faster, stronger, and more talented.
’Noles 42, ULM 20
Boise State is a good team, and there’s no shame in losing to them. The way it happened certainly left a bad 2018-ish taste in the mouth cough Miami cough, but it’s like everyone forgot that the first half was the best and most fun half of FSU football in years. That was just as real as the second half. FSU has tremendous talent at the skill positions, and while the offensive line is a work in progress, it has made progress. It’s the defense that I’m actually worried about. However, I don’t think Louisiana-Monroe has the ability to take advantage of it, at least not enough to be able to challenge the outcome of this game.
FSU 38 - 18 ULM
Well last week couldn’t have gone much worse. I think most fans would be more happy with a blowout loss, assuming FSU didn’t penalty themselves to death, than the prospect of hope FSU gave its fans. Fear not fellow fans— hope shall come again, and this time it will not be dashed...at least not for another week or so. Florida State should be able to cruise past ULM, but the bigger question is can they do it without throwing up all over themselves? The final score probably won’t indicate that though as the offense likely runs away with this game early, and the defense should be able to out-talent ULM, even if it can’t get lined up correctly. FSU 45 - ULM 14
Are they going to lay down or show up? This is what it is all about this week. I think the ’Noles HAVE changed the culture in a good way and will show up this week.
Look, Boise is going to flirt with an undefeated record and FSU had its way with them for a half. This is a coaching staff being called out, a team being callled out, and individual players being called out. I expect this team to be hungry and look to take out a week of frustrations on ULM. FSU 56 - ULM 17
Please don’t be a Samford repeat. Please don’t be a Samford repeat. I think FSU wins with a strong running game. The defense needs to sell out on the run and force the pass. In the end, the athleticism and talent of Florida State should take over. But seriously, please don’t be a Samford repeat.
FSU 48, ULM 21
Don’t you dare put that Samford evil on me.
At first, I thought this might be one of those, “Woah, is that really the score at halftime?” games. A real Alabama and Citadel tied 10-10 at the break, if you will. But the more I think about it, I don’t see that happening. That’s not to say that FSU will never trail. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the Warhawks struck first, opening the flood gates for hilarious hydration jokes on social media. However, I think the Seminoles’ offense starts fast for a second straight week and doesn’t let up in this one. I’d expect there will still be some frustrating series on defense, but all in all FSU wins comfortably for a bit of a confidence boost before heading to Charlottesville.
Florida State 55, ULM 16
Since so many of y’all ask about the records for these things over the years, I’m going to include mine every week. FSU scored more points in the first half than I predicted they would score in the entire game...and yet still made my winning prediction a loser. Thanks defense. After one week I am: 0-1 SU; 0-1 ATS.
The second half collapse was brutal, but strangely enough I felt moderately encouraged walking out of Doak last Saturday. FSU didn’t score 30 points in 75% of its games last season, and none came against a team anywhere near as good as Boise. I honestly believe that if FSU scores on the drive that ended with a Cam Akers fumble, many in the fan base would be talking about heading into Clemson undefeated.
All that is to say, FSU is an improved football team. There is still plenty of room for growth, but the improvements are clear, especially along the OL and at QB. The Seminoles take another step forward on a hot, September Saturday.
FSU 47, ULM 23
On paper, this game should be no contest. I feel the FSU players will shake off the gut wrenching loss from last week and play the way they are supposed to against this overmatched team. I’m hoping we pull away early and get the young ’uns in the game to show what they can do, and maybe give some of the older players they replace something to think about.
FSU 45- ULM 24
Remember last year, when FSU had Samford scheduled the week after Virginia Tech, and everybody thought it was a perfect opportunity for a bounce back game, and then FSU came within eight minutes of losing to an FCS school at home?
Hopefully, having a should-win game after a devastating season opening loss at home will be as far as the similarities go this year. Louisiana-Monroe, at 6-6, missed out on a bowl last year, getting blown out by Ole Miss 70-21 and only winning a single game by more than 20 points. It returns the bulk of its team, an okay defensive unit with a questionable offense, though the strength of the latter comes from its rushing attack (despite being pass-first), something that FSU struggled with last week against Boise State.
Last week’s loss was devastating, but not because FSU was fielding completely unwatchable football, a la 2018. It was frustrating because obvious progress was on display, and small mistakes unraveled every bit of it. A win, obviously, comes from scoring more points than the other team, but this week, Florida State’s standard for victory needs to be a complete, confident game, even when things mildly go awry.
Somebody tell Tim McGraw to lick a white turd.
Florida State 42, Louisiana-Monroe 17
I just. Cannot. Do it. Muster the kind of positive vibes the rest of our staff is showing here, that is. Everything suggests that a Seminole romp over ULM is imminent, but I’ve been hurt too often of late, and as a result, I’m a little jaded. That second half against Boise State has engendered an apprehensive, restless feeling in me that I thought might have been left in 2018.
I feel like ’roided-out Charlie Kelly, with any momentary feeling of euphoria quickly replaced by paranoia as to how it’s all going to fall apart.
The FSU faithful really deserve a fun, easy win here, sans anxiety. But until it happens, I just can’t believe that “easy” is in this program’s playbook. The ’Noles may not get the cathartic blowout the fanbase could use, but they get the victory they need, 38-24.