Florida State Seminoles football is back.
So, too, are our staff predictions, in which all of writers and contributors here at Tomahawk Nation try to one-up each other in being wrong.
Here are our predictions for today’s season opener against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets:
CoachAB: They can’t block FSU and we can block them some. I know you probably expected some big coach speak from me but that’s what it’s going to boil down to. Blocking and tackling are the name of the game and FSU will do both of those better.
I expect a sloppy game through the first half but trust this staff to find some consistency as the game goes along. Freshman Stephen Dix Jr. leads the team in tackles. Joshua Kaindoh explodes on the scene with 2.5 sacks and multiple TFL.
Florida State 28, Georgia Tech 14
Perry Kostidakis: Georgia Tech has a strong secondary but a suspect defensive line — a strong running back room but a concerning offensive line. Florida State has a strong defensive line, a deep receiving core, a talented secondary but questions on the offensive line and in the tight end and linebacker positions.
If FSU’s line can let James Blackman work enough that he can find open receivers on breaks in coverage — something almost sure to happen due to the fact that pressure is going to have to be brought from areas other than the defensive line — the Seminoles could start rolling early and put themselves in a position to open up the Norvell-era with a win. If the expected season-opening sloppiness is combined with a cratering of discipline and technique, something we’ve seen from the core of this team before, it could be a long Saturday afternoon. Tech should get some yards on the ground, but with freshman Jeff Sims earning the start, FSU should be able to rattle him somewhat and apply pressure with a defensive line that’s amongst the nations’ best.
Florida State 31, Georgia Tech 20
ricobert1: Even without Hamsah Nasirildeen, give me FSU’s defense over GT’s offense all day. As for offense: If you’re GT, do you pressure FSU’s offense, whose offensive line has struggled with communication & execution, to get them off schedule? Or do you focus on keeping the top on your defense by bracketing guys like Helton & Terry? I think you’d want to pressure FSU on standard downs and play coverage on passing downs. But do you have the horses to not get caught in man coverage? I think FSU may actually run early to test GT’s gap integrity in the face of GT’s pressure, and mix in some simple RPOs as a contingency. Still I expect multiple busted FSU drives, but I also expect a fair amount of short fields for both teams (as FSU’s defense flexes, and FSU’s offense...well...).
I’ll stick very (i.e., obscenely) close to the Vegas line + O/U here.
FSU 34, Georgia Tech 20
NoleThruandThru: The FSU defensive line is going to EAT. Looking for multiple turnovers forced by the ‘Noles to provide the offense with a few short fields. FSU will look far from perfect on offense, but they’ll look better than the other guys. I’m just thrilled to know that FSU has an actual, competent, and innovative coaching staff again.
FSU 27, Georgia Tech 16
Griffinole: It still doesn’t feel like football season is here. Once we see FSU’s offensive line whiff assignments, we’ll know for sure. FSU is the more talented team, and the defense should keep Georgia Tech’s offense at bay. I’m inclined to take the ‘Noles in a rock fight, assuming the offense can put together drives and generate some points. Maybe the special teams joins in the fun? Here’s to hoping.
FSU 24, Georgia Tech 13
LastNoleofKrypton: The saltiest defensive line in the ACC makes life absolute hell for the Yellow Jackets and the Norvell era starts off on a strong foot. The first TD of the season will be scored by...Jashaun Corbin.
Florida State 42, Georgia Tech 13
Austin Cox: Often in an opening game of the season, an early portion is low-scoring, with offenses shaking off the jitters. I expect that in this game and both defensive lines to overpower the FSU and GT offensive lines. Big games for interior defensive lineman senior Marvin Wilson, redshirt junior Corey Durden, and junior Ropert Cooper as they’ll benefit from improved rush from the defensive ends. Noles will do a better job with protection in the second half and quarterback James Blackman will hit a deep ball to wideout Tamorrion Terry to go up two scores and cruise the rest of the afternoon. Tech grabs a garbage touchdown late.
Florida State 26, Georgia Tech 24
Jon Marchant: I think FSU runs early to test Tech, but also keeping it on the ground is safer. On 4 Verticals I predicted FSU would get 150 yards rushing and I’ll stick to that. In the pass game FSU will sprinkle it in — RPOs and play-action — to take shots down the field. I also agree with others that it’s going to be a sloppy game, but sloppy doesn’t always mean points are hard to come by. I think both teams break some big plays with busted coverages, but in the end FSU just has the better players.
FSU 30 — 20 GT
Evan Johnson: FSU is breaking in a new coaching staff with little practice time so results probably won’t be great this year. However, I do think the ‘Noles have the requisite talent to take this game against a team that is making a much bigger transition. I think the FSU offense will be able to exploit the talent issues GT has on defense with simple plays to the outside. Plays are likely to be boom or bust but I’m hoping for a bit more normalcy than the past few years. On defense I just don’t see how Tech can take advantage of FSU’s linebackers enough to stay in the game. I’m expecting FSU to win the turnover battle as Georgia Tech is starting a freshman...I think.
Florida State 28, Georgia Tech 14
Matt Minnick: FSU playing a sporting event for the first time in 6 months and of course there’s a threat of tropical rains. Thanks, 2020! The Seminoles’ talented D-Line and slightly above terrible O-Lind were already gonna make this a sloppy game. Add in a weird off season and rain and it could be a downright manure-show. But at this point any win is a good win and Coach Norvell starts off his FSU career on a positive note after the ‘Noles pull away late.
FSU 30, GT 16
Brett Nevitt: Somehow we made it. Another home opener against a team ending in Tech. But I don’t think swag surfing will be blasted at start of game this time, and i don’t think the offense will be dead silent. After a bit of a sloppy start, FSU’s offense should find its footing with a couple big plays and a long drive or two. The defensive line should have a day against the GT OL and create some havoc for the back end to capitalize on. Norvell starts off on the right foot.
Florida State 28, GT 17
Onebarrelrum: FSU has a case of the jitters, and struggles to pull away. The Noles give up late scores instead of cruising in garbage time. GT misses a late FG to win it. FSU wins 30-28. FSU gains confidence and the players celebrate without going on a party bus, keeping the season intact for another week.
Florida State 30, Georgia Tech 28
FrankDNole: My prediction for this game is that the Florida State Seminoles will make a favorable impression on the voters and the playoff committee where we will move up in rankings every week hereinafter, and by the end of the season we will be considered for one of the major bowl bids thus giving us the chance to play for the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP.
Florida State 41 - Georgia Tech (once a bee stings they die) 20
Trey Rowland: As I contemplate the beginning of this new era of Florida State football under head coach Mike Norvell, I am suddenly reminded of Paul Verhoeven’s 1997 cinematic tour-de-force Starship Troopers.
Hey, don’t leave yet! Hear me out.
In that wonderful film, the Mobile Infantry of the United Citizen Federation tried to make a direct attack on the Arachnid home planet of Klendathu.
The troopers are filled to the brim with excitement and enthusiasm to stomp out their buggy antagonists in one fell swoop. Unfortunately, it was a disorganized assault with poor leadership, and they all pretty much die.
My point, Florida State under Willie Taggart was like watching the infantry assault Klendathu every week.
However, in Starship Troopers, they ended up getting better leadership and a new plan of attack. The new attack plan wasn’t as flashy as the full-frontal swagsurf on Klendathu, but it was better coordinated and more effective.
FSU wins their first campaign under Sky Marshal Mike Norvell with an explosive, and at times inconsistent, offensive attack coupled with an aggressive defensive gameplan. Yellow jackets are bugs, and if there’s one thing Starship Troopers taught us...
FSU 31, GT 17
Kevin Little: What Trey said but one better.
FSU 32, GT 17
TimScribble: Is Mike Norvell a Sky Marshall or is he Johnny Rico? I can’t get too confident for this game because I have Taggart-Virginia Tech flashbacks. But Norvell seems to have the kids motivated, they’re united and have each other’s backs. Yeah, Norvell is definitely Johnny Rico. Welcome to the Roughnecks. Norvell’s Roughnecks!
FSU 30, GT 20