Tallahassee FL- Florida State knew going into Saturday’s primetime matchup against Duke that it was going to be a dogfight — and that was before it was confirmed that quarterback Riley Leonard would be available.
The Seminoles had an up-and-down first half against Leonard and the Blue Devils and are currently trailing 20-17 — even though the offense was able to move the ball well, they were also very sloppy and made some crucial errors. Jordan Travis had a pick-six and the offense had two failed fourth-down conversions.
DUKE PICKS OFF JORDAN TRAVIS AND TAKES IT TO THE HOUSE‼️ pic.twitter.com/MV79EQaPKZ— ESPN (@espn) October 22, 2023
Travis has looked rattled at times, although he was able to consistently find Johnny Wilson throughout the half. The running game struggled and was not able to get going early against an elite Duke defense.
Look for the Seminoles in the second half to try to run the ball more and find Keon Coleman who only had one catch the entire half.
On the defensive side of the ball, they had some nice moments but also had some backbreaking plays. Riley Leonard was not his normal self and it showed when FSU blitzed and got pressure he was not able to navigate the pocket as easily.
Shyheim Brown had an interception that set FSU up for a field goal, in what was FSU’s 12th straight game with a turnover. They may need to get another turnover to close this game out.
In the second half look for the Seminoles to continue to blitz Leonard and try to disrupt their offensive rhythm.
Deuce Spann also had an eclectic return that helped out a struggling Seminoles offense — 99 yards, second longest in school history.
FSU can win this game, but they are going to need to be better on offense and continue to get pressure on Riley Leonard.