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Schedule Preview: FSU takes on North Alabama ahead of Sunshine Showdown

The Seminoles face the North Alabama Lions toward the end of the season, a good opportunity to see young players.

Charles Mays/Tomahawk Nation

TALLAHASSEE FL- Florida State will play North Alabama in their second to last game of the regular season, the week before Florida vs. Florida State.

It will be the first time in program history that the two schools play each other. The Lions are a Division I FCS program that has struggled to put together any wins over the last few seasons. But they have a brand new head coach in former FAU OC Brent Dearmon.

This game will be the most considerable talent disparity that Florida State will see all season, and this will be an excellent opportunity for young players to get on the field and get more experience.

Florida State vs. North Alabama: Breakdown

Date: November 18th, 2023

Location: Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee FL

Previous matchup: N/A

All-time series: 0-0

North Alabama Lions: Team Preview

2022 record: 1-10

Two things to know:

  • The Lions had an awful year in 2022 going 1-10, but at the end of the season, they brought in Brent Dearmon as their next Head Coach. He has been an offensive coordinator for Kansas, Middle Tennessee, and FAU since 2019.
  • The last few years for the Lions have been terrible, they have only won 4 total games since the 2020 season. They also lost their most productive offensive player ShunDerrick Powell who finished with 1,500+ rushing yards last season to the transfer portal, no other player finished with 650 or more yards from scrimmage.

Three key players:

  • Noah Walters (QB) is the Lions starting QB and was in 2022. Last season he finished with 19 touchdowns to 12 interceptions, 2,149 passing yards, and a completion percentage of 53.1%. With a new offensive-minded head coach he will have an opportunity to get a fresh start with a brand new offensive system.
  • Demarcus Lacey (WR) is one of the Lions most productive returning players for the 2023 season, the wide receiver played all over the field last year with 20+ receptions and 30+ rushing attempts. He finished with nearly 600 yards from scrimmage last season and will be one of the offensive playmakers that the Seminoles have to account for.
  • Kam’Ron Green (DL) formerly transferred from UCF and finished the 2022 season with 4 sacks for the Lions, he is their most impactful returning defensive player. He was a three-star prospect coming out of high school and is from Bradenton, FL

Florida State vs. North Alabama: Game Preview

Best Case

The Seminoles could shut out the Lions completely and dominate this game from start to finish even with their second and third string players in the game. I expect the Seminoles offense to be lethal in 2023 and think they could put up 60 or even 70 points if they want to in this matchup. FSU wins 63-3 in dominant fashion.

Realistic Case

The Seminoles will win this game but Mike Norvell may also take his foot off the gas pedal to not completely embarrass and humiliate the visiting Lions. I think we will see a lot of young players as well as players further down on the depth chart who may not get other opportunities to play. FSU wins 52-13.

Worst Case

I do not expect FSU to struggle in this game with their starters or even their backups, but as they put their third and fourth stringers on the field they may not be as dominant as they are early in the game. But I do expect a very big win in the ‘Noles' favor, FSU wins 38-10.