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Florida State vs. Pittsburgh: Preview, how-to-watch

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Florida State v Pittsburgh Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

After taking a bye week to regroup and get healthy, Florida State Seminoles football will take on the Pittsbugh Panthers at 4 p.m. on the ACC Network.

Florida State hasn’t faced off against Pitt since 2013 — when redshirt freshman Jameis Winston made his FSU debut, going 25 of 27 for 356 yards and four touchdowns.

The Panthers have had an up and down season, starting out 3-0 but currently on a four-game losing streak. Two of those losses, vs. NC State and Boston College, were one-point losses.

After last Saturday’s 45-3 loss to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, head coach Pat Narduzzi spoke on the possibility of starting quarterback Kenny Pickett, who has missed time with injury, playing again this season.

“Hopefully sooner than later,” Narduzzi said. “He was out there today and he had a good week, he’s doing really well. We’ll see. Might be a stretch for Florida State, I don’t know, but we’ll see.”

Here’s some more from Narduzzi from Monday:

I think we’ve got a very, very talented football team in Florida State coming in. When you look at it, Mike Norvell is a heck of a football coach, in his first year, so he’s been busy just trying to install his offense, his defense there at Florida State, and probably had one of the toughest jobs going in, like any coach that comes in with a whole new staff, a new coordinator on offense and defense, without spring ball.

What you see out of Florida State is a constant improvement every single week. Without having spring ball and maybe an abbreviated camp, I don’t know what you call it that we had in this 2020 period, so I don’t know how their practices were compared to ours, but they’ve gone through four quarterbacks on offense in Rodemaker, Purdy — what was the big number 1? Blackman. But now they’ve found their guy, I think.

Jordan Travis, No. 13, is a football player. I really, really like that guy. He’s the key to their offense. They like to run it. He’ll throw the RPOs. We’ll see the T-shoots. They like to copycat what they see on tape, so we’ve worked a ton of different stuff that we’ve seen through the years, anything that’s hurt us. Actually the last three years we’ve worked on just looking at — we’ve had two weeks to prepare for them, and

I’m sure we’ll see stuff that we didn’t know we’d see.

But they found their quarterback in Travis. They’re talented in the backfield. They got three tailbacks that play a ton for them. They don’t have quite as many starts on that offensive line as the last team we faced. And then on defense, Marvin Wilson, starts with him, an All-American up front. Their front four is an ACC front four.

When I first got in the ACC a few years ago I thought it was a quarterback conference. This year I feel like it’s a D-line conference, especially with Notre Dame being in it. It’s a talented crew.

Game Notes via FSU Sports Information

» Florida State returns to action Saturday, hosting Pitt after both teams had an open date last weekend. This marks only the second matchup as ACC opponents since Pitt joined the conference. The Seminoles won that 2013 contest, Pitt’s first game as an ACC team, 41-13 in the opening game of FSU’s most recent national championship season.

» FSU has posted at least 405 yards of total offense in three straight ACC games for the first time since 2016. In their last three games, the Seminoles gained 405 yards at No. 5 Notre Dame, 432 vs. No. 5 North Carolina and 406 at Louisville.

» In its four games during October, Florida State averaged 230.5 rushing yards and 443.5 yards of total offense per game, ranking 4th and 7th, respectively, in the ACC. The rushing yards total was 15th nationally in October, while the total offense average ranked 29th in the nation. The Seminoles’ average of 5.46 yards per carry also ranked 4th in the conference and 17th in FBS.

» FSU is tied for 1st in the NCAA with five blocked kicks this season, courtesy of two blocked field goals, two blocked punts and one blocked PAT. Florida State and Army are the only two teams in the country with at least one blocked field goal, PAT and punt this season and are the only teams to have blocked multiple field goals and multiple punts. Individually, Marvin Wilson is tied for the NCAA lead with three blocked kicks.

» The Seminoles tied a single-game school record with three blocked kicks in the season opener against Georgia Tech. Marvin Wilson became only the second Seminole ever to block two field goals in the same game, and Janarius Robinson added a blocked PAT to tie the record. In the win over No. 5 North Carolina, FSU blocked two punts with freshman Ja’Khi Douglas and Wilson blocking one each.

» Florida State has scored on eight of its 12 opening drives of a half this season and scored a total of 47 points on those drives.

» The Seminoles have 16 attempts on 4th downs this season, tied for the 3rd-most attempts in the ACC and 11th most in the nation.

» Jordan Travis has at least one rushing touchdown and one passing touchdown in four straight games, the longest streak in FSU history. The previous record of three straight games was held by Charlie Ward in 1992 and Kelly Lowery in 1983. Travis’ streak of four straight games with a rushing tou