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Noles News: FSU favored by 20 points over Wake Forest

Seminoles flip blue-chip from Miami, soccer remains unbeaten, volleyball sweeps Syracuse and more

Charles Mays/Tomahawk Nation


Major, major news for Florida State on the recruiting front with soon-to-be 2024 five-star defensive lineman Armando Blount committing to the Seminoles on Sunday:

If you aren’t familiar with the name Armondo Blount, let us fill you in. He is a 6’4”, 250 pound defensive lineman who plays for Miami Central High School. He is a consensus five-star recruit for the 2025 class who recently announced that he’d be reclassifying to the 2024 cycle, and is currently ranked as the fifth-best 2025 player in the nation by 247Sports Composite. He’s considered the second-best defensive lineman in the nation and THE best player in the state of Florida.

Blount is coveted by nearly every major program in the nation, and for good reason. He is the prototypical defensive lineman for championship-caliber programs and projects to be a highly disruptive force at the next level. Hell likely start at DE but should be able to cross train among numerous DL spots based on how he shapes his body. His combination of athleticism, flexibility and bend, sheer power, and quickness is elite.

Tomahawk Nation’s own Three Stars — Tim Alumbaugh, Josh Pick and cited-above NoleThruandThru — dove further into the blue-chip’s flip from the Miami Hurricanes, breaking down what it means for the Seminoles moving forward and what kind of player FSU is getting in the South Florida prospect.

Listen below, as well as on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or wherever you listen to your shows.

Blount was the second commitment of the weekend for Florida State — albeit in a (now) different class. Four-star 2025 linebacker Ethan Pritchard out of Seminole High in Sanford committed to Florida State shortly after FSU wrapped up its 38-20 win over the Duke Blue Devils.

Class of 2024 commitments

QUARTERBACK: 4 star Luke Kromenhoek (GA)

RUNNING BACK: 4 star Kam Davis (GA)

RUNNING BACK: 4 star Micahi Danzy (FL)

WIDE RECEIVER: 4 star Camdon Frier (FL)

WIDE RECEIVER: 4 star Lawayne McCoy (FL)

WIDE RECEIVER: 4 star BJ Gibson (GA)

WIDE RECEIVER: 4 star Elijah Moore (MD)

TIGHT END: 5 star Landen Thomas (GA)

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN: 4 star Jonathan Daniels (FL)

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN: 3 star Tye Hylton (FL)

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN: 4 star Manasse Itete (CA)

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN: 3 star Jayden Todd (GA)

DEFENSIVE LINEMAN: 5 star Armondo Blount


DEFENSIVE LINEMAN: 3 star Jamorie Flagg (FL)

LINEBACKER: 3 star Jayden Parrish (FL)

LINEBACKER: 3 star Timir Hickman-Collins (SC)

DEFENSIVE BACK: 5 star KJ Bolden (GA)

DEFENSIVE BACK: 5 star Charles Lester III (FL)

DEFENSIVE BACK: 4 star Ricky Knight III (FL)

DEFENSIVE BACK: 3 star CJ Heard (GA)

KICKER: 3 star Jake Weinberg (FL)


Congratulations! You, yes you reading this, have as many wins over Florida State in football as Duke — zero, with the Seminoles' undefeated streak against the Blue Devils remaining intact after Saturday night’s come-from-behind 38-20 win inside Doak Campbell Stadium.

After the win, the Tomahawk Nation staff gathered some of our brightest (reference needed) minds to break down five big questions:

  • Be honest — did you expect a score like this?
  • Who was the most impressive player on the field for Florida State?
  • Where are the biggest areas of concern that FSU needs to address moving forward?
  • Do you like the aggressive 4th down decisions?
  • What made the difference in Florida State earning a win?

Ben Meyerson has your breakdown of the offense:

The Seminoles’ offense made the difference in the game by showing out in the second half after only scoring one offensive touchdown in the first half. Mike Norvell made some crucial adjustments and put Jordan Travis in a position to play his best game all year.

Travis and the passing offense showed up and closed the game out once Blue Devils quarterback Riley Leonard left the game with a re-aggravated ankle injury.

On Saturday night under the lights, Travis played more like he did in 2022 and carried the offense in the most crucial of moments.

Jordan Silversmith handled an inside look at how FSU performed on defense:

All year long, Patrick Payton and the defense say they play their best when their backs are against the wall.

They were true to their word on Saturday.

After allowing an open drive touchdown to start the day, Duke only put up six points the rest of the way. Florida State took plenty of body blows from the Blue Devil offensive line but held serve when they needed it most. Their second-half performance continues an absurd streak of three straight games without allowing a point in quarters three and four.

“We went into the locker room,” Braden Fiske said, “and made a commitment that we weren’t going to let any more points on the board.”

And also, as he does each week, offered a deeper look inside the game and the storylines surrounding it:

“When he’s in the game, you’ve always got a shot.”

Mike Norvell never lost faith in Jordan Travis Saturday night, especially when he needed him more than ever in the second half.

After a strange start for the Florida State Seminoles offense, including muffed snaps, turnovers and fourth down breakdowns, Norvell’s team was lucky to be down three. After another offense drive stalled to begin the third quarter and a red zone stand by the defense, JT looked down the field’s length with four minutes to go in the 3rd quarter.

Florida State needed to go 96 yards against statistically the best defense in the ACC to retake the lead and put pressure on a backup QB.

They did just that as Travis took over the game.

As I left the stadium, I couldn’t quite understand how FSU just won, let alone by 18 points, but this is what championship teams do. They battle, fight, and claw, imposing their will on less talented teams when crunch time comes. They never panic, trusting in themselves that one big play is all it takes to get back in the game.

Ultimately, they win.

They win when they do not deserve to, they win when the game does not go their way, and they win the difficult games that make you show your championship mettle. Florida State proved what they are made of last night. The Seminoles showed the country that this team cannot be counted out and will be a force down the season’s stretch. FSU is not interested in doing it the easy way.

Norvell said post-game that the win “wasn’t perfect and didn’t need to be.” He knows, and his team knows, that the ultimate goal is still in reach, and the Seminoles met the moment when they had to.

Some game notes from the win, via FSU Sports Info:

• FSU improved to 22-6 all-time when ranked No. 4 in the AP poll, including 14-1 at home and 4-0 overall this season. The Noles are now 151-29 all-time when ranked in the top 5, including 6-0 this season.

• The Noles moved to 22-0 all-time against Duke, the most wins without a loss by one current Power 5 team vs. another in the Poll Era (since 1936). Saturday was the third matchup in the series with both teams ranked (1994, 2013).

• FSU’s 13-game win streak is the longest in the ACC and, entering Saturday, only Georgia and Washington had longer streaks nationally. The 13-game win streak is tied for the 7th longest in FSU history.

• FSU’s 13-game streak scoring at least 30 points is the longest in the nation and the 2nd-longest in ACC history, behind FSU’s 17-game streak in 2012-14.

• Down 10-0 and 17-7 in the first half against the Blue Devils, Saturday was FSU’s fifth win under head coach Mike Norvell when trailing by at least 10 points. It was the 13th such win of Norvell’s career. It was also FSU’s first win under Norvell when trailing after the third quarter.

• FSU’s go-ahead touchdown drive in the fourth quarter spanned 96 yards and took 14 plays, the Noles’ longest TD drive in both plays and yards this season.

• Deuce Spann’s 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the second quarter was the first of his career and the Noles’ second in two seasons (Trey Benson vs. Boston College, 2022). Prior to Benson, FSU had not returned a kick for a touchdown since 2013.

The win didn’t move any voters to swing Florida State ahead of Ohio State in the USA Today Coaches and AP Top 25 polls — understandable, given the Buckeyes earned a ranked win of their own against Penn State — but the margin between the two remains tight. In the AP Ohio State is ahead by 46 points, with the Seminoles trailing the Buckeyes by 33 in the Coaches.

Week 8: AP Top 25

  1. Georgia Bulldogs (7-0)
  2. Michigan Wolverines (8-0)
  3. Ohio State Buckeyes (7-0)
  4. Florida State Seminoles (7-0)
  5. Washington Huskies (7-0)
  6. Oklahoma Sooners (7-0)
  7. Texas Longhorns (6-1)
  8. Oregon Ducks (6-1)
  9. Alabama Crimson Tide (7-1)
  10. Penn State Nittany Lions (6-1)
  11. Oregon State Beavers (6-1)
  12. Ole Miss Rebels (6-1)
  13. Utah Utes (6-1)
  14. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6-2)
  15. LSU Tigers (6-2)
  16. Missouri Tigers (7-1)
  17. North Carolina Tar Heels (6-1)
  18. Louisville Cardinals (6-1)
  19. Air Force Falcons (7-0)
  20. Duke Blue Devils (5-2)
  21. Tennessee Volunteers (5-2)
  22. Tulane Green Wave (6-1)
  23. UCLA Bruins (5-2)
  24. USC Trojans (6-2)
  25. James Madison Dukes (7-0)

Week 8: USA Today Coaches Poll

  1. Georgia Bulldogs (7-0)
  2. Michigan Wolverines (8-0)
  3. Ohio State Buckeyes (7-0)
  4. Florida State Seminoles (7-0)
  5. Washington Huskies (7-0)
  6. Oklahoma Sooners (7-0)
  7. Texas Longhorns (6-1)
  8. Alabama Crimson Tide (7-1)
  9. Oregon Ducks (6-1)
  10. Penn State Nittany Lions (6-1)
  11. Ole Miss Rebels (6-1)
  12. Oregon State Beavers (6-1)
  13. Utah Utes (6-1)
  14. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6-2)
  15. LSU Tigers (6-2)
  16. Missouri Tigers (7-1)
  17. North Carolina Tar Heels (6-1)
  18. Louisville Cardinals (6-1)
  19. Air Force Falcons (7-0)
  20. Tennessee Volunteers (5-2)
  21. Duke Blue Devils (5-2)
  22. USC Trojans (6-2)
  23. Tulane Green Wave (6-1)
  24. UCLA Bruins (5-2)
  25. James Madison Dukes (7-0)

Up next for Florida State is a chance to snap a three-game losing streak to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in a noon kickoff on the road.

Wake is coming off a last-second win over the Pitt Panthers, its first win against a Power Five opponent since a 36-20 win over Vanderbilt on September 9.

According to DraftKings, the Seminoles are favored by 20 points over Wake Forest with the over/under set at 53.

Odds to win 2023 national championship, via DraftKings

Odds to win 2023 Heisman Trophy, via DraftKings


No. 1 Florida State soccer earned its own win over Duke on Sunday, dominating the Blue Devils to the tune of 4-0 to advance to 13-0-1 (8-0-1 ACC) on the season.

From the incomparable Prince Akeem Joeffer:

Florida State is really impressive. Duke is not a cupcake. Massey rates them as the 17th best team and he rates their defense as sixth best nationally. Before today Duke had not conceded three goals in any game all year except for a 4-0 loss at Stanford. FSU just scored three goals against that defense in the second half alone.

This is probably the most clinical FSU team that I have seen certainly since I have been covering the team and perhaps ever.

FSU has now clinched at least a share of the ACC regular season title. The Noles will win the title outright with a win or tie against NC State or a loss or tie by Clemson when the Tigers play at Notre Dame.


FSU women’s hoops was ranked No. 17 in Lindy’s Sports, the thid preseason top 25 ranking for the Seminoles:

The No. 17 ranking follows up a No. 15 selection by ESPN and No. 16 by The Athletic.

The return of Latson and her otherworldly year as a freshman coupled with All-ACC Team member Makayla Timpson and top-notch defensive guard Sara Bejedi give the Seminoles a strong core. FSU’s roster of 12 players includes six returnees and six newcomers, headlined by high-scoring graduate transfer guard Alexis Tucker and the top-ranked junior college player in forward Sakyia White.

The Seminoles return four of their top five scorers from last year’s team that finished 23-10. Latson averaged 21.3 points, Timpson added 13.2 points, Bejedi poured in 10.8 points and junior guard O’Mariah Gordon averaged 6.9 points. As a freshman, Gordon joined Timpson on the ACC All-Freshmen Team.



All Sports

FSU beach volleyball is in the midst of its fall season, set this week for the 2023 AVCA Collegiate Beach East Coast Pairs Qualifier:

The two-day pairs event will consist of up to three matches per day per pair with the bid division having a maximum of two pairs per school. Seeding for pool play is based on the Tru Volley ratings. If two or more pairs are in the same pool from the same university, the lowest ranking pair(s) will be dropped one place to ensure that pool play only has one pair from each school.

Florida State swimming and diving picked up four wins across the men and women’s squads during this weekend’s Paint it Pink meet:

The 24th-ranked men (2-0, 1-0 ACC) defeated Florida Southern, 168-58, while the women (1-1, 0-1 ACC) were victorious over West Florida (200-63), North Florida (203-54) and the Mocs (209-47).

The men started the meet off with a win in the 200 medley relay behind Mathew Iverson, Tommaso Baravelli, Peter Varjasi and Jokubas Keblys (1:30.52).

The Seminoles swept the next five races, starting with the 1000 free, with Yordan Yanchev (9:27.21) edging his teammate Jack Rowell (9:27.67) for the win.

Utku Kurtdere was the winner in the 200 free (1:38.05) and Andrew Rich grabbed first in the 100 back (48.96). Varjasi placed first in the 100 breast (55.23) and Gustav Olsson led the way in the 200 fly (1:52.33).

In the 500 free Jaka Pusnik placed first (4:37.20), followed closely behind by Jack Hall (4:38.01) and Zach Smith (4:39.35) for the sweep.

Varjasi added another win, claiming the 100 fly (48.93) and Matthew Iverson took first in the 200 IM (1:54.40) before FSU finished first in the 200 free relay to end the meet behind Rian Covington, Eli Butters, Sam Bork, and Arijus Pavlidi (1:21.90).

In the women’s meet, FSU started with a win in the 200 medley relay behind Jaden Herbet, Maddy Huggins, Jenny Halden and Gabrianna Banks (1:42.89).

FSU started with a one-two showing in the 1000 free with Julia Brzozowski (10:09.44) and Ella Dyjak (10:25.77). The Seminoles followed with first place finishes in the 200 free (Sarah Evans – 1:53.50) and 100 back (Edith Jernstedt – 56.12).

Maddy Huggins was the winner in the 200 fly (2:02.70) and Maysa Ratiu also grabbed first in the 50 free (23.96) just ahead of Evans (24.00) in second.

Sara Moulson and Banks went one-two in the 100 free. Moulson touched first at 51.69 and Banks got second at 52.61.

Sydney Cole placed first in the 200 back (2:03.17), followed by Huggins winning the 200 breast (2:17.07).

Sophie Freeman took first place in the 500 free (4:59.93), and Jenny Bird placed first in the 100 fly (55.37) before FSU finished ended the day with a win in the 200 free relay behind Alexandra Dicks, Ratiu, Gloria Muzito and Jernstedt (1:34.34).

In diving, Izzy Gregersen was the winner on both springboards. She won 1-meter with a score of 292.80 and 3-meter at 327.80, ahead of Jesscia Buntman (292.20) in second.

FSU volleyball advanced to 9-1 in ACC play with a sweep over Syracuse on Sunday, moving to 15-7 overall on the season with its 10th win in the team’s last 11 matchups:

All 15 active student-athletes saw court time on Sunday, as junior right-side hitter Skye Ekes, freshman right-side hitter Maddie Snider and junior middle blocker Kiari Robey each led FSU with five kills apiece. Florida State attacked at a .272 clip and held the Orange (2-18, 0-10) to a .000 hitting percentage as they recorded 26 kills to 26 hitting errors.

Florida State recorded 13 team blocks in the three-set match, as Ekes and junior Khori Louis each led the way with four. Jelli Draskovic led FSU with 15 assists, while Kenna Phelan added 11 and Ashley Reynolds chipped in with two.