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Florida State-NC State Preview

Florida State-NC State

Florida State-NC State is one of the marquee games to watch in week six. Both teams are coming off losses in ACC play last week. The Seminoles head to Raleigh to face the No. 14 Wolfpack in a crucial ACC Atlantic game. After a 31-21 loss to Wake Forest, FSU is seeking to get back on the winning path. Mike Norvell and the FSU staff have prepared the team well this season in every game. During this three-game stretch, a win on Saturday would be monumental. With Clemson on the horizon, the Seminoles need a big win.

Florida State-NC State Preview

FSU comes into the game at 4–1 overall. NC State also comes in at 4-1 but with an AP Top 25 ranking attached to their résumé. As for the Noles, the program could have an impact on players back this week. At his weekly presser, Norvell provided injury updates on defense. Both Jared Verse and Amari Gainer are expected to play. Verse played limited snaps last week after coming back from an injury. As for Gainer, this will be his first game action since the week zero game against Duquesne.

The Seminoles’ Offense Will Be Tested Once Again

The Seminoles’ offense will be tested in this game. NC State allowed 30 points against Clemson and failed to look overly impressive. The Noles have the opportunity to repeat that on Saturday. Against Wake, FSU struggled in the first half on offense. Only scoring seven points, the unit had a tough time consistently moving the ball. Facing the Wolfpack, Jordan Travis must take the game into his own hands. This program has a great wife receiving corps, and it should be utilized heavily. NC State allows 252 passing yards per game. Travis must average over five yards per pass in order to have success.

Now on to the rushing attack. FSU’s trio of star tailbacks has an advantage over NC State. Last week, Clemson rushed for a total of 145 yards. 73 of those came via D.J. Uiagalelei. That said, Travis is dangerous when scrambling out of the pocket. While the offensive line is banged up, the o-line should be able to give Travis time in the pocket. If he checks down and no wideout is open, his ability to extend plays is phenomenal.

At wideout, Johnny Wilson has become a star in Tallahassee. Per Pro Football Focus, Wilson has the best catch rate against single coverage at 93.8%. Notably, NC State’s defenders aren’t well-rounded in pass protection. With Mycah Pittman and Ontaria Wilson also in the mix, many like FSU’s chances to drive down the field more often than not in this game.

How FSU’s Defense Stops NC State

NC State is led by quarterback Devin Leary. A potential pre-season Heisman sleeper, Leary has failed to be impressive so far. The Wolfpack only beat East Carolina 21-20. Leary looked off in that game and hasn’t played up to a star level in 2022. At running back, Demie Sumo-Karnagbaye has less than 300 total rushing yards.

If NC State is going to exploit the Noles defense, it’s going to take a full effort from Leary in the pocket. However, the Florida State defense has to force Leary to become one-dimensional. Allowing him to escape the pocket cannot happen on Saturday. Last week, Leary was sacked multiple times due to the ineffectiveness of his offensive line. Up front on defense, FSU has playmakers that can pressure the backfield quickly. Namely Verse and Kalen DeLoach are two stars to keep an eye on.

As history has it, the Noles have struggled in Raleigh. The program hasn’t beaten NC State since 2019. In 2020, the Noles lost 38-22 in Raleigh. Noles fans are hopeful that 2022 is a different outcome. NCSU is a current three-point favorite. That being said, FSU needs to put up at least 30 points to win this game. Whichever team commits a late turnover will be the turning point. Saturday’s Florida State-NC State game is sure to be a fun one in the ACC.

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