Bethune-Cookman is a solid FCS squad fresh off a dominating performance against an FBS foe, beating a terrible Florida International team 34–13. Bethune-Cookman is therefore nothing like Savannah State from last year, but the gap is still enormous and this game will not be close.
Some have suggested Florida State came out flat last week, but the early deficit against Nevada was more a function of a single turnover and an extremely slow pace early in the game, as the 'Noles scored on ten of twelve drives (excluding the final kneel-down).
Expect to see yet another highly efficient performance, as FSU will blow the doors off this one early without displaying anything but its most vanilla offensive packages. Given the rainy forecast, look for the FSU offense to work on the passing game a little extra for reps under wet ball circumstances. Look for the Seminoles' offensive starters to be out of the game early, with lots of young players getting plenty of time in this one.
I expect Jacob Coker to get about a half in this game, and the second team offense should also spend a good bit of time throwing the football, as recently-moved running back Karlos Williams needs the reps in pass protection and young receivers Jesus Wilson, Kermit Whitfield, and Isaiah Jones—along with junior Christian Green—need the experience to build trust for later in the year.
This is also a key week on the offensive line, as Austin Barron has returned to practice and the second team line should be on the field early. This is an important game to continue to build depth and reduce the wear on the starters while also building for the future.
Jeremy Pruitt's defense has shuffled players and looks heavily the first two games as the defensive staff continues to assess what this unit can do best—and which players can be relied upon. Look for more of that to continue through this game. Veterans will likely be on the field a little deeper in this game simply to gain experience in the new system and reduce some of the false steps and hesitation observed in the first two games.
This is pretty much a guaranteed win for FSU, with the only concern for the Seminoles being the avoidance of any critical injuries like Brandon Jenkins' unfortunate foot injury against an FCS opponent last year. In terms of outcome, the only question is whether Bethune-Cookman's slow pace will keep the game shot enough to keep the Seminoles from covering the -39 point betting line.
Jason: I expect the offensive starters to be out of this one by the first drive of the third quarter of the game, if not earlier, but some defensive veterans will play a little deeper into the game to continue to work through the checks and reads in the new system. This one will only be interesting for scheme junkies and those interested to see FSU's young talent. FSU rolls, 66-3.
Wayne: With rain in the forcast expect the running game to be the main focus this weekend. It's going to be a good week to get the back ups some work. Noles will roll easily 59-10.
Geoff:More playing time for the second team after a sluggish second quarter. Noles cover, 56-7.