Florida State at NC State Notebook

Florida State looks to exorcise its Raleigh demons on Saturday.

Jimbo Returns To Carter-Finley

In the ACC’s only match of unbeaten teams this weekend, Florida State heads to the only place that Seminole fans hate at the same level as the Swamp. Carter-Finley stadium hasn’t been kind to Florida State over the past decade, as the Seminoles have dropped three of the last four games there. Florida State’s last trip there, a 17-16 loss, caused many fans and media members to question whether or not Jimbo Fisher had it in him to turn the Florida State program around.

We can go ahead and answer that question with a resounding yes with Florida State winning 25 of the 26 games since the loss to NC State in 2012. Still, many have pointed out that Florida State hasn’t won in Raleigh since Jimbo Fisher took over. That may be the case, but Fisher has something he didn’t have in his first two trips there. Jameis Winston is coming off a one game suspension in which his team desperately needed him as the Seminoles barely escaped with an overtime win over Clemson. Expect him to come out angry and the team to rally around him on their way to Florida State’s 20th straight victory.

It’s Not 2013… Yet

Florida State hasn’t played at the dominating level that they did last season, and that isn’t surprising considering that we are only a fourth of the way through the regular season. At this point last year a lot of people were questioning where the defense was and Florida State was preparing to go down 14 points to Boston College. The quality of opponent from this point last year to now is also drastically different as Oklahoma State and Clemson are far superior to any of the 2013 opponents. Pittsburgh and Nevada combined for and 11-14 record last season.

On offense Florida State has played against the 31st ranked defense (Oklahoma State) and the 9th ranked defense (Clemson) in the S&P+ Rankings, which go into the overall F/+ rankings. For comparison Pittsburgh ranked 38th last season while Nevada ranked 105th. Florida State held Clemson to just 17 points last week. Let’s give them a chance to develop before saying they aren’t good enough.

Not A Good Week To Be A Mario

Florida State’s star defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. left last weekends Clemson game with a concussion in the first half and didn’t return to the game. It doesn’t look as if he will be participating in this week’s game either since he has not practiced at all this week. Demarcus Walker will likely slide over into the Sam linebacker position with Chris Casher getting the first start of his career at the Jack.

Running Back Mario Pender also left the Clemson game with a concussion and has not practiced this weekend. Sophomore Ryan Green has been taking most of the second team reps this week with Freshman Dalvin Cook backing him up.

Big Loss on Defense

Starting defensive tackle Nile Lawrence-Stample has been lost for the year with a torn pectoral he suffered in the Clemson game. Lawrence-Stample was playing at a very high level against the Tigers before his injury and according to Jimbo Fisher, played most of the game after he sustained it.

Derrick Mitchell will be taking his place in the starting role, and has played very well during his time on the field so far this year. Mitchell signed with Florida State in 2011, but hasn’t been healthy enough to see the field until now. Florida State will lean heavily on him and immensely talented true freshman Derrick Nnadi to fill that void.

The Best Ever?

Rashad Greene has had an incredible career at Florida State, and is on pace to break nearly every receiving record in Seminoles history. He is 18 receptions away from breaking Ron Sellers’ record for career receptions, 716 yards away from Ron Sellers’ record for career receiving yardage, and 8 touchdowns short of Peter Warrick’s career touchdown record.

He will easily catch Sellers’ career receptions mark, and is on pace to break Sellers’ yardage record too. Greene only has two touchdowns through three games, and will need to find the endzone a little more often if he wants to take down Warrick’s record. If he does, or even if he doesn’t Greene has firmly placed himself in the argument for the best receiver to don the Garnet and Gold.