Just five days after Florida State plays host to the Miami Hurricanes, the Tribe will take to Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium and face off against the Jacksonville State Gamecocks.
Jacksonville State posted an 8-3 record last season in the Football Championship Subdivision. The only common opponent between FSU and JSU last season was Georgia Tech, who defeated both teams. The Yellow Jackets beat the Seminoles by the score of 31-28 and the Gamecocks by the count of 41-14.
JSU comes in led by former LSU problem child Ryan Perrilloux. Although he has had several off-the-field issues, there is no denying his athletic ability. Last season, Perrilloux's dual-threat talent was on full display as he was second on the team in rushing (51.8 YPG) and completed 63% of his passes.
Defensively, JSU will be led by senior linebacker Alexander Henderson. Last season, Henderson led his team with 103 tackles, 37 more than any other teammate. In the secondary, Christian Ponder will have to keep his eye out for sophomore cornerback A.J. Davis who picked off three passes during his freshman campaign.
As a team, JSU was well balanced offensively and defensively. The Gamecocks outscored their opponents by the average score of 31.7-21.7 each outing. On the way to their 32 points, the Gamecocks moved the ball over 400 yards each game while giving up an average of 354.
What Florida State must do to win: Arrive safely at Doak. Although Jacksonville State is very good team in FCS play, there is a reason they are not in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Most players on the Gamecocks' roster are too small or a step too slow to make it at the Division 1 level and it should show early in this game. That is not to knock the Gamecocks as a team, but the leagues the two teams play in are two completely different worlds.
NoleDigest way too early prediction: Yes, Florida State will win this game, but it may not be reminiscent of the 69-0 thrashing of Western Carolina last season. The Tribe may show some early signs of a hangover from the Miami game, but should snap out of it early enough to keep the game in hand fairly easily.
FSU 42 JSU 7
*FSU 2-0 (1-0 ACC)
Stay tuned to NoleDigest all month as we will continue our "Road to Tampa Bay" series with the next installment looking at the Cougars of BYU.
* Based on NoleDigest's way too early predictions.
The road to Tampa Bay: Game 2 – J'Ville State
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