The toughest test of the season thus far comes Saturday for the Deacs (5-1, 2-1) as they travel to Tallahassee to face the No. 14 Florida State Seminoles (4-2, 1-2).
The Seminoles have allowed nearly 33 points a game this season, but have faced Ole Miss, Louisville, South Florida, North Carolina and Miami. With the game against the Deacs sandwiched between a win at Miami and a home contest against Clemson, the Deacs could usually hope they’re being looked over. That becomes less likely as they roll into Florida with a 5-1 record.
Here’s four Seminoles to watch Saturday
Dalvin Cook - Junior Running Back - 5-foot-11, 213 pounds
There’s not much left to be said about this explosive player who very well may be the top running back in the country. He’s just 476 yards away from breaking Warrick Dunn’s Florida State rushing record and is 1,119 yards away from setting the ACC record for most rushing yards.
He’s powerful and explosive, and has the ability to break a game open on every snap. His longest play from scrimmage came at BB&T Field last season against Wake, when he ran 94 yards for a touchdown in a 24-16 Florida State victory.
Last year vs. Wake: Two rushes for 94 yards and a touchdown. One reception for 8 yards. (Missed most of the game with an injury)
DeMarcus Walker - Senior Defensive End - 6-foot-4, 280 pounds
Walker has been a disruptive stat sheet stuffer so far this season. He’s second on the squad with 26 tackles (or as we like to say at Demon Deacon Digest, not even twice as many as Marquel Lee has in ONE GAME against Syracuse), eight tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. He also has been credited with two quarterback hurries, three forced fumbles and a blocked kick. Simply put, he’s been everywhere.
Last year vs. Wake: Five tackles, 1.5 sack, 1.5 TFL, one forced fumble
Roderick Johnson - Junior Left Tackle - 6-foot-7, 311 pounds
Johnson is the most experienced and honored member of the FSU offensive line, having made his 24th consecutive start last week at Miami.
He won ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week earlier this season in the Seminoles 55-35 win against South Florida. He’s a 2016 All-America, Lombardi Award and Outland Trophy Candidate.
Deondre Francois - Redshirt Freshman Quarterback - 6-foot-2, 205 pounds
Francois has won ACC Rookie of the Week honors already twice this season, and is 116-for-184 passing for 1,557 yards and nine touchdowns. He’s added an additional 150 net yards rushing on 57 attempts, with a long of 35, scoring twice on the ground.
Francois worked on the scout team last season for the Noles during his redshirt year, and came to Florida State as the No. 10 overall QB in the country, according to Scout.com.