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What To Watch For: Florida State Seminoles

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 06 Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game - Louisville v Ole Miss Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images


I made it known last week that all I wanted to see from this team was a sense of pride and effort. While they brought that intensity, it took time for them to really play with the fire you want to see. This team needs to hit the field with some sort of passion and level of confidence. Hopefully we can see it from the beginning and we can see it raised to a different level than we’ve seen so far this season.


UCF and Syracuse put a lot of pressure on Malik Cunningham over the last two weeks with the goal of rushing him and making him uncomfortable. The results were mixed but for the most part, Malik had real issues finding any sort of rhythm as a passer or a runner. I don’t foresee FSU bringing nearly as much pressure as we’ve seen so far this season.

One thing that the Noles have that the previous two teams don’t have is a very good pass rush from their defensive line. Jared Verse is a menace on the edge and FSU has a very good interior line who can push the pocket and force quarterbacks to move their feet. The other thing that we saw from them against LSU last weekend is a commitment to spying the quarterback to avoid big plays. While they gave up too many rushing yards to Jayden Daniels, they did a good job to contain things and make Daniels work for everything he got.


I don’t care if the defense comes out on Friday and lights the world on fire. The Louisiville offense has to be much better for this team to have a successful season. Coming into the season, it was very obvious that teams would key on Malik and other players would have to step up to make plays and be focal points to draw the pressure from Malik. That hasn’t happened consistently so far.

Tyler Hudson has been a very nice addition at wide receiver but not only do other guys have to make plays at the receiver spot but Scott Satterfield has to help them create those plays. Ahmari Huggins-Bruce has shown that he can make the big play. Why haven’t we seen more jet sweeps or screens to get him the ball in space? The creativity is there to an extent but the misdirection and speed plays to the edges have tailed off since 2019. An infusion of plays that aren’t just stretch runs would be a welcome sight. Anything to give this offense a spark would be nice to see.

Also, this offensive line should be the strength of the offense. It’s not unnoticed that they’re not pulling their weight. Especially with run blocking.


UofL had the unfortunate draw of three straight running quarterbacks to start the season. On top of that, all three teams have a strong running game that you have to account for and contain. Early in the second quarter on Friday there was a shift to bring more pressure on defense but it was how they did it that stood out to me.

Bryan Brown started walking Momo Sanogo up to the line and shifted Dez Tell off the nose spot. This essentially ended up being a four-man front with some movement to confuse the offensive line. It helped them get some sacks and pressure but it also helped them get run stuffs.

Louisivlle has a secondary that can hold up. They showed that last weekend and even though they will get beat at times and give up some big plays, they have to trust those guys to cover well and make some big plays from time to time. The alternative is the tentative and passive defense that offenses will take advantage of. If you’re going to get beat, at least go out swinging.

Quick Hitters

  • Louisville has to stop FSU’s running backs from having a big day. FSU has the highest rated rushing attack in the country per PFF.
  • Jordan Travis is nearly impossible to contain. LSU had fits trying to get him down in the backfield.
  • Penalties have been an issue in the past for FSU and their an issue for UofL this year. May be something to keep an eye on.
  • FSU’s defensive backs only have four forced incompletions. Three have been PBUs while one was a dropped interception.
  • While the FSU offensive line has improved and is great when it comes to run blocking, they still have had some issues pass blocking.