FSU vs. BYU Gut Prediction
Posted by William Kristoph
It’s gut prediction time and time to circle the Noles. So far the gut is 50 / 50. If you remember from my preseason post, I called the struggles in the Jacksonville State game. The score was not exactly right, but the struggles that I predicted were.
Filler game that typically is a lot closer than it should be for the Noles. Theyâ€™ll be playing on short rest after the Monday night game, but theyâ€™ll pull out the victory. FSU 20, Jacksonville State 17.
So what’s to blame for my gut’s loss to Miami? I grossly underestimated Miami’s talent and new coaches. Last night’s butt-kicking of Georgia Tech by the Canes solidified that. In fact, in a weird way it made me feel better about the loss to the Canes. Does that spell good news for the Noles this weekend? Read on.
Don’t let the Oklahoma game’s score lull you into thinking that Max Hall and company at Brigham Young were lucky to get by the Sooners. The fact of the matter is that BYU moved the ball well against the Sooner all day, and the BYU defense played solidly. They also knocked out Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford. Remember when FSU did that every other game? That’s the sign of a defense that gets pressure on the QB and disrupts plays. The offense is led by a great arm in Max Hall, with mature players everywhere, tight ends that can catch and a big offensive line to protect everyone.
In other words, BYU is mature and talented. They’re hungry for a win against FSU to make a BCS case later this year.
But, does that mean the Noles are going to be steam rolled in Provo, UT on Saturday night? I don’t think so, and here’s why:
- The Canes offense made FSU’s defense look silly, but they did it to GT too last night. It’s probably not AS bad as I thought initially for the Noles, especially with a favorable weather outlook in Provo (70s & 80s, dry).
- The FSU offense had a full week to prepare for the Cougars, and Christian Ponder is proving that he can throw the ball well. The FSU offense will move the ball against BYU.
- Greg Reid is the potential game breaker on special teams. One punt return can be the difference in the game. See, Willie Reid for numerous games and Peter Warrick before that.
- High altitude is overrated as a factor in the game. FSU proved years ago that it doesn’t matter to them.
- The Noles don’t lose games like this one, historically. Whenever the Noles look down and out, they rise to the occasion. See, #2 BC and Colorado on the road in recent years.
So how can the Noles win tomorrow night?
- Control the ball. The running game needs vast improvement to control the clock, keep the defense fresh and keep BYU’s offense off of the field. Time of Possession is an overrated stat, but if FSU breaks 37 minutes of TOP then I believe they’ll win the game. Ty Jones and Jermaine Thomas need to have a big day. It will also help if Caz Piurowski has another big receiving day.
- Mistake Free Special Teams. FSU needs Dustin Hopkins to make all of the extra points and all field goals inside of 50 yards. It would be nice to have a big return, but those are unpredictable.
- Two turnovers from the defense. The Seminoles need two turnovers from the defense. Yes, fumble recoveries are random, but FSU needs to force the issue on Saturday night. Blitz, blitz and blitz more to cause some havoc for BYU. Force bad decisions from Max Hall. Force the issue. If the Noles get beat, they should do it with their boots on, fighting to the bitter end with their speed advantage.
Whenever I count the Noles out they surprise me. Maybe the fan in me is taking over the realist today. Perhaps I can’t face the thought of what happens to FSU if they lose this game to BYU and spiral down into the black hole of an awful season. Or maybe my gut had too much 15 bean soup last night. Whatever the reason, I think the Noles will get it done tomorrow night Provo and surprise everyone.
Noles 31 BYU 27