Football Matchup Analysis & Prediction: Florida State at N.C. State
The Florida State football team is reeling after back-to-back blowout losses to Louisville and Pittsburgh. All hope of a resurgent season under first-year head coach Mike Norvell might be lost as the Seminoles limp into a contest at N.C. State this Saturday with a 2-5 record.
Led by former FSU quarterback Bailey Hockman, the Wolfpack (4-3) nearly pulled off an upset last week against No. 9 Miami. N.C. State took a lead into the fourth quarter before falling by three to the Hurricanes.
Here's our in-depth look at the position matchups for both sides of the football and special teams. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET, and the game will air on ACC Network.
Jordan Travis has started the past four games behind center for the Seminoles. The redshirt sophomore has been getting off to hot starts in those games, but he has been hampered by injuries in nearly every outing. Travis missed the second half of the Pittsburgh game, and his status for this Saturday is very much in the air. If he is unable to go, true freshman Chubba Purdy, who played most of the second half vs. Pittsburgh, will likely get the start.
Florida State has been short-handed for most of the season at wide receiver. That situation got worse with the announcement that All-ACC wideout Tamorrion Terry is no longer on the team. However, his absence probably doesn't mean much since he's been out or limited by injuries for most of the season. The two remaining receivers with the most experience -- juniors Ontaria "Pokey" Wilson and Keyshawn Helton -- have struggled at times. The rest of the unit has been largely unremarkable.
Defending the pass is a clear shortcoming for N.C. State's defense. Opposing offenses are averaging 289.1 yards a game through the air, including Miami throwing for 431 yards and five touchdowns last week. Nobody really stands out in the defensive backfield, but safety Tanner Ingle and cornerback Chris Ingram have far and away the most experience.
It all comes down to whether Jordan Travis can return to full health. If not, true freshman Chubba Purdy hasn't shown enough in limited action to expect him to have much success throwing the football behind a porous offensive line and with a depleted wide receiver corps.
WINNER: N.C. STATE STATE (slight)
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