The Daily Nole

Staff Predictions for FSU-N.C. State

Jeff Romance/FSU athletucs

Both Florida State and N.C. State took wild rides to get to where they are at this point in the season. Though neither one expected to be in its present condition, both will enter Carter-Finley stadium with something on the line.

N.C. State head coach Dave Doeren might very well be fighting for his job on Saturday. After a stunning loss at Clemson, a blowout loss at Louisville, and a head-scratching loss to Boston College, rumors have begun to swirl that the program is ready to move on from the struggling fourth-year head coach. If he does not want to receive a pink slip, he will need to get his team motivated for a night game against a much more talented Florida State team.

The Seminoles themselves are treading into largely unfamiliar territory. This is the first time in five years that an FSU team has reached game nine with nothing bigger to play for other than a good bowl game. Florida State is both out of the playoff discussion and out of ACC championship contention. It put together a strong performance against Clemson, but it remains to be seen if the Seminoles can come close to replicating that performance across their remaining games. Going up to N.C. State for a night game might prove more telling than originally thought.

The Daily Nole has continued to bring great content to our readers for the whole week. Editor Mike Ferguson gave his weekly preview of N.C. State to start out, and then updated fans where the Seminoles might go bowling in 2016. Lead writer Clint Eiland looked into some of the issues plaguing the FSU offensive line and also broke down some key parts of the FSU-N.C. State match-up.

As usual, it’s time for the weekly predictions. Mike and Clint chime in, as well as digital content manager Edwin Collins, recruiting analyst Jay Brading and contributors T.J. Pittinger and Robert Blackburn:

Clint: 24-14, FSU. I think the N.C. State defense will be able to stunt FSU running back Dalvin Cook a bit more than some are expecting, thus throwing the offense out of rhythm. The N.C. State offense however will largely not take advantage of this, because it simply doesn’t have the scheme or the players to hammer the FSU defensive weaknesses. The Wolfpack will struggle to go downfield all game and the Seminoles’ offense will be allowed to relax a bit towards the end. A late touchdown by N.C. State makes it look closer than it is.

Mike: 2016 has been a tough year for Florida State, but one thing head coach Jimbo Fisher has not done so far is lose his team. I think the offensive line struggles again, but quarterback Deondre Francois will make big plays through the air and Dalvin Cook will slowly wear the Wolfpack down. It’s close throughout, but FSU pulls away late. Noles 34, Pack 20.

Edwin: 17-14, N.C. State. Cook will go for another 100 yards but the offensive line is broken. I’m not sure that is something FSU can fix in one week. Remember back a couple of weeks when N.C. State took Clemson to overtime? At Clemson? I will be glad to eat crow if this team can prove me wrong.

Jay: 31-21, Florida State.

T.J.: Noles 28, Wolfpack 17. FSU gets its first first quarter touchdown against a Power 5 opponent. The Seminoles never trail and escape Raleigh without much incident.

Robert: 34-28, N.C. State. Again, I just can’t buy into this Florida State team. The defense has looked better, but both sides of the ball have a lot of work to do before I can fully trust this squad. The bright side to this game? Ermon Lane will come up with an interception and Dalvin Cook will have another standout performance.

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