The Daily Nole

Staff Predictions: Northern Illinois at FSU

Ross Obley/FSU athletics

Florida State’s last tune-up game before a stretch of ACC opponents seems especially important right about now. The Seminoles are 1-2 with no momentum in their favor.

The offense has yet to find any success while the defense is forced to carry the team. Saturday’s contest now looks to be much tighter than originally thought.

We here at The Daily Nole have provided a week’s worth of content aimed at giving you all the information necessary for this game. Check out some of our stories below if you haven’t already.

CB Isaiah Bolden Likely Out for Year
Column: FSU Faces Must-Win to Preserve Bowl Streak
FSU’s Biggest Questions for Northern Illinois
The Daily Nole — Sept. 19, 2018: Derrick Kelly Out for Northern Illinois
FSU Football: How Coaches Have Historically Fared Through Three Games
Column: Serious Changes Are Needed, But How Long Will Taggart Get?
The Daily Nole — Sept. 18, 2018: Laborn Out for Year
FSU Football: First Look at Northern Illinois

Staff Predictions

Lead writer Clint Eiland: Watching FSU face off against a team that’s almost identical to their own provides an interesting challenge. When a game is decided by two stingy defenses, the results seem to be fairly random. If turnovers happen, it could result in a blowout. But a lot of times, it’s decided by one or two explosive plays.

I don’t think either team is going to find success on the ground this weekend. Both defenses have shown the ability to shut down the running lanes and force quarterbacks to beat them. Effectively, it looks like it will be a Deondre Francois vs. Marcus Childers duel. I’d lean towards Francois in that case, since his receiver group has mismatches all over the field. But his offensive line is facing a challenging front that will harass him all day long.

The biggest unknown factor remains the attitude of this FSU team. Will the Seminoles come out and compete like everything is on the line? Or are they going to repeat the collapse against Syracuse? The Seminoles have advantages in this game, but it won’t mean anything if they aren’t giving full effort. Give me FSU 21, Northern Illinois 7.

Editor Mike Ferguson: With a loss on Saturday, this season could come crumbling down for Florida State and the players seem to know that. How effective the players-only meeting after last week’s debacle in Syracuse will be remains to be seen, but FSU has to acknowledge that it’s a desperate team at this point.

FSU was handled last week by a putrid Syracuse defense and this week, it’ll face quietly one of the nation’s best defensive players in Sutton Smith. If Florida State can play smart, it has the athletes to win. If it gets into another early hole, digging itself out could be difficult. Seminoles 20, Huskies 13.

Digital content manager Edwin Collins: FSU gets what will amount to its last win of the season in a struggle. Florida State 28, Northern Illinois 24.

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