On Monday September 2, the Florida State Seminoles came in as a 10.5 point favorite over the Pittsburgh Panthers. Florida State also named Jameis Winston the official starter before the first game. After seeing a few freshmen have wonderful debuts at quarterback, the excitement is full blast for the Seminoles quarterback. Game starts at 8 p.m. on ESPN.
Pittsburgh does have some advantages entering the game. It’s the Panthers first game as an ACC program and they get it to have it at Heinz Field. While Jameis Winston is slated to be the next great quarterback, he is still starting his first college game ever.
On offense, Florida State has plenty of playmakers, but it will be fun for everybody if they get the running game going out of the gate. Sharing the load in the backfield is a two headed monster of sorts. ESPN.com noted that Devonta Freeman rushed for over 600 yards last season. Still, the most exciting runner is James Wilder. His speed and power need to be utilized this season. Wilder is also a talented blocker and pass receiver.
When Jameis Winston drops back to pass, look out for Rashad Greene to make big plays down field. The Panthers will have to contend with the explosive ability.
While Florida State became a BCS Orange Bowl winner last year, Pittsburgh struggled to a (6-7) season under Paul Chryst. Now in his second season, Pittsburgh expects a rise in production. It would be wonderful for the program if they can pull off the home upset.
For Pittsburgh to be successful against Florida State, they must dominate the line of scrimmage. The FSU defensive line loves to get penetration into the backfield, but if you can use power and deception, the Seminoles might play on their heels.
Pittsburgh tight end, J.P. Holtz stated that Heinz Field will be a “great atmosphere” on Monday night.
The Verdict: Florida State missed out on a great opportunity to play for a national title with suspect letdowns last year. This is the type of game against Pittsburgh that they must finish strong. Both teams will be tested physically, and the difference in the game could be James Wilder. Watch out for his spin right as he’s attacking the secondary.
Florida State 31