This season, which started out so promising, has devolved back into 2012 and 2013. We are seeing the same mistakes and the same results.
The Hoos are not going to beat the Seminoles in Tallahassee and the 19.5 point spread looks awfully low. Is anybody even planning on tuning in? I'm going to be at a wedding in Phoenix.
Much better than the Hoos, but not as good as last year's offense. Jameis Winston has been up and down a bit this year, due partially to injuries, partially to the loss of his top WRs from last year and partially due to his well-documented off the field issues. The FSU running game has also been worse than last year's. That said, their offense is still ranked 32nd in the nation, which behind only UCLA and Georgia Tech amongs Wahoo opponents.
The Hoos defense, as we've seen, has regressed since the beginning of the season. Is this due to opposition coaching staffs having more film and developing game plans to counter the high-pressure system of Jon Tenuta? Or is it simply a case of the Hoos defenders running out of gas over a long season in which they've had to put the rest of the team on their collective backs? Who knows. But the truth is, since the first month of the season, the Hoos defense hasn't been any better than last year's unit was.
Last year, the Seminoles had the #3 defense in the nation and gave up just 12 points per game (#1 in the nation). This year, the Noles have the #61 defense in the nation and are giving up 23 points per game (#41 in the nation). That is a huge drop, and is the main reason why FSU has played many more close games this year.
The best shot the Hoos have is that Jameis Winston isn't 100% due to an injured ankle. If he can't go, the Seminoles will struggle offensively and that will keep the Hoos in the game. However, there is no reason to believe that the Hoos offense can manage to generate anything against FSU's defense, considering how much trouble they had against Duke, UNC and Georgia Tech (all of whom have lower ranked defenses than FSU's).
If Winston doesn't play (or is severely hampered by his injury), the Hoos may keep it close. I'm assuming that Winston will play and will be at (or near) 100%.
Prediction: FSU 42, Hoos 7
Note: I apologize for not providing a full and complete preview this week, however I simply have not had the time. And frankly, there wasn't much reason due to the overwhelming likelihood of a Wahoo loss and the underwhelming interest there is in this game from a Wahoo perspective.