It’s a Saturday of intrigue for the State schools from Syracuse to Baton Rouge and from Orlando to Raleigh and then to Dallas. Noles RB Dalvin Cook has a chance at history, the Gators can clinch the SEC East, and USF can a win get closer to history of their own.
Here’s the Primer:
12:30 p.m. Miami at NC State
As Ari Russell wrote Friday, the Canes will look to continue their modest two game win streak, and attempt to solidify their bowl position against a Wolfpack that has been reeling since narrowly missing a last second field goal that could have upset Clemson. This should be an fairly easy day for the more talented Miami.
1:00 p.m. Florida at LSU
We have well documented that this is the make-up game from Hurricane Matthew threatening the East coast of Florida on October 8th that was supposed to be in Gainesville. We also pointed out that LSU top running back Leonard Fournette would not have played six weeks ago due to an ankle injury, but is now apparently mostly healed and back to his battering ram self. The Gators already had their work cut out for them trying to secure the East Division and a berth in Atlanta before QB Luke Del Rio suffered a shoulder injury in the Arkansas game. It kept him out last week and likely, this week, too. They will be hyped on the Bayou to get another win for interim head coach Ed Orgeron, who is vying for the job full time. They will be rooting hard in Knoxville for LSU, as a Florida loss would put the Vols back in the driver’s seat to win the East themselves.
3:30 p.m. FSU at Syracuse
There will not be outcome drama in this one. Florida State has superior athletes/speed and should blow out the ‘Cuse early. The real drawing card is the history that Seminoles RB Dalvn Cook is sitting on coming in. He will likely break Warrick Dunn’s record and go over the 4,000 career yards in the first half. Look for him to run as wild as head coach Jimbo Fisher wants to let him over the course of this one. Cook and the Noles need the tune-up for Florida next week and they’re may be a lot of resting of players (depending on how wide the margin) in the second half.
7:00 p.m. USF at SMU
The Bulls come off a wild 49-42 shootout victory at Memphis last week. QB Quinton Flowers became the first American conference player ever with 200 yards rushing and 200 yards passing in the same game. The Bulls prolific offense is not in question. The defense that has been scored on repeatedly down the stretch by Temple, Navy and the Tigers last week, is a huge question. SMU can score some points and did upset Houston at home a few weeks back. The Bulls are two wins away from their first ever 10 win regular season in program history. Look for lots of points in Big D.
And Finally, 8:00 p.m. Tulsa at UCF
Having won three of four, the Golden Knights, who are already bowl eligible, look to win again over a potent Tulsa offense. In addition to exciting freshman QB McKenzie Milton, UCF has been using opportunistic defense to win. Three defensive TD’s against Tulane two weeks ago and a blocked punt for a TD against Cincinnati last week in the two wins. Coach Scott Frost is getting all three phases to click. Tulsa has scored 40 or more points in each of their last 4 games. Veteran gunslinger QB Dane Evans leads Tulsa them with 26 TD passes and RB James Flanders has already rushed for over 1,000 yards and 14 TD’s. This could be a wild one, also.
Look for our Rapid Recaps coming all Saturday.
FSU and LSU announced two game neutral site series Tuesday
In an effort to continue to beef up their out-of-conference schedules, FSU announced on Tuesday that they will play newly-crowned National Champion, LSU in two neutral site games coming soon in 2022 and 2023.
The Seminoles made the announcement through social media and their website that they will be playing the “Bayou Bengals” first in New Orleans and then, in Orlando:
Noles vs. Tigers set for '22/'23!!!https://t.co/nfLwLGhXE3
— FSU Football (@FSUFootball) February 11, 2020
Both teams will be given the benefit of essentially a “home-away-from-home neutral-site game” on Labor Day weekend. LSU considers New Orleans to be their second home and just won the College Football Playoff National Championship game over Clemson there on January 12.
The first game with the Noles will be on Saturday night September 4th, 2022.
FSU will, then play “hosts” in Orlando against the Tigers the following year on Saturday night September 3rd. The Noles recently played a season-opening game with Ole Miss, whom they defeated, at Camping World Stadium in 2016.
New Seminoles head coach Mike Norvell had this to say in the school statement about adding the games coming soon,
“I’m excited about this series,” head coach Mike Norvell said. “Florida State has a rich tradition in Louisiana, the home of many former Seminoles including Warrick Dunn and Travis Minor, and all three of our national championship teams had at least one player from Louisiana. It continues to be an important area for us now. We added two players from Louisiana in our first signing class, and it will be great for them and other future Noles to be able to play back in their home state.
This series matches two of the iconic brands in college football, and I know our fans will have a great time in New Orleans and Orlando. I want to thank our administration for all their hard work on this and for continuing to pursue first-class experiences for our student-athletes.”
These will be the 10th and 11th times that Florida State and LSU will meet. The Noles hold a 7 – 2 advantage, including winning four straight games in the series. It is the first time the two schools will have played since 1991.
Further, Florida State is 9 – 2 in their last 11 games opening a season on a neutral field. The Seminoles were to have played Boise State in Jacksonville last Labor Day weekend, but the threat of Hurricane Dorian moved the game to Tallahasse.
That’s where the Broncos upset the Seminoles and sent coach Willie Taggart into a second year spiral that resulted in his firing in November.
The Noles are also 8 – 2 all-time in games at the Superdome with the most prominent one coming in the BCS Championship Game win over Virginia Tech in the 2000 Sugar Bowl.
Deion tells Dan Patrick he’d consider coaching Hurricanes
NFL Hall of Famer and former Seminoles All-American defensive back Deion Sanders is making the rounds for broadcast outlets at Super Bowl 54 in Miami,. And it’s not just his NFL Network duties that made some news on Tuesday. Rather, it’s an interview, where he expressed more desire for coaching college football and maybe, even in the city where he currently is working this week.
Sanders appeared on The Dan Patrick television – radio show Tuesday in advance of the 49ers and the Chiefs meeting for pro football’s title at Hard Rock stadium Sunday night.
— Dan Patrick Show (@dpshow) January 28, 2020
And, while most of the interview centered around the NFL and the Super Bowl match-up, Patrick naturally turned to Deion’s desire to apparently be a head coach in college football and maybe, as soon as next year.
This subject came up after Sanders was apparently under consideration to possibly be the new head coach at FSU, when they fired Willie Taggart in early November. The school and AD David Coburn did confirm that they had a serious formal discussion with “Prime Time” about building a staff, etc.
That’s when Patrick turn the questioning to Sanders’ son and what might test his loyalty to FSU and possibly, coaching at a hated-rival like the University of Miami.
“What if ‘The U’ called?” Patrick asked.
“You know what is so funny, cuz I saw that when I was watching you on television (earlier in the day when Patrick said he would ask Sanders about Miami). My son is a phenomenal quarterback. My youngest son. He has a plethora of offers. We’re going to visit ‘The U’ on Saturday,” Sanders said.
“But would you coach the U?,” Patrick quickly asked again.
“You know what. You never know,” Sanders replied leaving the door open, like most do.
“Are you a ‘package deal’ with your son,” asked Patrick?
“I’ve never been a package deal with any-body,” Sanders shot back, which drew laughter from the studio audience at Patrick’s Super Bowl show site.
Now, the Hurricanes have obviously floundered for much of the 2010s, including 2019 with first-year coach Manny Diaz struggling mightily down the stretch of his first season. Miami lost it’s final two games to finish 6 – 6, and then, were shutout humiliatingly by Louisiana Tech 14 – 0 in the Independence Bowl.
Miami has swapped offensive coordinators after Diaz fired Dan Enos after just his first season. The Canes have hired former Auburn and SMU play-caller Rhett Lashlee to replace him. And, they secured Houston dual threat transfer QB D’Eriq King for this season.
Sanders was a two-time All-American at Florida State (1987, ’88), and won the Jim Thorpe Award during his final season playing for the Seminoles in 1988. He was selected in the first round of the 1989 draft by the Atlanta Falcons and played in the NFL through the 2005 season.
His elite level of play earned him inductions into both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Sanders has been analyst for the NFL Network for the past 10 years and clearly has the desire to try something else.