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Do you see why we didn’t pick Florida State to beat Miami last week?

Granted we were really hoping for a much more competitive game than was shown on national television, but we knew the Canes would eventually get the “W”.

Needless to say Coach Norvell and Company have got their work cutout for them this season to turn this team around if they want to get more than a handful of wins before we ring in 2021.

This was Coach Mike Norvell‘s post game following the heartbreaking loss to Miami, which he had to watch from his own home due to COVID19.

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Florida State (0-2) vs Jacksonville State (0-0) Game Preview

So where does FSU go from here?

It may be a good idea that they face off against Jacksonville State this weekend.  Don’t count out the Gamecocks, though, as they could still prove to be a worthy adversary against the 2020-edition of Florida State.

Florida State has been awful.

The offense scored early against Georgia Tech, and lost 16-13.

The defense gave up the most points ever in a game against Miami, losing 52-10.

The O isn’t moving the ball, the D can’t seem to come up with a big stop in a meaningful moment, and the program just seems – for lack of a better word – deflated.

Jacksonville State QB Zerrick Cooper – a former big recruit for Clemson – is a big, dangerous runner who can also push the ball down the field. He might throw too many interceptions, but he has 60 touchdown passes and 12 rushing scores in his two years. After struggling against D’Eriq King last week, the FSU defense needs a break it’s not going to get.

The FSU offensive line should be able to give everyone time to work.

The Noles have allowed nine sacks so far – Miami spent most of last week in the backfield – but Jacksonville State isn’t going to bring enough of a pass rush to matter.

And yes, Cooper is great, but the offense that was a turnover machine last year should have a few problems early on. The Noles need easy chances to get this thing going, and they should be +3 in turnover margin.

FSU head coach Mike Norvell is back after missing last week with the coronavirus. Finally, after a miserable start to his era, the program is about to have a little bit of fun.

It’s not going to be anything to get fired up over, but at least the Seminoles will finally start scoring before going to Notre Dame.

Florida State vs Jacksonville Broadcast

Date: Saturday, October 3rd
Game Time: 4:00 ET
Venue: Doak Campbell Stadiu, Tallahassee, FL
Network: ESPN3

Let’s quickly jump into the only non-Saturday contest for the conference.

Wake Forest (0-2) vs Campbell (0-3) Game Preview

The Camels at least pushed Appalachian State for the first half of last week, and they had Georgia Southern in big trouble in the final moments.

They have offensive pop – at least at quarterback – with Hajj-Malik Williams still fighting the good fight over the three games so far. Wake Forest has struggled so far with Clemson going Clemson and NC State roaring back a few weeks ago with with close to 500 yards doing whatever it wanted.

Williams has to be fantastic, and Campbell has to keep on pressing, but for Wake Forest, it’s time to let the running game eat.

The Demon Deacons should be rested after not playing Notre Dame last week, and now it’s up to Kenneth Walker, Christian Beal-Smith, and the ground attack to get going.

Appalachian State might have needed a while to get going last week against Campbell, and then it finished with 404 rushing yards ripping off big dash after big dash.

Wake Forest needs some happy.

It’s been a tough first two games, and next up are Virginia and Virginia Tech. The defense won’t be anything great against the Camels, but the offense will do whatever it wants.

Wake Forest vs Campbell Broadcast

Date: Friday, October 2nd
Game Time: 7:00 ET
Venue: Truist Field, Winston-Salem, NC
Network: ACC Network

The final game we’d like to highlight features the current crown-jewel of the ACC, the Clemson Tigers.

Clemson (2-0) vs Virginia (1-0) Game Preview

What can the Cavaliers do to slow down the Clemson machine?

In a weird season when it seems like everyone is struggling to get down the timing and the crispness of their offenses, Clemson hasn’t had so much as a blip. However, it helps to play Wake Forest and Citadel to start out.

There haven’t been any issues so far for the Tigers, and there weren’t a whole lot of problems for Virginia in the 38-20 win over Duke that was even more dominant than the final score.

The three Cavalier turnovers were costly, but the defense taking the ball away seven times made up for that.

The pressure was coming from all sides from the Virginia defense, and that has to kick in from the start. Trevor Lawrence is taking target practice so far.

Yeah, that Trevor Lawrence guy.

He was flawless in the ACC Championship win over Virginia last season – throwing for 302 yards and four scores as the Tigers put the game out of its misery in a hurry – and he started out this year connecting on 30-of-37 passes for 519 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions with three rushing scores.

Remember early last year when it seemed like something was wrong? Lawrence was trying to play a little too much hero ball and was forcing things a bit, giving up eight interceptions in the first seven games. Over his last ten games has has thrown 26 touchdown passes and no picks.

The Virginia secondary came up with five interceptions last week against Duke – former Clemson QB Chase Brice had a rough day. That’s not happening this week.

Virginia isn’t going to get steamrolled.

Clemson will be in control from the start, but Virginia will be just plucky enough to make everyone try in the second half.

Virginia’s O will come up with a few nice scoring drives, but not enough of them in the second half.

Clemson vs Virginia Broadcast

Date: Saturday, October 3rd
Game Time: 8:00 ET
Venue: Memorial Stadium, Clemson, SC
Network: ACC Network

With no major, nationally relevant, contests going on this weekend let’s hope our picks can withstand any off-the-wall upsets.  Without further ado here’s how we seeing the weekend unfold.

Friday, October 2nd

Match-UpOur Prediction
Wake Forest vs CampbellWF 45, CAM 17

Saturday, October 3rd

Match-UpOur Prediction
#24 Pittsburgh vs NC StatePITT 31, NCST 17
Boston College vs #12 North CarolinaUNC 27, BC 20
Duke vs Virginia TechVT 31, DUKE 21
Florida State vs Jacksonville StateFSU 31, JSU 27
#1 Clemson vs VirginiaCLEM 54, UVA 19

Last Week’s Picks: 5-1

Year-to-Date Record: 16-4 (80.00%)

We’re keeping our fingers crossed for a great slate of games and we’ll check back in next week and hopefully not cringe at the results.

And if you missed it, check out our first revamp of the “Laces Out” series here.

If you’ve signed up for our weekly ESPN College Pick ‘Em challenge then don’t forget to get your picks locked in.  Top entry at the end of the season will get a nominal cash prize!

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Raised to bleed Garnet and Gold, Mike’s first passion will always be Florida State football. Though he does enjoy watching just about any sporting event if given the opportunity.


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