July 20, 2024

Noles ready to make a statement against Cardinals for ACC Title

Florida State Seminoles Football

Florida State Coach Mike Norvell walks along the sideline during a timeout in the second quarter against LSU Sunday September 3, 2023 at Camping World Stadium. (Lynn Harrington/stayaliveinpower5)

The Seminoles road to the Playoffs goes through the Cardinals tonight, and it just so happens that they can snatch up their 16th ACC Championship during the process.

Florida State hasn’t won a conference crown since 2014, and Coach Mike Norvell has the players so close to the finish line. The team has a ton of momentum too, considering they’re riding a jaw-dropping, 18-game winning streak.

Washington punched its’ ticket to the Playoffs with a victory over Oregon, so now Florida State is one of the three remaining top-four squads in the Committee’s rankings, and needs to take care of Louisville. The Seminoles are sitting at No. 4 because of their uncertainty at quarterback. Tate Rodemaker is still a game-time decision after experiencing concussion-like symptoms from last week’s win over Florida.

Regardless of who Norvell puts behind center, he’ll have plenty of weapons around him, and great protection up front to operate the offense smoothly. After all, running back Trey Benson, wideouts Keon Coleman and Johnny Wilson, and tight end Jaheim Bell all earned All-ACC honors this season. Not to mention kicker Ryan Fitzgerald earned third-team, All-ACC honors.

Louisville (10-2) has the ACC’s best defense though, and will be Florida State’s toughest test to date. There’s no denying that Coach Jeff Brohm has his alma mater a year ahead of schedule. Brohm has a brilliant offensive mind, and a veteran quarterback in Jack Plummer, who he coached at Purdue.

That’s why it’s going to be important for the Seminoles’ defense to set the tone early, and dictate the flow of the game. Florida State (12-0) has a All-ACC performer at every level of its’ defense. On top of that, punter Alex Mastromanno should be able to give the Cardinals bad field position throughout the contest.

Still, with an inexperienced signal-caller commanding the huddle, the Seminoles will have a slim margin for error. College football fanatics want to see Florida State put together a dominant performance against a top-10 team, in order to convince them that they belong with the nation’s elite.

The last thing Norvell wants to show is the offense being a liability without Jordan Travis. Which is why style points will look good in the Committee’s eyes. Florida State has the primetime slot, so all eyes will be on this matchup to see if it can reach postseason glory. Judging from the Seminoles winning streak, it seems Norvell has had his players on a mission since last year.

If Norvell’s boys can pull out a victory over the Cardinals, and hoist the ACC hardware, there’s no way the Committee can deny them. And that’s more than enough motivation for Florida State to show its’ success hasn’t been a fluke.