“What a time to be alive.”
Why is this article starting off with a quote from hip-hop star Drake? Because if you are a Florida State University fan today, there is no better time to be alive than right now.Because monday night football is back, and for once, it will not be two NFL teams taking the field tonight. Because Seminole football has returned with their first game against #11 Ole Miss in Orlando tonight at 8:00 pm ET. As we were quickly reminded during opening weekend, literally anything can happen in college football. Unranked Texas made a huge statement with it’s legendary win against #10 Notre Dame on Sunday, and two other top ten teams lost in Oklahoma and LSU. However, this shouldn’t phase the Seminoles.
FSU, ranked number four int the country, is returning most of their players from last season including All-American running back Dalvin Cook. They boast one of the best defensive lines in the country with returning senior DeMarcus Walker leading the pack. The outlook on the season could not look any better.
It’s the beginning of a brand new season here in Tallahassee. There’s something amazing about the start of a college football season. Maybe it’s the fact that all of the drama from last year is placed on the back burner as they start a clean slate tonight. Maybe it’s because the only feeling running through the whole team is undeniable hope and confidence (and possibly a few nerves). If you are an FSU fan or even just a college football fan, tonight should not disappoint. Here are three things to watch for in tonight’s game against Ole Miss:
Quarterback battle: Francois vs. Kelly
FSU redshirt freshman quarterback Deondre Francois is making his first collegiate start tonight. After Sean Maguire went down during the preseason, Francois stepped in to quickly establish himself as the clear leader on the team. He performed very well during training camp, so it will be interesting to see how he does in his debut tonight. Even Jimbo Fisher gave him high praise, which is unusual for the highly critical head coach. Of course, he needs to get settled in, but watch out for some big time plays by Francois.
On the other side, senior Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly is undeniably one of the best passers in the country. Kelly has a lot to prove in his senior year as he wants to impress NFL draft scouts. This highlight video of Kelly from last year explains it all. The matchup between Francois and Kelly is a huge storyline to this game
Florida State’s Defensive Line
Along with senior DeMarcus Walker, the line is also returning sophomores Demarcus Christmas and Josh Sweat, and junior noseguard Derrick Nnadi. With one year of chemistry under their belt and an immense amount of talent, they are one of the best defensive lines in the country this year. Can their defensive line wither down the Rebel offensive line to pressure Kelly throughout the game? This will be a huge key to stopping Kelly throughout the game.
Dalvin, Dalvin, Dalvin
His presence and importance cannot be understated. As one of the preseason frontrunners to win the Heisman Trophy, junior running back Dalvin Cook is the most valuable player on the Seminoles. He is a shifty runner who is explosive in open space, and he has had comparisons to NFL players like Maurice Jones-Drew. Many people thought last season was his breakout year, but this could be the year he really shines. Watch for an immediate impact in the running game from Cook as Francois gets adjusted to passing at the collegiate level.
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