Doak Campbell Stadium gets it first look at the 2013 Florida State Seminoles on Saturday as Florida State plays its first game in 12 days, against Nevada. Florida State will be looking to win its fourth straight home opener and start 2-0 for a third straight season. The buzz thus far this season for Florida State has surrounded freshman quarterback Jameis Winston, who while only playing one game, leads the nation in passer efficiency. Florida State also has a new look on defense with Jeremy Pruitt implementing a 3-4 defense as opposed to the Seminoles’ traditional 4-3 scheme that thrived under former coordinators Mickey Andrews and Mark Stoops.
Nevada will be the first opponent from the Mountain West to face FSU since the Seminoles topped BYU 34-10 early on during the 2010 season. Nevada is off to a 1-1 start, but is no stranger to knocking off big-time football programs. The Wolf Pack defeated California to open last season and fell just a point short to both South Florida and Arizona. If the Seminoles are to avoid a Wolf Pack upset, here is what Florida State will need to do on Saturday:
Keep Jameis Famous
Jameis Winston complete 25 of his 27 pass attempts for 362 yards and accounted for five total touchdowns in Florida State’s opener on Labor Day and all indicators point to Saturday being another big day for Winston. In Nevada’s season opener against UCLA and quarterback Brett Hundley, a dual-threat similar in style and stature to Winston, the Wolf Pack allowed the Bruins’ quarterback to account for 337 yards of offense and four total touchdowns. Hundley complete 22 of his 33 pass attempts in that victory and Saturday looks to be an opportunity for Winston to put up a similar effort.
Make it Fa”Hard”o to Run
Nevada has a dual-threat quarterback of its own in junior Cody Fajardo. Fajardo is completing 70 percent of his passes this season and has yet to throw an interception, but is also the team’s second leading rusher. The Seminoles will look to stuff the ground game as they did against Pittsburgh keeping Fajardo one-dimensional on third down. In order to slow the Nevada ground game, Florida State will once again be looking for a big day from defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan and linebackers Christian Jones and Telvin Smith.
Push the Pack Way Back
Although Pittsburgh marched 80 yards against Florida State to open the season, the Panthers went without a touchdown for the final 50 minutes of the season-opening victory for the Seminoles as Pittsburgh was never given a short field. Florida State did not turn the ball over against Pittsburgh and taking care of the ball will once again be key if FSU is to cruise past Nevada. It is unlikely that Nevada will be able to drive the length of the field against the Florida State defense, so the best chance for the Wolf Pack to create scoring opportunities is by forcing turnovers. If the Seminoles can take care of the football on Saturday and avoid giving Nevada a short field, a 2-0 start for the ‘Noles looks inevitable.