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Previewing the Opponent: Bethune-Cookman Wildcats

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Bethune-Cookman Wildcats
2013 Record: 3-0
Head Coach: Brian Jenkins
All-Time: 0-0 (First Meeting)

Overview: The Seminoles host the Wildcats on Saturday for the first time in the history of both programs. Despite being an FCS opponent, don't sleep on Bethune on Saturday. If FSU sleeps on them, the Wildcats could give the Seminoles a tough game. The Wildcat defense has surrendered an average of just 220 yards and 9.7 points per contest, and that includes a win over an FBS school, FIU. 

Last week in that 34-14 win over FIU - their first over an FBS school in the program's history - the Wildcats ran for 311 yards and four touchdowns. They are averaging 244 yards per game this year and will likely try to control the pace of the game and attack the Seminoles on the ground this week.

Last Saturday Nevada had success by changing their tendency and trying to attack FSU with two tight ends, big sets and ball-control, power run offense. They held the ball for 17 minutes and averaged 4.1 yards per carry in the first half too. FSU had two late drives that scored touchdowns, otherwise you see Nevada go into the tunnel up 7-3 on the 'Noles last weekend. 

Look for Bethune to try to capitalize on that strategy to control tempo and keep Florida State's offense on the sideline. If they can move the ball consistently, they have a solid foundation for an upset. If not, they have struggled to throw the ball early on this season and could be in for a long afternoon.

How FSU Stacks Up: It would take a perfect storm for the Wildcats to beat the Seminoles, but to pretend it's not possible would also be naive. If FSU sleeps on Bethune and the Wildcats can grind out first downs on the ground then you could see the Seminoles get taken into the 4th quarter. 

And keep in mind FSU will be without both of their starting defensive ends and senior LB Christian Jones for this one. 

That being said, Florida State should be fine in this one if they don't beat themselves. The 'Noles have their opponent outclassed in terms of talent and with the way the Seminole offense scores the Wildcats could be forced to abandon the run early if FSU has some success in the air. 

“They play a lot of cover 4, and that’s going to give us some big shot opportunities," said QB Jameis Winston. "We’re just going to keep preparing for them and we’re going to know they’re going to come with it. They’re not going to be scared. It’s not the fact that we walk on the field and they’re scared. We know they’ve got some great players and they’re going to come with it, but we got to bring it harder.”

As long as FSU sticks to that mindset and plays a smart football game they should handle their business against Bethune-Cookman. 

Three to Watch:

1.) Anthony Jordan, RB - MEAC Offensive player of the week for his 21-150 TD performance against FIU.

2.) Whoever is at QB - Three players have been under center for Bethune this year, they have totaled almost as many rush yards as pass yards, have thrown as many picks as TD's and could be in trouble if FSU gets up big. 

3.) Jarkevis Fields, LB - The Wildcats' leading tackler has 23 stops and a sack so far this season.

Quote of the Week: "I got to have a positive voice and my voice has to be strong, I can’t say a play weak with no confidence. I have to be strong and set the tempo because those guys will follow the person they think they can trust."

-Jameis Winston

 

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