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Five Things to Watch For: Idaho at FSU


Here are five things to watch for when FSU takes on Idaho.

1.) Senior Day

If you're going to this game, get there early. Today Florida State will honor one of the most important senior classes in the school's history. When this group arrived at FSU, Bobby Bowden was done, the Seminoles had just scratched and clawed for a 7-6 season and nobody was talking about a national title in Tallahassee. Four years later they will walk on to Bobby Bowden field at Doak Campbell Stadium for the final time with their team 10-0 and on course to play in the BCS Championship game.

2.) Jameis Winston's Poise

Last week Winston was nearly perfect, completing 19 of his 21 passing attempts. But after another week of near-daily media blasts, rampant speculation and an impending fear he could be charged with a very serious crime, how does he handle himself today? So far Winston has been unflappable, whether it's a blitz or an exotic coverage -- or an off-field issue -- he has not been flustered all season. That's unlikely to change against Idaho, but every move he makes will be scrutinized and over-analzyed today -- just like it will be until this investigation wraps up.

3.) Second Team Defense

The 2014 and 2015 Florida State defense has seen a lot of playing time this season as a result of early leads and dominant play by the starters. That should continue today. Once again look for FSU's underclassmen to get a plenty of reps against the Vandals. Come next year, they'll have nearly a quarter of a season's worth of playing time under their belts. That's going to pay big dividends.

4.) Can They Stay Healthy

At this point in the season -- in the championship rounds as Jimbo Fisher calls them -- injuries are more detrimental than ever. If the Seminoles sustain a key injury or two today it could really impact them down the stretch. That -- as much as getting playing time for the younger guys -- is why you shouldn't expect to see the starters stay in too long once this game gets out of hand. Fisher needs his team to be healthy and will act to ensure that they are heading to Florida, the ACC Championship game and their bowl.

5.) Focus

How focused is Florida State, really? Last week they pummeled Syracuse 59-3 and Idaho is even more out-matched this week, but at some point all of the distractions are going to have to have some kind of an effect. This is too big to ignore. It won't manifest itself in any overt ways today, the talent disparity should ensure that, but signs that FSU isn't as poised or focused as it has been in weeks past could still be there and if they are -- especially with an upset-hungry Gator team waiting in Gainesville next weekend -- it could spell trouble for FSU down the road.


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