The Florida State Seminoles kick off their season against the Murray State Racers in what should be a blowout. No offense to the Racers, but the Seminoles should win this game by at least five touchdowns, such is the difference in talent on each roster.
The players that Murray State will be running onto the field prior to the game weren't even under consideration when Jimbo Fisher put together his recruiting board. Thus is the nature of college football in early September, as major conference schools pay smaller schools to come to town with nothing more than absolute slaughter in mind.
If the score is close at all heading into halftime, the national media will criticize the Seminoles until the cows come home; you can bet on that. While the overwhelming talent all but ensures a Florida State victory, there is still pressure in performing at its highest level rather than playing down to its competition. Because lets face it, Florida State's second team would beat the Racers handedly, and the second unit should see plenty of playing time in the second half of this blowout.
That being said, looking past an opponent is the easiest way to fall victim to an upset. In the spirit of not looking past anyone, lets break down which Murray State players could potentially do some damage against the 'Noles.
For Murray State, it all starts with its quarterback Casey Brockman, who threw for 3,276 yards and 25 touchdowns last year. His high level of play earned him the Offensive Player of the Year award in the Ohio Valley Conference, and he figures to be even better this fall.
Unfortunately for Brockman, he will be facing off against no less than three future NFL first round draft picks, with two of those players being defensive ends. To say that Brandon Jenkins and Bjorn Werner will tear Murray States' tackles to shreds is an understatement. Brockman will be running for his life from the first snap, so you can bet that he won't be sleeping well the night before the game.
Over the span of his time at Murray State, Brockman has set numerous passing records and has a chance to set even more. While the Florida State defensive players are saying all the right things about facing the Racers, it will be a beatdown. The best coach in the world couldn't lead Murray State over the Seminoles, so there is no need for them to call up Bill Belichick to sub in for Chris Hatcher.
On the ground, the Racers will be counting on Duane Brady to replace the production of last year's leading rusher Mike Harris. It won't really matter who is running the ball in Week 1, because the Seminoles have one of the best run defenses in the country and will stifle whoever is getting the handoffs.
On defense, the Racers don't have much that should threaten what the Seminoles want to do on offense. This game should help build starting quarterback E.J. Manuel's confidence, as his play will determine just how successful the Seminoles will be this fall.
There is a reason that this matchup is being referred to as a cupcake. FSU will decimate Murray State.
Want a semi-bold prediction?
FSU will more than likely score more points in the first quarter than they will surrender over the course of the entire game.
It's going to be a blowout in Tallahassee, in what promises to be an excellent day for all those in garnet and gold.