Florida State Seminoles vs NIU Huskies Game Preview, Prediction


The Northern Illinois Huskies have arguably the nation’s toughest non-conference schedule this season, and next up is a trip to Tallahassee to face the Florida State Seminoles. The voyage to Doak Campbell Stadium is one that has been highly anticipated ever since it was announced a couple of years ago, replacing a home date with Idaho on the schedule.

The players and coaching staff will be really amped, as evidenced by the sound bites they gave at NIU Media Day. Most importantly, this game goes above and beyond football, as it’s a money game that saved jobs at NIU. 

The state of Illinois’ severe budget crisis led to a major deficit on the NIU ledger, and the $1.6 million that Northern Illinois University will receive to play this game literally saved jobs at the school. 

Huskies Head Coach Rod Carey explained this during our exclusive with him at Media Day.

SPREAD: With Florida State favored by 11 points, it just shows you that wagering on college football can be just as unpredictable as letting it ride at www.horsebetting.com You just never know what’s going to happen!

TV: ESPNU 2:30 CST Saturday Sept 22

HASHTAGS: #TheHardWay #MACtion #NIU #FSUTwitter #DoSomething #FSU

Northern Illinois Huskies Preview:

Looking at that spread- does Vegas know something we don’t? The Florida State Seminoles being double digit favorites over anybody right now seems highly unlikely, but of course we said the same thing heading into the season opener versus Iowa. NIU’s 4-1 record against the Big Ten under Carey (entering that game) didn’t seem to matter as the Hawkeyes covered the spread and then some.

We saw a match-up that was extremely favorable for NIU in the game at Iowa- defensive end Sutton Smith, the team’s best overall player, versus two back up offensive tackles. We see that again here, as the Huskies defender who came extremely close to breaking the NCAA single season tackles for losses record last year is facing the weakest link of the opponent.

However, Iowa figured it out so maybe the Noles will too, but there is an x-factor this time. Senior DE Josh Corcoran saw his first action of the season last week in the 24-16 win over a very weak Central Michigan team and registered a sack on the first series. Corcoran, who missed the first two games of the year with a foot injury, is an underrated player who can flat out ball.

For Smith, an admirer of the Florida State Seminoles tradition at defensive back (he’s a converted running back and safety), this game has another added layer of meaning.

“I’m actually a Florida State fan when I was younger, growing up, I liked them a lot,” Smith said. “I’ve always wanted to hear the tomahawk chop.”

“They’re a great football team with a lot of great players, it’ll be a fun game.”

Florida State is as much DB University as any, and Smith said he looked up to a former stellar FSU DB who now plies his trade in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings.

sutton smith

“I was just a fan of their hard hitting safeties, and Xavier Rhodes was a corner and I loved how he played the game, He was a beast,” said Smith. “They had a lot of good athletes over there and I loved how they played the game on defense.”

Obviously, this is a huge game for Carey too, as it’s a rematch of his very first game in charge, the 2013 Orange Bowl. In what was the first and will ultimately be the last BCS game to feature a MAC team, NIU lost 31-10, but was within a possession of tying it midway through the third quarter. 

Clearly, these are not the same teams.

QB Marcus Childers has his positives, but he is not Jordan Lynch (an eventual Heisman Trophy finalist). He leads an offense that has not accrued 300 yards of total offense in a single game this season and even though the Seminoles defense looks very vulnerable, you can understand why the Huskies are big underdogs. NIU has a solid front seven that could win the game for them at the Doak.

However, they also have a struggling offensive line that is holding the O back from doing much right now. 


Florida State Seminoles Preview:

First off, much respect to The House that Bobby Bowden Built and all that he accomplished during his glorious regime there. Credit to Jimbo Fisher for keeping it going, and adding a third national title to the FSU trophy case. It is as elite and blue blood a college football program as you will find; anywhere. That said, the current Florida State Seminoles are not playing FSU football right now. It legitimately hurts inside right now to describe the current status quo in Tallahassee.

This is Florida State football in the same way that 1970s Elvis Presley was “Elvis.” It’s the same name and brand, but the product is almost unrecognizable due to severe and rapid decline. The Florida State motto this year is #DoSomething and if you watched the 30-7 loss to Syracuse last week, it made you think of the dialogue in Spaceballs as the spaceship counted down to self-destruction.

President Scroob yells “Do Something!” to Dark Helmet who then yells “DO SOMETHING!” to Colonel Sanders who gets on the ship’s intercom and yells: “DO SOMETHING!!!”

fsu dbu

New Head Coach Willie Taggart is living out his childhood dream (for many of us generation X college football junkies, FSU is the dream program) as he signed a six year, $30 million deal. For Florida State Seminoles Nation he has been an absolute nightmare thus far.

His offense boasts of “lethal simplicity,” but they could only manage three points against Virginia Tech, and scored just a meaningless garbage time touchdown against Syracuse, a team that had given up 42 points to Western Michigan.

The Florida State Seminoles defense claims to be populated by “Bad Asses” and “War Daddies,” but they still gave up almost 500 yards passing to FCS opponent Samford, in a game where trailed in the fourth quarter.

FSU, who began the season ranked #19 and commenced 2017 ranked #3, were the top trending term nationally on Twitter for much of Saturday afternoon, and for the wrong reason.

There were a lot of people taking shots at them on social media and much of it was schadenfreude. Left tackle, #75 Abdul Bello, was a popular target, due to a couple plays that stood out, like this:

And in this tweet, you can see just how frustrated, angered and disappointed quarterback Deondre Francois was:

It is extremely unfair to single out Bello though.

He is just part of a unit that is simply not showing up to play right now on Saturdays. Whether it’s talent, or technique, or effort, or all of these things, the OL seems to be the most glaring weakness on a team that has plenty of issues to resolve almost everywhere.

Obviously, FSU still has a ton of talent, especially freshman running back Kam Akers, who is going to develop into something special. However, the coaching staff is failing them right now.

It would cost Florida State $21.25 million to part ways with Willie Taggart after this season, and that figure does not include the guaranteed money which is owed to his assistants.

Also, FSU is currently in between Athletic Directors, so no, Taggart isn’t going anywhere. 

florida state seminoles

Yes, his career record of 48-52 is unsightly, as are the following numbers: the Florida State Seminoles have been outscored 54-10 by FBS opponents this season, they have led for just 4:03 out of 180 minutes played (0 vs FBS teams), and are now 4-8 in their last 12 against power five conference schools.

On the plus side, they have a turnover backpack, which has its own parody account on Twitter, and it is hilarious. Be sure to give it a follow; you’ll have a few laughs. 

Prediction: Florida State Seminoles 14, Northern Illinois Huskies 13

Very tempted to call the upset here, as the timing is perfect for it. However, NIU struggled in The Yard to put away a Central Michigan team that got depantsed at home by lowly Kansas, so we think they cover, but come up just short.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, is currently a regular contributor to SB Nation, WGN CLTV and Chicago Now.

Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, Sound Cloud and YouTube. The content of his cat’s Instagram account is unquestionably superior to any and all of his.

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