Plant The Spear: Nevada Wolf Pack
Plant The Spear is a weekly column previewing the upcoming matchup for the Florida State Seminoles. As a newly anointed father, I decided that it would be best to talk about the things that really matter to fans - tailgating, food, out-of-town watering holes, weather, betting lines and of course, cheerleaders - never forget the cheerleaders. If you're looking for your typically stuffy and recycled game preview that practically every other sports website has, don't read this. Go somewhere else. However, if you enjoy a take on college football that's mixed with pop culture references and a little witty banter all smothered in sarcasm, we'll get along just fine.
*Author's Note* As always, this is a No Homer Zone. Regardless of my membership with the Seminole Boosters, or my being a Florida State fan since I was 10 (I'm 32 now), or the fact that my wife is an FSU grad - I'm a college football fan above all else. Kool-Aid drinking will not be tolerated.
The Noles open up their 2013 home slate with a visit from the Nevada Wolf Pack. FSU enjoyed a bye week after throttling Pitt on Labor Day night, ushering in the Jameis Winston Era. Famous Jameis takes Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium for the first time as the starter on Saturday, and all eyes will be on #5 as the questions begin to mount about his abilities. Can he have a perfect game? (Winston nearly did when he went 25-27 for 356 yards and 4 TD's against Pitt) Can he throw for 10 TD's and 800 yards against Nevada? If it can be done on a Playstation, Jameis can probably do it in real life.
Nevada rolls in to Tallahassee with a 1-1 record on the season, losing to UCLA 58-20 on opening day and then smacking around UC Davis last week 36-7. The Wolf Pack famously run the "Pistol" offense, which isn't quite the "Shotgun" since the QB is 4 yards behind the center rather than 7. The "Pistol" was the brainchild of former Nevada head coach Chris Ault, and helped some dude named Colin Kaepernick land a gig in the NFL. Current Wolf Pack QB Cody Fajardo rushed for over 1,000 yards in 2012, good enough for sixth best among quarterbacks. He is questionable for Saturday's game against the Noles, not good news for fantasy owners who actually play college fantasy football and actually drafted Cody Fajardo as their starting QB. I'm looking at you, one lonely college student from the University of Nevada......
What Nevada's Working With:
Why FSU Will Win: Jameis Winston. Realistically, the Noles are far too talented in every possible football category to drop this game to the Wolf Pack. Nevada does have the advantage when it comes to the best hair on the field, as DE Brock Hekking will be runnin' wild as he rocks the Hulkamania look at Doak Campbell Stadium on Saturday. Nevada could pose some problems with their pistol offense if starting QB Cody Fajardo is good to go (he was listed as day-to-day with a sprained knee), but in the end the Noles will wear out a defense that gave up 58 points to UCLA just two weeks ago. Let me clarify real quick what I mean by "problems." Without Fajardo, Nevada might not score any TD's against FSU. If he does end up taking the field, Nevada could score just enough points for the Noles to not cover the spread, which could mean Fajardo ends up with his head in a vice upon arrival back in Reno. Ever see the movie Casino? Those guys don't mess around over there.
What Worries Me: What worries me most is a scenario in which the entire Florida State football team gets food poisoning on Saturday morning. Another thing that concerns me a great deal is whether or not the concession staff will be in mid-season form for the home opener. Will the ice be cold enough? We shall see.
Weather: 89* at kickoff / Isolated T-Storms / 30% chance of rain
Vegas: Florida State -33.5 / Over-Under: N/A
Prediction: To be honest, I dont really see this one being very close from the get-go. We all know that the Wolf Pack run the tricky pistol formation and thats great and all, but it doesnt matter. Like I said, if Cody Fajardo can go for Nevada, that will at least give the Wolf Pack a puncher's chance - until his bum knee gives out after a hit from Telvin Smith. (speaking of punchers, Money Mayweather takes out Alvarez on Saturday night - bank it). Fun Fact: Nevada WR Brandon Wimberly has a catch in 42 straight games, which is tops in the NCAA. Pretty sure that streak will continue on Saturday. For FSU fans, look for freak athlete Karlos Williams to break out on Saturday. Williams made the full-time switch from safety to running back last week, giving the Noles yet another 6'2, 240 pound running back in addition to James Wilder Jr. Wilder had his shoulder banged up against Pitt, so Williams will provide depth and and explosive pop that the running game was in search for. Have fun with that, opposing defenses.
FSU 55 Nevada 17
Tailgate Food of the Week (Courtesy of Epic Meal Time):