Michigan Football vs Florida State: Q&A with a Seminoles Expert

After a long wait, Michigan football and Florida State will finally got at it tonight in the Orange Bowl. Here is a look at the game from a Seminoles expert.

The Michigan football team didn’t win the Big Ten or earn its way into the College Football Playoff. But the Wolverines can still achieve plenty with a win over Florida State in the Orange Bowl tonight.

Michigan football can earn an 11-win season and at the same time get a defining win over a legitimate powerhouse. Beating No.11 Florida State and winning the Orange Bowl would be a high point for this team and is celebrated senior class.

As kickoff nears, here is some outside analysis of the game, courtesy of FSU expert Kelvin Hunt for covers the Noles for Chop Chat. He was kind enough to answer some pre-game questions to give us a better understanding of the team that will try to knock of Michigan football tonight.

GBMW: Everyone knows about Dalvin Cook, but talk about the other impact players offensively? 

-I guess we’ll have to start with RS-freshman Deondre Francois. Francois has proven to be as tough as they come and exceeded our expectations this season. He can be erratic at times with his throws, but has a knack for making explosive plays. He’s also a capable runner when FSU needs him to be.

Receiving wise….FSU will feature Travis Rudolph, Auden Tate and Nyqwan Murray with tight ends Ryan Izzo and Mavin Saunders in the mix. Rudolph has led the team in receptions the last two years while Tate is a huge receiver that FSU likes to target in the red zone. Murray is a player that can run precise routes with strong hands that plays well against physical coverage.

GBMW: How motivated will Florida State be for this game? 

Over the years, FSU hasn’t been a team that lacks motivation when it comes to playing in particular bowl games. I think FSU will be extremely motivated. They’re playing in their home state against a top ranked team. It’ll be the last game for the seniors and they’ll want to see players like Dalvin Cook, DeMarcus Walker and Marquez White go out winners.

GBMW: Can you break down how you think the secondary will match up against Michigan’s receivers and tight ends?

I think the secondary matches up quite well with the Michigan receivers. Tarvarus McFadden and Marquez White are strong corners and Trey Marshall will be in at safety and the STAR position. Of course FSU has been shorthanded all season with safety Derwin James out with injury. They are down another safety due to injury in Ermon Lane.

My biggest concern is the linebackers in coverage against the tight end. The middle of the field is an area FSU has struggled to cover with poor LB play.

GBMW: What are the keys to FSU winning?

FSU has done a good job of this majority of the year. That’s protecting the ball and taking it away. If they can force a turnover or two, that certainly helps. Defensively, they’ll also need to win on first and second down to force Michigan football into predictable third and long where they can pin their ears back and get after the quarterback. Offensively, protect Francois and convert on third downs, but will also need explosive plays as they’ve been able to do most of the year.

GBMW: What’s your prediction for the outcome? 

This is one of the most interesting games. A potent offense against a stout defense. The thing I like most about this matchup is FSU usually plays well against pro-style offenses, so I don’t expect Michigan to light up the scoreboard unless they get a special teams or defensive touchdown. I think FSU’s offense can do enough to get the job done.

I can certainly see Michigan winning a close game. I expect it to be a close game with FSU covering the spread or winning outright.

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