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The Sooners-Seminoles matchup may be college football's game of the year.
It wasn’t even as close as the 30-point margin of victory. Last season Florida State was ready to return to national prominence, but Oklahoma crushed the Seminoles, 47-17, in a game where Sooners’ boss Bob Stoops took it easy on the opponent – namely FSU defensive coordinator and brother Mark Stoops – in the second half. Oklahoma has been almost unbeatable in Norman during Stoops’ tenure, but the ‘Noles didn’t even put up much of a fight last year. Expectations are even higher for Jimbo Fisher’s program this season, and FSU gets the Sooners in Tallahassee on Saturday night. This game should be one of the premier matchups in college football this season. Check out all of our college football predictions for week 3.
Will Florida State get revenge against Oklahoma?
Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)
I like Oklahoma to win on Saturday, but it would not shock me if Florida State got revenge. Last season’s game in Norman was embarrassing to the Seminoles, and with this game in Tallahassee, I’d expect to see a much different team this time around. Winning the battle in the trenches is going to be crucial to the outcome. Neither team has a dominating offensive line, and Oklahoma is dealing with an injury to its right tackle. The Seminoles have a very good defensive line, anchored by senior and likely All-American Brandon Jenkins. If Florida State’s offensive line can give EJ Manuel time to throw on offense and open up a few more running lanes for the running backs, the Seminoles should have the edge. This is really a coin flip game, but I’m going to guess Florida State will fall short in its quest to get revenge. With this one at home and the revenge factor, it’s tough to pick against the Seminoles, but Oklahoma wins this one by a field goal.
Mitch Light (@AthlonMitch)
I am going with Florida State on Saturday night. Last year's game was obviously dominated by the Oklahoma offense, but we must keep in mind that was the FSU defense's second game in a new scheme under new coordinator Mark Stoops. I'm confident that Stoops will have a good plan for OU and that his defense will do a better job executing this time around. A big key to the game will be the play of quarterback EJ Manuel, who is making the biggest start of his career. He was a highly touted recruit who has had to wait for his turn in Tallahassee. Manuel isn't the most polished passer, but he can still sling it around the field, and he can tuck the ball and run when things break down. FSU will have to run the ball with some success to make it easier for Manuel and the passing attack. This should be a classic. The stakes are very high, with the winner emerging as a likely candidate to play in the BCS National Championship Game. I believe it's Florida State's time to shine.
Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
I like the Sooners to win in Tallahassee. It will not look like last year’s infamous game, when Oklahoma was up 34-7 at half and could have run up the score easily. Florida State had no answer for Landry Jones and the high-tempo Oky offense, but Mark Stoops’ should have his unit much more prepared for the quick pace of the Sooners this season. EJ Manuel should be able to drive the ‘Noles down the field against a wounded Oklahoma defense, and his ability to keep the chains moving (and the ball away from Jones) will be the key for Florida State. The Sooners do not play near as well away from Norman, but I believe that Jones and receivers Ryan Broyles and Kenny Stills will be more effective than Manuel’s crew. Jimbo Fisher is turning FSU back into a juggernaut program, but I believe he will have to wait a little longer for a marquee victory and revenge. I’ll take Oklahoma, 33-30, in a thriller.
The Seminoles will get their revenge against the Sooners — not only for last year’s 47-17 disaster, but for preventing an FSU repeat as BCS champs back in the 2001 Orange Bowl, which was a 13-2 thriller for anyone who may have forgotten. OU’s “Big Game Bob” Stoops will take another high-profile loss, as FSU’s Jimbo Fisher claims a signature victory. The 'Noles defense — called by Bob’s brother Mark — will have to keep the Sooners’ passing attack in check. But OU’s Landry Jones and Ryan Broyles will have a tough time against a loaded FSU front seven and a secondary led by playmaking corners Greg Reid and Xavier Rhodes, who can take the ball for six the other way if Oklahoma tries to get too greedy down field. Put on your Bobby Bowden safari hat, the Seminoles are going big game hunting Saturday against the Sooners.