The Florida State vs. Boise State matchup on Saturday may not feature a couple ranked teams, but it does pit across from one another a pair of programs that have put together dominant decades. Florida State went 109-13-1 during the 1990s to have the decade's highest winning percentage, and Boise State followed up over the first 10 years of the 2000s, going 112-17. In terms of this decade, at least as of late, things have taken a bit of a dip.
This Saturday afternoon meeting will mark the first time these two have ever met on the gridiron. The game will now be played in Tallahassee, Florida, after originally being scheduled for Jacksonville due to the projected path of Hurricane Dorian. The start time has also been bumped up to noon ET. Regardless, the Broncos will still be making the over 2,000-mile trek East to the Sunshine State, which surely gives FSU an advantage entering this one.
What will go down Saturday afternoon in Tallahassee? Let's take a look and make a pick for FSU-BSU. And don't forget to subscribe to our Cover 3 college football podcast. Listen below for locks for the top games in Week 1.
Florida State: There's nothing the Seminoles would love more than to pick up a win here and help get the taste of 2018 out of their mouths. The Noles finished 5-7 last year, giving the program its first losing season since 1976, and resulting in the team missing a bowl game for the first time since 1981. Florida State announced earlier this week that James Blackman will start at quarterback after beating out Wisconsin transfer Alex Hornibrook.
Blackman hopes to pair with a rejuvenated Cam Akers at running back. After setting the FSU freshman rushing record in 2017, Akers' production took a dip last season, as he finished with 706 yards rushing. A lot of that is on a Florida State offensive line that struggled mightily, and that will be an area that must improve in 2019 if the Seminoles are going to get back to their winning ways.
Boise State: As mentioned in the intro, there was once a time when Boise State inhabited the Group of Five Darling slot that currently belongs to UCF. While the Broncos haven't had any undefeated seasons recently, this is still a program that has won at least 10 games in seven of the last nine seasons, and won four conference titles.
There will be turnover on this roster, however, as starting QB Brett Rypien and RB Alexander Mattison have both moved on to the NFL. Freshman Hank Bachmeier will replace Rypien at QB, while junior Robert Mahone will take over lead back responsibilities. Mahone has a good shot at getting over 1,000 yards this season, as Boise State has had a 1,000-yard rusher in each of the last 10 seasons.
Date: Saturday, August 31 | Time: Noon ET
Location: Doak Campbell Stadium -- Tallahassee, Florida
TV: ESPN | Live stream: WatchESPN.com
Game prediction, picks
I was originally on Florida State when this game was scheduled to be in Jacksonville and the spread was smaller, but now that it's been moved to Tallahassee, the Seminoles are nearly touchdown favorites, and I can't take them to cover that spread. This is going to be a close, low-scoring affair, so I'm going to take the Broncos and the points. Pick: Boise State (+6.5)
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