|DE Bjoern Werner had 7 sacks in 2011. (US Presswire)|
Murray State at No. 7 Florida State
Kickoff: Saturday, 6 p.m. ET (ESPN3)
Spread: No line.
Watchability: Barely. It might be worth tuning in to see Florida State QB EJ Manuel healthy, but the Racers shouldn’t pose much of a problem. The Seminoles have won their last two season openers against Samford in 2010 and Louisiana-Monroe in 2011 by a combined score of 93-6.
Shining Stars: Florida State: If he stays healthy, Manuel could find himself in the Heisman discussion by season’s end. He completed 65.3 percent of his passes in 2011, and that was with instability along the offensive line and at wide receiver. Now, coach Jimbo Fisher said Manuel trusts the players around him more. DEs Brandon Jenkins (6-3, 260 pounds) and Bjoern Werner (6-4, 255 pounds) combined for 15 sacks last year. They will make life tough for every quarterback on the schedule. Murray State: QB Casey Brockman was named the 2012 Ohio Valley Conference preseason offensive player of the year. Brockman started all 11 games in 2011 and threw for 3,276 yards with 25 touchdowns.
Who could steal the show: Florida State: WR Rashad Greene was the team’s leading receiver last year with 596 yards and 7 touchdowns. He is also taking over the punt return duties that dismissed CB Greg Reid handled last year. Murray State: WR Walter Powell led a balanced wide receiver group last year with 584 receiving yards and five receiving touchdowns.
You going? Ranking the road trip: The first Saturday during the college football season is always fun, no matter the opponent. There are worse ways to spend a Saturday evening than taking in a football game at Doak Campbell Stadium.
Magic number for Florida State: 17-0. That is Florida State’s all-time record against teams from the FCS since the NCAA separated major college programs into divisions in 1978.
Magic number for Murray State: 22. This number has a double meaning. Six current Murray State receivers caught at least 22 passes in 2011, giving the Racers one of the deepest receiving units in FCS. Murray State has also scored at least one touchdown in all 22 games under coach Chris Hatcher. That could come to an end Saturday.
The game comes down to: Whether Murray State can throw the ball against Florida State’s defense. First, the Racers will have to protect Brockman against a deep and talented Seminoles defensive line. Then, the Murray State receivers will have to get open against CB Xavier Rhodes and the Florida State secondary.
Prediction: Florida State 45, Murray State 3
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis from ACC bloggers Shawn Krest and Sean Bielawski, follow @CBSSportsACC.