Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 10/22/13
The worst thing that could happen to Florida State is to give the pundits something to talk about.A loss to North Carolina State on Saturday would do just that.While it is a highly-unlikely scenario, the Wolfpack handed FSU a loss last season and sent the team reeling in what was supposed to be a national title hunt year. The Seminoles won the ACC and played in the Orange Bowl, but never sniffed a shot at playing for any crystal title.This year is a bit different.On the heels of a crushing win over Clemson (I think FSU just scored again) this is another game where style points count. This cannot be a close game, Florida State cannot look sluggish like it is hungover from last week and the Wolfpack cannot show signs of intimidation.The Noles, unfortunately, with Miami on the menu in two weeks, have to play another flawless game to stay within reach of the Crimson Tide in the BCS.It would be the same thing as Florida becoming the top ranked team in the country after beating Auburn and then losing to Georgia the very next week.Ooops, sorry, that has happened before.Here are three things you need to know about this matchup.The Seminoles cannot repeat historyIt was a national ranking of third and a team that was undefeated last season at 5-0 that had Seminoles boosters and fans hailing Jimbo Fisher as another God in Tallahassee.The game last season may have proved to be Fisher’s worst coaching performance in his career. The 17-16 come from behind win by North Carolina State began the whispers, the rumors of whether Fisher was the right man for the job.Now, the team is 6-0, ranked third in the country and second in the BCS and if they lose, they lose everything.Middle of the RoadNC State (3-3, 0-3) is the one ACC program with a winning record against Florida State under Fisher. That won’t be a consideration on Saturday. The Wolfpack rank 53rd in passing offense nationally and 52nd in rushing offense. They face a team that is second nationally in pass defense and 28th in rushing defense.And after their performance against Clemson and its high-powered offense, it is hard to believe this team will be able to score more than the Tigers did against FSU.If they do, you know the Seminoles are in trouble.Second test of the seasonI said before the start of this college football year, the Seminoles had a three-game season. If they took care of Clemson, Miami and Florida State, they could play for a national title. As long as Jameis Winston plays well this coming week and continues to put up huge numbers and prepares like he is playing this game and not looking ahead, then things continue as planned.I have never seen a freshman play with the confidence of Winston. Florida State did not play a lot of freshman back in the early 1990s. Everything really rests on the offense this time. I don’t see North Carolina State being able to score on a mature defense and secondary. 
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