Karlos Williams moves from safety to running back for FSU. (Photo: 247 Sports)
It will be the home opener for Florida State (1-0) on Saturday as the 10th-ranked Seminoles welcome in Nevada. The contest will mark the first non-conference game of the season for Florida State and the first contest against a Mountain West opponent since Florida State topped BYU 34-10 in Tallahassee in 2010.
Doak Campbell Stadium will get its first look at freshman quarterback Jameis Winston, who complete 93 percent of his passes for 362 yards and accounted for five total touchdowns in the Seminoles’ opener. Florida State finished 6-1 at home a season ago with the only loss coming in the regular season finale to Florida.
Jeremy Pruitt’s defense settled down in the opener after the Pittsburgh Panthers marched the length of the field for a touchdown on their opening drive. Florida State held Pittsburgh without a touchdown for the remainder of the contest and forced a pair of turnovers as Terrence Brooks and Jalen Ramsey each recorded interceptions. For Ramsey, a freshman, it was the first of his FSU career.
The Seminoles enter Saturday’s contest relatively healthy as it appears that running back James Wilder Jr. will be ready to go after banging up his shoulder in the first game. Wilder and Devonta Freeman combined to rush for 110 yards on 19 carries in the opener, but Florida State will have a new face in the backfield this week as well.
Former top safety prospect, Karlos Williams, makes the move to tailback and could see action on Saturday against Nevada. Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher called Williams a natural with the ball in his hands and Williams has done a good job returning kicks for the Seminoles in the past. The biggest play that Williams made as a defender came against Georgia Tech last season in the ACC Championship as Williams came up with a late interception to seal Florida State’s first conference title in seven years.
Nevada enters the contest with a record of 1-1. The Wolf Pack bounced back from a 38-point loss to UCLA to open the year to defeat UC-Davis in Week 2. The pistol attack accounted for 535 yards of offense as Nevada notched a 36-7 victory over the Aggies on Saturday.
Quarterback Cody Fajardo has played well through two games for the Wolf Pack as the junior is completing 70 percent of his passes and has yet to thrown an interception. Fajardo is also second on the team in rushing just six yards behind running back Kendall Brock, who leads the team with 148 yards on the season.
For Nevada to have a chance, it will need to find a way to slow down Winston and the Florida State offense. The Wolf Pack allowed 647 yards of offense to Brett Hundley, another talented dual-threat quarterback, and UCLA in the opener as the Bruins cruised to a 58-20 victory. The match-up with Florida State will be the first for Nevada against the ACC since Colin Kaepernick led the Wolf Pack past Boston College in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl following the 2010 season.
The talent edge is certainly with Florida State for Saturday’s game as the Seminoles look to get off to a 2-0 start for the third straight season. Nevada however, is no stranger to beating teams from BCS conferences. The Wolf Pack defeated California in last season’s opener and came up just a point short to South Florida and Arizona a season ago. If Nevada is to have any shot at upsetting the Seminoles, it will need to dominate the turnover battle and find a way to make big plays on offense. Florida State has not lost a home opener since falling to Miami in 2009.