FSU football will be playing Southern Miss for their 2023 home season opener in the friendly confines of Doak Campbell Stadium today at 8:30 PM EST, which will televise on the ACC Network.
The Seminoles now possess the No. 4 ranking in the updated AP poll after their dominating victory over then-No. 5 LSU Tigers by a score of 45-24. There were a variety of players on FSU’s roster that made a significant impact on the game, such as quarterback Jordan Travis, wide receiver Keon Coleman, and cornerback Renardo Green.
While Florida State lists as 31-point favorites against the Southern Miss Golden Eagles, the Seminoles have to find a way to establish their command early in the contest and allow the starters to have much-needed rest for their conference opener on the road against Boston College next week.
Let’s discuss who should make an impact in today’s game against Southern Miss.
IMPACT PLAYERS (FSU)
-QB Tate Rodemaker
•I can envision the comments now: “How is quarterback Jordan Travis not listed as an impact player?” The West Palm Beach (FL) native made quick of the Tigers in last week’s matchup, where he completed 23 of his 31 passes for 342 yards and four touchdowns. This should be a matchup against Southern Miss, where Travis likely gets pulled by the early portion of the third quarter.
The Seminoles need to have a plan in place for life after Jordan Travis when he exhausts his eligibility after this season. Will redshirt junior Tate Rodemaker be the next in line? Can he recreate the magic from his remarkable performance against the Louisville Cardinals last season?
-WR Destyn Hill
•Much of the discussion about the Seminoles’ wide receiver position centers around big-bodied playmakers Keon Coleman and Johnny Wilson. However, as I alluded to with the point associated with Travis, this week should give an opportunity for both Coleman and Wilson to rest.
Fans were excited about the potential of former four-star prospect Destyn Hill given that he had made such significant strides in camp as a true freshman. However, the Edna Karr High School standout did not record a catch against LSU. Hill should be able to get more involved this week as the coaching staff looks to get him more acclimated to the collegiate game.
-DT Braden Fiske
•The Seminoles’ coaching staff was super excited about the acquisition Western Michigan defensive tackle Braden Fiske via the transfer portal. While the statistics do not suggest much production in his appearance against the LSU Tigers (two total tackles), the talented defensive tackle established the line of scrimmage and made it difficult for the Tigers’ offense to function at times.
This Southern Miss contest should allow Fiske to make his presence felt early on. The biggest obstacle that the Seminoles will face when playing the Golden Eagles is containing running back Frank Gore Jr. The talented back is a focal point for their offense and had over 1,000+ rushing yards last season. If the Miami (FL) native is bottled up, it will partially be because of Fiske making an impact.
IMPACT PLAYERS (USM)
-QB Billy Wiles
-RB Frank Gore Jr.
-S Jay Stanley