FSU football will be taking on the No. 16 ranked Duke Blue Devils in a pivotal home matchup.
One key factor in the matchup was the health status of Duke quarterback Riley Leonard. Will he be able to be available today for the Blue Devils?
On Saturday morning, our question might have been answered as ESPN Senior College Football Writer Pete Thamel reported that Leonard will be a game-time decision for today’s matchup versus Florida State.
Thamel further added to the report by saying that the signal caller is expected to dress for warm-ups and will go through the pregame drills. However, it looks as though backup Henry Belin IV will be the starter.
This is honestly what I expected, given the significance of the injury. Duke cannot risk Leonard further injuring his ankle due to the Blue Devils having to play the likes of Louisville, Wake Forest, North Carolina, Virginia, and Pittsburgh.
Duke can still control its destiny within the ACC Championship race, even with a loss to Florida State. For the Blue Devils to have a opportunity though, they need to have Leonard healthy where he can utilize his dual-threat ability.
As it pertains to Florida State, their defense will likely have to defend against the likes of backup Henry Belin IV. He unfortunately had a forgettable performance in their victory against North Carolina State where he completed 4 of his 13 passes for 107 yards and two touchdowns.
However, Belin IV has had a week to prepare for the Seminoles’ defense and looks poised to put his talents on display in front of a sold-out Doak Campbell Stadium.
With Belin IV likely being the starter, it would certainly be wise to focus in on neutralizing the rushing attack from running back Jordan Waters, who had 123 yards and one touchdown in last week’s victory. This will make their offense one-dimensional and force Belin IV into obvious passing situations.
Nonetheless, I believe that the Seminoles defense will be up to the challenge.