No. 4 FSU football (8-0) will be back in action Saturday at 3:30 p.m. in a matchup against the Pittsburgh Panthers (2-6).
The Noles will air on ESPN this week, breaking a streak of six consecutive games airing on ABC.
FSU fans have gotten spoiled only having to endure the poor production of the ACC Network once this season.
The broadcast trio on ESPN will feature Mark Jones, Louis Riddick, and Quint Kessenich. Jones covers the NBA, WNBA, and college basketball.
Riddick is a former football player who played at Pitt, and Kessenich is a former college lacrosse player that’s covered lacrosse, basketball, football, hockey, wrestling and horse racing. He hasn’t been without some controversy, with a couple of halftime interviews in 2013 featuring Nebraska’s Bo Pelini and Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio.
Interestingly, Riddick warned Pitt about FSU this week:
“Not only are they playing for their ranking and to stay in the top four and be a member of the College Football Playoff,” Riddick said, “but they don’t want to get bumped out of there because people feel they are playing a quote, unquote lesser schedule.
“They’re going for style points, too. Not just the win. It’s how they win. If I’m Florida State, that means I’m beating the (heck) out of whomever we’re playing, and I’m not letting my foot off the gas while Pitt better be prepared for that. Because they’re going to need to match it from an intensity standpoint.”
I wouldn’t say Riddick’s wrong necessarily, but I don’t think FSU will treat this game any different than any game they’ve played this season. FSU knows all they have to do is continue to win games, and they’ll remain top four in the College Football Playoff rankings. FSU and Pittsburgh haven’t played since the 2020 COVID season, with Pitt winning 41-17.
Pittsburgh is one of the few programs to hold a winning record against FSU football (6-4). However, eight of these games took place in the early 70s and 80s. The teams went 20 years without playing one another until Jameis Winston announced himself to the world in the 2013 game. FSU enters the game as -21.5 betting favorites, and have covered the spread in three of their last five games. The OVER points total has hit in three of the last five games. I expect the game to be close early, but expect FSU to pull away like they have in the past few games.