Idaho vs. FSU: Top Players on Display in Saturday's Showdown

Andrew Gould@AndrewGould4Featured ColumnistNovember 23, 2013

CLEMSON, SC - OCTOBER 19:  Lamarcus Joyner #20 of the Florida State Seminoles reacts after a play against the Clemson Tigers during their game at Memorial Stadium on October 19, 2013 in Clemson, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Declaring a victory for the No. 2 Florida State Seminoles over the 1-9 Idaho Vandals is hardly a bold statement, but let's at least try to have some fun along the way.

The Vandals topping the Seminoles would amount to the upset of the century of the week, but an independent team that surrenders 45.7 points per game probably won't fare so well against an ACC powerhouse that engineers 52.7 points per contest.

So instead of pretending that Idaho isn't going to take a beating before collecting their money and skipping town, let's look at some of the best talent that will take the field on Saturday.

RB Karlos Williams, Florida State

TALLAHASSEE, FL - OCTOBER 26: Karlos Williams #9 of the Florida State Seminoles runs to score during the opening minuets during the first half against North Carolina State Wolfpack at Doak Campbell Stadiumon October 26, 2013 in Tallahassee, Florida (Photo
Jeff Gammons/Getty Images

If the Seminoles have any kindness in their hearts, they'll run the ball almost exclusively by the second half.

It shouldn't take too long for this game to spiral out of hand, but then again, implementing the ground game might make matters worse. The Vandals have yielded 5.3 yards per carry to the opposition this season, and junior Karlos Williams has amassed 8.0 yards per run in limited action.

Williams has received just 65 attempts, but he has converted those restricted-touches into 522 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. Last week, he broke out a 56-yard run during Florida State's 59-3 demolition of Syracuse.

Devonta Freeman has touched the ball 12 times over the past two outings, so perhaps Williams can etch his way into the offensive scheme between the 20s. His mix of size and speed is certainly something Florida State can utilize more during its title hunt.

WR Dezmon Epps, Idaho

Idaho probably won't pull off the unthinkable upset, but the Vandals could at least steal some points on Saturday.

They have themselves a big offensive playmaker in wide receiver Dezmon Epps, who has accrued 66 receptions for 811 yards and four touchdowns this season. The junior put his talent on display last week against Old Dominion, tallying nine catches for a career-high 175 yards and a score.

Oct 26, 2013; Oxford, MS, USA;  Idaho Vandals wide receiver Dezmon Epps (1) makes a reception while guarded by Mississippi Rebels defensive back Charles Sawyer (3) during the game at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mississippi Rebels win the game against the Id
Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

While his team remains consistently bad, Epps consistently leaves his imprint on every game. He has caught at least four passes in every contest while registering at least six receptions during seven of the 10 bouts. 

The second leading wideout on the team? Najee Lovett, who has recorded 25 catches for 299 yards without reaching the end zone this season.

Epps has accounted for 36.3 percent of Idaho's passing offense, which means Florida State would be wise to double him on every play. Maybe triple him, or see what happens when every member of the secondary blankets Epps.

DB Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State

TALLAHASSEE, FL - OCTOBER 13:  Bobby Swigert #10 of the Boston College Eagles is brought down by Lamarcus Joyner #20 of the Florida State Seminoles during a game at Doak Campbell Stadium on October 13, 2012 in Tallahassee, Florida.  (Photo by Stacy Revere
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Playing his last scheduled home game makes this otherwise unexciting affair a sentimental showdown for safety Lamarcus Joyner.

His final year with the Seminoles has been the senior's best. Joyner has compiled 51 tackles, 36 of the solo variety, while leading the team with five sacks. He has also wreaked havoc with an interception, three forced fumbles and four pass deflections.

Joyner's explosive play has excited FSU fans all season, but he's beginning to garner similar praise among NFL scouts. While he is undersized at 5'8", Joyner's athleticism and ability to swarm the ball draw some similarities to the Arizona Cardinals' Tyrann Mathieu. currently ranks Joyner at No. 41 overall and the upcoming class' second-best free safety. If he continues to impress, Joyner could push his way into the first round. 


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