No matter what the score is...FSU is in a no-win situation versus USF. If FSU has a close win...then they barely beat an unranked team using their back-up quarterback. If FSU blows them out...then they beat a team when they were down without their starting quarterback. If FSU loses...then they lost to another unranked team at home in 2009 (Even though Miami is now #9, so that unranked team is nullified).
New starting USF QB B.J. Daniels is going to come into Tallahassee with a chip on his shoulder. He is from Tallahassee. He wants to show himself off to his home crowd. And USF wants to show they belong in the same conversation as the big three in Florida. They have that chance this season with facing FSU this weekend and Miami in November.
USF knows this is the game they have been waiting for. They need this win for recruiting. The FSU rout over BYU only has magnified this game for USF.
USF's offense has a better time than ever to strike at the FSU defense. The defensive line has been hit hard with injuries since Moses McCray suffered an elbow injury at BYU. he is expected to play Saturday if need be. Justin Mincey will not play on Saturday. But as BYU found out, FSU's offense can take their time going down the field and getting a touchdown. The USF defense is going to need to get the FSU offense off the field and use dual-threat Daniels to keep the FSU defense on the field and off balance.
FSU doesn't need this for recruiting. Or ACC implications. But for reputation. FSU has to show that they are consistent, which is something they have not done this season. The Seminoles need to show they can come off a big win and follow it up with a concrete win against another team before heading into the heart of their ACC schedule. FSU has a history the last few years of not turning big wins into momentum.
FSU def. #2 Boston College 27-17 at Boston College
Virginia Tech def. FSU 40-21 at Virginia Tech
FSU def. Clemson 41-27
Boston College def. FSU 27-17 after FSU regains lead in Atlantic Division with Wake Forest loss earlier in the day.
FSU def. #25 Maryland at Maryland 37-3.
#4 UF def. FSU 45-15.
Florida State needs to show the are on the way back. The Jacksonville State game is already becoming a distant memory and the only "win" FSU can gain from this USF game is showing they can win on a consistent basis no matter if the team is #7 in the nation or unranked.