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David v Goliath? Previewing the Orange Bowl Clash between Florida State Seminoles and Georgia Bulldogs



When the Orange Bowl Game takes place on Saturday between the fifth-ranked 13-0 Florida State Seminoles and the sixth-ranked 12-1 Georgia Bulldogs it will be a David vs Goliath matchup of sorts between the ACC and the SEC. It will also be a test to see how players on both sides step up into bigger roles. The Seminoles and the Bulldogs are both being hit hard by opt-outs either due to the transfer portal or by players preparing to enter the NFL Draft. As of this writing, both teams have more than 20 players opting out of the game. Will those missing pieces factor in deciding the game? The game played on the field will tell, because games and their results do matter. Let's dive into the game and preview some areas of the Orange Bowl that could prove to be the difference.



Quarterback - Carson Beck vs Brock Glenn. When the matchup was announced a lot of Seminoles fans figured Tate Rodemaker would be under center for the Seminoles, however, Rodemaker decided to enter the transfer portal. Enter Brock Glenn who is making his second start ever as a true freshman against the two-time champion Bulldogs. Certainly a tall task for anyone. Glenn is better suited for shotgun formations, however he does well under center. He's got a good arm and shows the instinct to deliver the ball at the right time with touch or velocity. He shows the ability to make a variety of throws. For the Bulldogs, Beck took over after Stetson Bennett left for the NFL. Although he had his struggles early in the season, he zeroed in and threw for 3,738 yards, 22 touchdowns, and six interceptions in his first full season as a starter. He can make throws to all levels with great accuracy, he had 73% completions on the season. He has grown into the role during the season and made it his. Advantage - Georgia Bulldogs. While I think the play that we see from Glenn will be different and better than how the game went in the ACC Championship, the experience of Beck gives him the edge.



Playmakers on offense - Daijun Edwards and Dominic Lovett vs Caziah Holmes and Ja'Khi Douglas. While the Bulldogs will be missing all-world tight end Brock Bowers, the Seminoles will be missing their top four rushers as well as five of their top-six receiving options. For the Seminoles, Holmes in his limited play this season has shown a solid ability to make plays. He's a speedy runner who shows quickness to get to the edge and run past defenders. Ja'Khi Douglas has been dynamic and come up big in critical moments for the Seminoles. He's got the football intelligence and shows a workhorse mentality to be a solid team player. He's got great hands and can make catches anywhere on the field. With the Bulldogs, Edwards and Lovett have done nothing but produce. Edwards has been the 1A back for the Bulldogs he's reached career highs in yards and touchdowns helping the Bulldogs win games. With Lovett, he finished second on the team in receiving yards with 575. He's got a quick first step at the snap and runs crisp routes to create separation despite 'less' than ideal height. Advantage - Georgia Bulldogs. While Douglas and Holmes have shown flashes in limited play, how they handle the bigger workload remains to be seen. Edwards and Lovett have made big plays seem routine.


Defense - Smael Mondon and Kamari Lassiter vs Patrick Payton and Tatum Bethune. They say defense wins games and championships. Florida State has stayed relatively intact with the starters on their defense (compared to their offense) and this week the Seminoles defense is going to need to step up HUGE. Despite losing Jared Verse and Renardo Green on the defensive side of the ball, they still have some blue-chip talent at every level of the defense. Payton made a living in the opponent's backfields finishing with six sacks on the season and has shown the athletic ability to drop into coverage and defend the run. Bethune is the type of hard-hitting physical attack dog linebacker that all coaches like. He covers sideline to sideline and closes quickly to make plays playing through the whistle. For the Bulldogs, Mondon led the team in tackles Lassiter has established himself as the next in a long line of quality defensive backs that developed into the player NFL teams covet. He is dynamic and shows a solid ability to not only cover but to close in on the ball carrier and make plays, he plays physically and can track the ball carrier well to make plays. He's a strong finisher using his hands well as he plays with a high motor. Advantage - Toss-up. Yes, Georgia has its playmakers on defense, but Florida State has its playmakers and they have been playing with a chip on their shoulders. For fans of defense, this game will have something for you.



Prediction - Bulldogs win. While I will always root for the Seminoles and want them to win, I think the Bulldogs win late in a game that is closer than a lot of the college football world expects. I know both teams will come to play, but Florida State is in us against the world mentality and will play out of their minds to prove the narrative wrong. I could see them pulling off an upset that none of the talking heads expected.

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