Florida State football: Independence Bowl preview vs Southern Miss


Florida State football is looking to cap off a rough season with a win over Southern Miss in the Independence Bowl. Here’s everything you need to know.

To say that 2017 was a disappointment for all involved with Florida State football, would be an understatement. The Seminoles started off the season losing their best player to injury as well as lost to Alabama in the same game. Then Florida State struggled with consistency to the tune of a 6-6 regular season.

To cap things off, head coach Jimbo Fisher left the school for Texas A&M. The Noles need a refresh and the Independence Bowl could be the key to kicking things off on the right foot for 2018. Cam Akers is without question the most dynamic weapon on the Seminoles offense and he’ll be counted on to lead them to victory.

Southern Miss didn’t have a host of expecatations to begin 2017. Although they were thought to be one of the better teams in Conference USA. Southern Miss didn’t face the best teams in the world, but they did play close games against SEC foes Kentucky and Tennessee. The Golden Eagles only lost to Kentucky by seven points; a year after USM beat the Wildcats.

The Eagles boast a strong offense, led by Kwadra Griggs at quarterback and Korey Robertson at receiver. Ito Smith is also a force at the running back position.

Here is how you can watch the 2017 Independence Bowl:

Date: Wednesday, December 27, 2017
Time: 1:30pm ET
Location: Shreveport, Louisiana
Venue: Independence Stadium
Live Stream: WatchESPN 

Keys to Victory

Its already been mentioned but it bears repeating. Cam Akers is a force on the offensive side of the ball for Florida State. Akers is just a freshman, which means opponents in the ACC have a lot to be afraid in the coming seasons.

Southern Miss will defineitly be looking to contain Akers. Without him really doing damage, the rest of the Seminole offense isn’t exactly something to be afraid of. Outside of Akers, Florida State will have to play excellent defense to win this game. The nation hasn’t really seen a lot of the Golden Eagles offense, but it is potent.

Unlike Florida State, Southern Miss has a trio of offensive weapons. All of Griggs, Robertson and Smith all have impressive season numbers. Smith being the most impressive with over 1,300 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns. If the offense has a big day then it’s hard to imagine Southern Miss losing this game. More importantly the defense has to contain Akers and the rest of the FSU offense.

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On paper this game goes to the team that has more on field talent, Florida State. But just how excited are the Seminoles to be in the game? I mean this is a team that had Playoff aspirations to begin the season. Not to mention the players have dealt with a coaching change recently as well. I give the nod to Southern Miss. I think the Golden Eagles are more excited about the opportunity to beat a team like Florida State than the Seminloes are to be in the Independence Bowl.

Final Score: Southern Miss 35, Florida State 21