FSU eager to wrap up successful season with 10th win in Cheez-It Bowl

jordan travis is one of Florida Players who were on the floor when the program last played in a 2019 bowl game.

A lot has happened in the three seasons since the Seminoles emerged in the Sun Bowl, including a new coaching staff, a pandemic-shortened 2020 season and a bounce-back season in 2022.

“Honestly, it was so long ago that I don’t remember,” Travis said. “We are so lucky to be here. Blessings and gratitude.”

As No. 13 FSU prepares to face Oklahoma on Thursday Cheez-It Bowlthe Seminoles were focused on picking up an elusive Game 10 win.

“When we first found out where we were going, that was one of our goals; that was the biggest goal,” said the former Soviet defender Tatum Bethune. “How many teams have 10 wins? That means a lot to us.”

Oklahoma State coach Brent Venables and Florida State coach Mike Norwell pose for a photo after Wednesday's Cheez-It Bowl news conference. The two teams will meet for the eighth time in the series leading the Sooners 6-1.

Travis added: “Every time I think about it, it puts a smile on my face. I’ve been here for a while and I’ve seen the lows in years. Seeing the smiles on the faces of my teammates does a lot for me. Means everything. Our fans are happy and that’s important. We go to games and our games are sold out. It’s a blessing from the people upstairs and I’m grateful for the football team.”

The last time Florida State won 10 games in a season was in 2016, and it finished five straight seasons with double-digit wins. In the five years leading up to this 2022 season, the Seminoles have a combined 29 victories. While nine wins is an impressive mark given the program’s recent history, it feels like a win against the Sooners could do more for next season.

“Everything builds on itself. For us, our focus is on this game, which is our best,” said the FSU coach mike nowell“We want to play our best game this year. That’s been our expectation every week throughout the season: keep improving, keep getting better and focus on the little things that make us different.

“The future is bright, but we have to take hold of the present and ultimately take hold of what we can control, and that’s this week.”

Game List

Where: Camping World Stadium

When: 5:30 pm

television: ESPN

radio: Seminole Sports Network/SiriusXM Ch. 84

weather: 73 degrees with a 1% chance of rain

favorite: Seminoles 9.5

online: orlandosentinel.com/seminoles; @osmattmurschel on twitter.

Quick tilt: It was the eighth historic meeting between the programs, with Oklahoma leading 6-1. The Sooners have won six straight, and Florida State’s only victory came in the 1965 Gator Bowl. In that game, Hall of Fame receiver Fred Biletnikoff set a then-school record with 13 catches for 192 yards, leading the Seminoles to a 36-19 win. … FSU returns to Camp World Stadium to open the 2023 season against LSU on Sept. 3.

coach: Brent Venables, 6-6 in first season at Oklahoma; Norvell, 17-16 in third season at FSU (55-31 overall)

Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis is the first Florida State player to have at least three touchdowns in six straight games with 3,163 total yards of offense and 30 total touchdowns.

About Florida State (9-3, 5-3 ACC): The Seminoles rank in the top 20 in the Football Bowl Division in points per game (36.2) and points allowed (19.7). … FSU is on a five-game winning streak against Oklahoma, and the Seminoles have scored at least 38 points per game in that span. … quarterback jordan travis Was the first Florida State player to have at least three touchdowns in six straight games with 3,163 total yards of offense and 30 total touchdowns. … Safety jamie robinson After leading the team in tackles (86) while adding four tackles and an interception, he was named to the first team and named to the All-ACC.

About Oklahoma State (6-6, 3-6 Big 12): quarterback Dillon Gabriel Back in Orlando, he spent three seasons at UCF, leading the Cavaliers to an 18-8 record with 8,037 passing yards, 70 touchdowns and 14 passes. He moved to Oklahoma State in the offseason, where he passed for 2,925 yards with 24 TDs and 6 INTs while rushing for a career-high 300 yards with 5 TDs for the Big 12 The best newcomer honor.Gabriel isn’t the only one with links to former UCF as offensive coordinator Jeff Leby He spent two seasons on the Cavaliers’ coaching staff in 2018-19 under then-coach Josh Heupel. … Oklahoma will be without five starters, opting out of the tackle-led game Vanya Morris (NFL) and anton harrison (NFL), running back Eric Gray (NFL), catcher Theoweth (transfer) and defensive lineman Jaylen Redmond (American Football League).

Three things to watch

1. Can Oklahoma withstand FSU’s pass rush? What was already a challenging problem for Oklahoma was made even more confusing by opting out of starting tackle Vanya Morris with anton harrison. The Sooners have allowed 59 pressures, 32 of which have come from tackle points, according to Pro Football Focus. FSU pressured the quarterback 213 times this season, with tight end rushing jared poetry, Leonard Warner III, Patrick Peyton with Derek McClendon II 43% (91).

2. Can FSU’s Trey Benson keep up with his fire? The Seminoles rank among the top 15 nationally in rushing offense (217.8 yards per game), and much of that success has to do with Benson’s play. The former Oregon transfer led the team with 965 yards rushing, most of which came in the final five games of the regular season, and he rushed for 593 yards, an average of 6.82 yards per carry.

3. Will FSU’s offensive line continue to be under pressure? In a banner year for the Seminoles’ offensive line, the team allowed 18 sacks before a bowl game, the fewest sacks an FSU team has given up since allowing 17 in 2014 .

This article first appeared on Orlando Sentinel Network. Email Matt Mershall mmurschel@orlandosentinel.com or follow him on Twitter @osmattmurschel.