The 2023 Capital One Orange Bowl will kick off shortly at 4 p.m. ET as the No. 5 Florida State Seminoles will battle the No. 6 Georgia Bulldogs at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. This NY6 matchup between these two powers will air on ESPN.
Georgia enters the game as a heavy 21.5-point favorite and that can be attributed to the massive amount of roster attrition on FSU’s side. Since being infamously snubbed for the College Football Playoffs, almost every difference maker from the 13-0 Seminoles have opted out of this contest. That includes the likes of top receivers Keon Coleman and Johnny Wilson, running back Trey Benson, tight end Jaheim Bell, and defensive end Jared Verse. Even backup quarterback Tate Rodemaker decided to enter the transfer portal ahead of today’s matchup.
That means you’re going to see several backups getting significant action for the Noles and starting at quarterback will be true freshman Brock Glenn. The Covington, TN, native started the ACC Championship Game in place of Jordan Travis and the aforementioned Rodemaker, going 8-21 for 55 yards. We’ll probably see a very vanilla gameplan on offense unless head coach Mike Norvell gives his freshman QB the green light to let it rip.
UGA is also dealing with opt-outs, but not to the same degree as its FSU counterparts. The biggest name missing is tight end Brock Bowers, who was dealing with an ankle injury throughout the back half of the regular season. It makes sense for the two-time Mackey Award winner to sit this one out as he’s slated to be a top 15 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.
The Bulldogs will have starting quarterback Carson Beck under center for this game. Beck announced earlier in the month that he would be playing in the contest and would indeed be returning to Athens next season. He came into his own as a starter throughout the year and this game could give him a headstart on a potential Heisman Trophy campaign next fall.
List of injuries and players opting out of game
WR Keon Coleman – Out (Opt-Out)
DE Jared Verse - Out (Opt-Out)
QB Tate Rodemaker – Out (Transfer Portal)
RB Trey Benson – Out (Opt-Out)
WR Johnny Wilson – Out (Opt-Out)
TE Jaheim Bell – Out (Opt-Out)
RB CJ Campbell – Out (Transfer Portal)
TE Jimmy Casey – Out (Transfer Portal)
TE Preston Daniel – Out (Transfer Portal)
TE Markeston Douglas – Out (Transfer Portal)
QB AJ Duffy – Out (Transfer Portal)
RB Rodney Hill – Out (Transfer Portal)
RB Lawrance Toafili – Out (Undisclosed)
WR Winston Wright – Out (Transfer Portal)
TE Brock Bowers – Out (Ankle)
WR Zeed Haynes – Out (Transfer Portal)
WR Logan Johnson – Out (Transfer Portal)
WR Jackson Meeks – Out (Transfer Portal)
WR Mekhi Mews – Out (Transfer Portal)
WR De’Nylon Morrissette – Out (Transfer Portal)
QB Brock Vandagriff – Out (Transfer Portal)
LB EJ Lightsey – Out (Back)
Orange Bowl odds from DraftKings Sportsbook
Spread: Georgia -23
Moneyline: Georgia -1800, Florida State +1000
The pick: Georgia -23
This line is ginormous and yet, I’ll still take the Dawgs to cover. Because c’mon man, what FSU is about to put on the field is nowhere close to resembling the team we just watched go 13-0 and win the ACC. If Beck and company puts forth just a little bit of effort here, they should be able to comfortably put down the Seminole backups that will play in this game.