No. 6 Florida Gators (10-1 SU, 6-5 ATS) vs. No. 10 Florida State Seminoles (10-1 SU, 4-7 ATS)
College Football Week 13
Date/Time: Saturday November 24th, 2012. 3:30PM Eastern
Where: Doak Campbell Stadium Tallahassee, FL
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Fla +6/FSU -6
Over/Under Total: OFF
One of the most prestigious rivalries in college football has some restored national prominence this year when the no. 6 Florida Gators meet the no. 10 Florida State Seminoles inside Doak Campbell Stadium. Both teams have sporty 10-1 records this year and big things on the line this Saturday. The Seminoles have already punched their ticket to the ACC Championship Game and working to reach 11 wins for the first time since 2000. Florida on the other hand can nearly lock up a BCS Bowl berth with a victory over the Seminoles for the first time since the Tim Tebow era.
This Saturday's rivalry match-up will feature two of the best teams from the ACC and SEC rivaled conferences. In further detail, the game will feature just what both conferences have become. The Florida Gators from the SEC represent the conference backed by tremendous defense and power in the trenches. Meanwhile Florida State represents the ACC's agility and explosiveness with skill position talent, presenting an intriguing battle on both sides of the football.
From a rivalry perspective, the Seminoles have had the upper hand recently winning the last 3 meetings. In fact those last 3 games have all been rather decisive wins against the Gators with an average margin of victory by 18 points. However, Coach Will Muschamp has turned the Gators back into a national powerhouse and something tells me things will be much closer this year.
The Gators own the 4th best defense in the country allowing just 281 yards per game. Actually the Gators defense has carried the team this year. Offensively, Florida averages just 332 total yards per game (104th in FBS) despite running the football fairly well behind tailback Mike Gillislee (964yds, 8TDs). Instead the offense has made a living off of defensive turnovers and opportunities on the short side of the field. Therefore the Gators defense will need to find a way to stifle an extremely talented Florida State offense to help their offense as much as possible.
The Seminoles have averaged 493 total yards this season as the 14th best offense in college football. Earlier this year Florida State had an explosive rushing game with running back Chris Thompson and Devonta Freeman. The Seminoles still average over 200 yards per game running the football despite the loss of Thompson. However, QB E.J Manuel has made the biggest difference during the 2nd half of the season. Manuel has had a terrific season completing 68.8% passing for 2,785 yards with 21 touchdowns and 6 picks.
The Seminoles senior quarterback has been playing extremely well just as he did in the 41-14 win against Maryland last week by completing 17 of 23 passing for 2 touchdowns and a pick. This week it will be interesting to see if Manuel can keep plays alive and hit some targets down field against that strong Florida defense. I do not believe Florida State will win this game by running the football considering how solid Florida has been stopping the run this year. However, Manuel could be the difference once again for the Seminoles if he can come up with a few big plays.
Betting Trends: Florida is just 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games and Florida State is just 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games. The Seminoles have won 5 straight games SU at home but are just 2-6 SU against Florida over the last 8 meetings.
Jay's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Both defenses will shine in this game as Florida State plays tough against the run and the Gators defense just plays well all around. This will be another low scoring game similar to last year's 21-7 victory for the Seminoles. Consider a play on the under once the total is released because it will be your best play for this game. Additionally, 5 of the last 6 meetings between Florida and Florida State have all gone 'under' the mark. If totals aren't your thing and you're looking for an opinion on the side, my lean is to Florida at +6. Good luck!
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