No. 2 Florida State Seminoles (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS) vs. No. 10 Louisville Cardinals (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS)
College Football Week 3
Date/Time: Saturday September 17th , 2016. 12:00PM (EST)
Where: Papa Johnís Cardinal Stadium Louisville, K.Y.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: FSU -3/LOU +3
Over/Under Total: 64
In my opinion, the most intriguing matchup in college football this week will reside in Louisville, Kentucky when the 10th ranked Louisville Cardinals host the 2nd ranked Florida State Seminoles. Both the Seminoles and Cardinals have been two of the most impressive teams through the first two weeks of the season. Florida State kicked things off with a big win over Ole Miss in the opener while Louisville has displayed an amazing amount of offensive talent in their first two wins over inferior opponents. Now the Cardinals have the opportunity to prove they are legitimate ACC Championship contenders when they get the 2nd ranked Seminoles at home this Saturday.
Last week Louisville just completely destroyed Syracuse inside the Carrier Dome in a 62-28 final. Quarterback Lamar Jackson accounted for 5 touchdowns as the Cardinals offense posted over 600 yards of total offense. Surprisingly 4 of Jacksonís touchdowns came on the ground as he rushed for 199 yards on 21 carries. After two straight weeks of huge performances, Jackson has started catching some national attention. The Cardinals quarterback has posted Heisman Trophy type numbers in his first two games of the season with 697 yards, 7 touchdowns, and 1 pick through the air along with another 318 yards with 6 touchdowns on the ground.
I think a lot of people, including myself, are looking forward to seeing what Jackson and this Louisville offense can do against one of the top teams in the country this weekend. Florida Stateís defense is among the most talented groups that the Cardinals will face this season. The Seminoles defensive front does a good job of getting pressure on quarterbacks and they do a good job of disguising their coverage which often helps lead to turnovers. Currently the Seminoles rank 5th in the FBS with 7 forced turnovers through the opening two contests. I believe turnovers could be a very important part of this game this Saturday so it will be interesting to see if the Seminoles can keep coming up with game changing plays on defense.
I think the bigger key for Florida Stateís defense is just keeping bodies in front of Jackson. He is going to be able to extend plays from the quarterback position and his speed is going to allow him to make successful gains running the football. If the Seminoles defense and coaching staff can accept that fact, then they can potentially limit the big plays. However if Florida State gets aggressive or starts bringing too many guys up the line, then it will open up the possibility for Louisville to keep connecting on big plays.
I feel pretty confident that Florida State is going to have success on the offensive side of the ball. Whether they are able to put up 28 points or 48 points is a different question. Running back Dalvin Cook is among the best tailbacks in the country and he has been getting a healthy work load with 34 carries through the first two games. Cook has rushed for 174 yards with 2 touchdowns on those attempts but I believe the Seminoles may give him the ball even more this week as they look to control the tempo of the game. Quarterback Deondre Francois has proven to be solid behind center completing 69% of his passes for 681 yards with 5 scores and a pick through the first 2 games. Francois will get his moments to take aim at a shaky Louisville secondary but I still believe the running game will be the Seminoles big focus this Saturday. If they can keep the chains moving, they will be able to keep Lamar Jackson and the Cardinals offense on the sideline.
Jay's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I am going to stay away from the side on this game as I think this could go back and forth. However, I do expect both offenses to have success which will drive up the scoring. Take the over 64!
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