No. 19 Florida State Seminoles (5-3 SU, 4-4 ATS) vs. North Carolina State Wolfpack (4-4 SU, 5-3 ATS)
College Football Week 10
Date/Time: Saturday November 5th, 2016. 7:00PM (EST)
Where: Carter-Finley Stadium Raleigh, N.C.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: FSU -6/NCSU +6
Over/Under Total: 58
The no. 19 Florida State Seminoles will try to shake off a tough 37-34 home loss to Clemson last week when they go on the road this Saturday to play the North Carolina State Wolfpack inside Carter-Finley Stadium. The Seminoles are currently the only 3 loss team ranked in the Top 25 but they have also had one of the toughest schedules in the FBS. The Seminoles suffered losses to two top 10 ranked teams along with an upset loss to North Carolina but they also scored wins against the likes of Ole Miss and Miami who were both ranked inside the Top 15. While the ACC Championship hopes were officially put to bed last week, the Seminoles will try to make the best of their 2016 campaign as they look to rebound with a win on Saturday.
Currently the Noles are listed as 6 point favorites over the Wolfpack for this weekend’s showdown. The line may be a bit surprising considering the fact North Carolina State has lost their last 3 games and is just 1-3 in conference play. However, the Wolfpack were also victim to the likes of no. 3 Clemson and no. 7 Louisville during their 3 game losing skid. The loss to Boston College most recently probably hurt the most considering the Pack was 14 point favorites in that contest. Instead, the Wolfpack were stymied by Boston College’s notorious defense as woes on the offensive side of the football blossomed.
Those offensive problems have been at the forefront of North Carolina State’s recent struggles. In the last 4 games, the Wolfpack have failed to score more than 17 points in any single contest and are averaging just 13.5 points per game over that stretch. On the season, NC State has averaged just 26.8 points per game which ranks 79th in the FBS. On paper, the stats do not look too bad. Quarterback Ryan Finley has hit 62% of his passes for 1,815 yards with 13 scores and 6 picks. Running back Matthew Dayes has been impressive with 727 yards and 4 touchdowns.
I am not one to normally criticize coaching staffs but I have been unimpressed with this offense this year and their ability to take chances down the field. The Wolfpack have a legitimated big threat running back in Matthew Dayes but the play calling has been so conservative that defenses have just teed off on the running attack. The good news for NC State’s hopes this weekend is that this Florida State team may be one of the worse against the run in the Jimbo Fisher era. In fact, the defense has struggled majorly this season as an entire unit giving up at least 30 points or more in 4 of their last 6 games.
Therefore, perhaps the opportunity will be there for NC State to establish some success on the ground and open up the rest of the playbook. I am just not too convinced it will happen. Despite Florida State’s struggles on defense, their offense has not struggled. Running back Dalvin Cook has found his groove and posted his 5th straight game of more than 100 yards last Saturday against Clemson. There were actually times in the game where Clemson’s talented defense had no answer for Cook as he tallied 169 yards and 4 touchdowns against the Tigers. Cook is now just 1 of 6 rushers in college football that has already eclipsed the 1,000 yard barrier this season.
With Cook hitting his stride, this offense has become even more dangerous. Quarterback Deondre Francois struggled a bit last week in the loss to Clemson but he will get to take aim at a much more vulnerable secondary on Saturday. The freshman is completing 60% of his passes this season with 11 scores and 4 picks. North Carolina State’s defense has been much better against the run this season which is why I believe they are just 6 point dogs. However, Francois should get plenty of opportunities to go down the field against a defense that has given up 241 yards per game through the air.
Jay's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Dalvin Cook stays hot and North Carolina State’s offense continues to struggle. Take FSU -6
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