Chattanooga Mocs (8-2 SU, 0-0 ATS) vs. Florida State Seminoles (8-2 SU, 6-4 ATS)
College Football Week 12
Date/Time: Saturday, November 21, 2015 at 3PM EST
Where: Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, Florida
TV: ESPN 3
By Scott, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: CHAT +30.5/FSU -30.5
Over/Under Total: 50
On Saturday, the Chattanooga Mocs come into Tallahassee to face the Florida State Seminoles. This should be an easy win for the 16th-ranked Seminoles, as they look for their 9th victory of the year. Last Saturday wasnt easy, as the Seminoles overcame a deficit to eventually pull away from the North Carolina State Wolfpack, 34-17. It was an important win for the Noles, who were coming off a loss to top-rated Clemson. They look to have things a little easier this week against an FCS opponent in the Chattanooga Mocs.
Chattanooga is a part of the University of Tennessee flagship. They belong in the Southern Conference of the FCS, a conference in which they have been champions for the past two years. Some good players have played for Chattanooga over the years, including Tony Hill and Terrell Owens. A current player, Buster Skrine, played for Chattanooga, as did Hugh Beaumont, the late actor best known for his role as Mr. Cleaver. They are 8-2 this season and a pretty good little football team. But this is drastically out-of-context for the Mocs, taking on the 16th ranked team in the country. They are coming off a win over Citadel and two weeks ago lost to Mercerjust to put it into perspective.
After losing their season opener, the Mocs have won 8 out of 9 games. Theyve shown a pretty good defense during that stretch, with opponents not surpassing 17 points 5 times in their last 7 games. Offensively, they dont put up a ton of points, generally in the 20-40 range depending on the strength of opponent. This is the last game for them in the regular season.
Chattanoogas offense features an efficient dual-threat quarterback in Jacob Huesman, who has completed over 67% of his throws. He has thrown only 7 touchdowns, but he does a lot of damage with his legs, scoring 10 times on the ground with over 1000 yards rushing. Derrick Craine is a valuable back, nearing 1000 yards with 12 touchdowns on the ground. They have some useful ball-catchers, but for those wondering how theyll fare against the FSU defense this week, those concerns are well-placed. When watching this Chattanooga defense, its easy to project and see them keeping a lid on FSU, but we wont really know until we see.
For the purposes of winning this game, it almost doesnt matter what mental state the teams have coming into Saturday. At some point, talent wins and in that area, Chattanooga cant compete. They may have a few players who could even so much as make the FSU team. But for the purposes of covering the spread, a heightened mental state can do wonders. Chattanooga has a chance to dance with the big boys and should be loose with no one expecting much.
Florida State decided to go with QB Sean Maguire after he came in and played so well against NC State in their last game. He got this offense moving and Chattanooga is unlikely to catch the offense sleeping, with Maguire looking to validate coach Jimbo Fishers faith in him. The Seminoles have a few ball-catchers that will really test the Chattanooga D with guys like Travis Rudolph, Kermit Whitfield, and Jesus Wilson. The one weapon that the Mocs will have a really hard time with is Dalvin Cook, the prolific FSU back who has 1369 yards and 14 touchdowns.
This is not the vintage FSU offense we have seen in the past few seasons. They can still put up points, but even with the indecision at quarterback with Everett Golson being replaced, we see a Seminoles offense that doesnt always find a groove. They had a big second half in their last game, which showed promise as they head into the stretch run of the regular season. But weve seen some rough performances lately from the offense, with them putting up 13 against Clemson, 16 against Georgia Tech, and 14 against Boston College.
Another main issue for Chattanooga is a FSU defense that has allowed an average of just 17.4 points per game this season. They are a balanced group that can thrive against both the run and the pass. They gave up only 23 points to Clemson and held a powerful NC State offense to very little last week. In the trenches on both sides of the ball, FSU will have a pronounced advantage and Chattanooga will struggle against this defense.
All things considered, the 30.5-point spread isnt all that favorable for those looking to take the dog. Even if the Mocs defense is somehow able to hold FSU down and keep them from running up and down the field, how many points can they be expected to put up, even in a best-case scenario? Granted, Florida State faces an important game next week with in-state rivals Florida. Its a perfect chance to catch a FSU that is looking past this week. But with Maguire looking to cement his standing in the offense, we could see some stretches of the game where the Mocs have few answers. Im taking the Noles.
Scott’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Im betting on the Florida State Seminoles minus 30.5 points.
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