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Tigers vs. Florida State Seminoles Pick.
Clemson Tigers (5-4, 3-6 ATS) at Florida State Seminoles (6-3, 5-4 ATS), Week 11 College Football Picks, Saturday November 13th, 8:00PM Eastern Doak Campbell Stadium Tallahassee, F.L.
By Jay Horne, Professional Sports Handicapper of Predictem.com
Betting Odds: Clem +7.5/FSU -7.5
Over/Under Total: OFF
The Florida State Seminoles will host the Clemson Tigers this Saturday night in a big time ACC Coastal rivalry game. Once coined the “Bowden Bowl” at the time when father Bobby Bowden coached the Seminoles and son Tommy Bowden coached Clemson, these two schools held one of the most popular rivalries in the ACC. While times have passed and neither Bowden remains with either school, the hatred between the rivalry lives on.
This meeting has historically had ACC Championship indications and it will again this season as well. Florida State still has a great to make an ACC Championship appearance, but they can not afford any more losses. The Tigers also have an outside chance, but they would not only need to win out but also get some help as well. Therefore, a lot will be up for grabs when the two teams collide at Doak Campbell Stadium this Saturday night.
FSU suffered their second straight loss last week to North Carolina 37-35 which knocked them out of the top 25. The Seminoles defense has played well for most of the season, but they surrendered a terrifying 439 yards through the air last week which aided in their defeat. The Seminoles defense will have to regroup in effort to avoid falling 3 straight. Fortunately for Florida State, the Tigers have not been a very powerful passing team. Rather Clemson’s offense relies heavily on the ground attack which plays into the strength of the Florida State defense. The Seminoles have one of the best defensive fronts in all of college football. Not only has Florida State been extremely strong against the run holding teams to just 106 yards per game (12th nationally), but they also lead the nation in sacks averaging over 4 per game.
The Seminoles will focus on trying to shut down the Clemson rushing offense and forcing them into passing situations. Clemson QB Kyle Parker has struggled this season completing 55% with 9 scores and 7 picks. The Tigers have lacked any playmakers in the passing game and are still waiting for one of their young talents to emerge. So far tight end Dwayne Allen leads the team in receiving yards with 326 yards. However, the Tigers have run the ball well this season averaging over 150 yards per game on the ground. Tailback Andre Ellington has been the playmaker on the ground this season, but Ellington will miss his 2nd straight game with a toe injury. Backup Jamie Harper carried the ball 25 times for 60 yards last week. Harper does not have the flashiness like Ellington, but does have great size with more of a bruising running style.
The Tigers have had a lot of offensive problems this year and have not produced the type of points they are accustomed to scoring over year’s past. However, the Tigers have a very talented defense that tends to keep them in ball games. The Clemson defense has only given 17 points per game this season and they do a good job of getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks as well. In fact, DE Da’Quan Bowers leads the nation with 12 sacks and will likely be a lottery pick in next year’s NFL Draft. The Clemson defense will need for Bowers and company to come up big again this week similar to last weeks win when they held North Carolina State to just 13 points on the afternoon.
The Seminoles offense has mainly relied on their rushing attack as well this season. Florida State has a trio of running backs in Chris Thompson, Jermaine Thomas, and Ty Jones that have helped contribute to a 196 yard team average on the ground this season. All 3 backs will get touches and each have a slightly different running style but can also make big plays. However, last week North Carolina’s talented rush defense held the Florida State tailbacks to 110 yards total.
Expecting Clemson gets a similar effort from their defensive line, the Seminoles may have to turn to the air. QB Christian Ponder is a solid passer who has completed 61% with 16 scores and 7 picks this season. WR Willie Haulstead had a breakout game last week with 10 catches for 154 yards and 1 touchdown. Haulstead and WR Bert Reed will be needed this Saturday night if the Seminoles rushing attack falters. Clemson has struggled at times against the pass this season, so expect Florida State to takes some shots down field in effort to expose Clemson’s biggest weakness on defense.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Florida State is not a bad team and lost their last two games by less than a touchdown combined. Clemson may have won last week, but they still looked bad in what turned out to be a real sloppy football game. Florida State holds all the advantages in the way these two teams match-up and I think they will win this one in a big way. Take FSU -7.5.