Florida A&M Rattlers (4-0) at No. 11 Miami Hurricanes (3-1, 3-1 ATS)
Land Shark Stadium Miami, F.L., Saturday October 10th 7:00PM Eastern
By Jay Horne of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Rattlers +37/Hurricanes -37
The No. 11 Miami Hurricanes scored a huge victory last Saturday night when they knocked off the highly praised Oklahoma Sooners in an exciting 21-20 ball game. The Hurricanes now try to avoid any letdown performance when they host Florida A&M this Saturday night. The Rattlers reside in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in Division II and sport a healthy 4-0 record this season.
Florida A&M will try to add their name to the likes of Appalachian State who are the only team to score an upset over a ranked team since in over 20 years. Miami on other hand would love to put this game away early and cruise to a 4-1 start. If they can rack up some points quickly, perhaps they can put the game out of reach and use time to rest some of the starters. Although, there were a number of Division II teams that played very well last week and Florida A&M will be giving the Hurricanes their best shot.
The Hurricanes proved last week that their impressive start was not any type of fluke. After trailing 10-0 the Hurricanes battled back to score a few touchdowns and also played strong defense to keep the Sooners offense under control. The big victory may indicate the return of the U, but only time will tell. However, it is obvious that quarterback Jacory Harris is the real deal. Harris is possibly one of the most even kill quarterbacks in college football.
Despite throwing 2 picks against Oklahoma, Harris never got rattled and answered back with 3 touchdowns in help to capture the victory. Harris has been the breakout player that Hurricanes have needed throwing for 252 yards per game and with 8 scores on the season. WR Travis Benjamin keeps progressing to a big target on the outside. The speedster caught a big 38 yard touchdown against Oklahoma and will have the ability to get behind the Rattlers secondary to make some more plays this Saturday night.
Florida A&M is fresh off a 31-12 victory over Tennessee State to improve to a 4-0 record. The Rattlers are averaging 34 points per game among the Division II ranks led by a pretty balanced offense. Senior QB Curtis Pulley is an experienced veteran that throws the ball well. Pulley has completed 67% for 846 yards with 7 touchdowns and just 1 interception this season. Junior wide out Isaac West has been his biggest target. West has caught a team-high 16 passes for 342 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Miami secondary has appeared vulnerable at times and if the Rattlers are to move the ball their best chance maybe to take some chances deep with West.
The Rattlers rushing game is pretty solid as well, but it will be interesting to see if they are able to move the ball against a much bigger and stronger defense than they are accustomed to facing. Pulley has racked up the most yards running the ball as a dual threat behind center. Freshman Eddie Rocker has received the most carries on the season, but has only racked up 185 yards. However with Pulley tucking the ball away at any given moment, the rushing numbers have been pretty consistent. On the other side of the ball, the Rattlers defense faces their biggest test to date. The secondary has only allowed 131 yards per game. The Rattlers would love to get those types of numbers again this Saturday as they battle with one of the best passing teams from the ACC. However, holding Miami to 131 yards of passing would be an upset in itself.
Jay’s Pick - Miami could be in a letdown situation that could make this one closer than expected. Florida A&M will likely get spanked here, but 37 is a ton of points and teams laying this kind of wood in college football have historically only covered the big spread to the tune of 35%. Take the Rattlers.