No. 2 Florida State Seminoles (12-0 SU, 3-9 ATS) vs. No. 12 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (10-2 SU, 8-4 ATS)
College Football Week 15
Date and Time: Saturday December 6th, 2014. 8:00PM EST
Where: Bank of America Stadium Charlotte, N.C.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: FSU -3.5/GT +3.5
Over/Under Total: 60
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The 2014 ACC Championship will be decided this Saturday when the no. 2 Florida State Seminoles meet the no. 12 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets inside Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. After a brief hiatus, The Yellow Jackets return to the ACC Championship Game with a bit of revenge on their slate. Georgia Tech was beaten by Florida State 21-15 just two years ago at Bank of America Stadium but the Yellow Jackets hope for a different outcome this Saturday as they seek their first ACC Title since 2009. Georgia Tech has flown under the radar in the ACC this season but a stunning upset win over Georgia in Athens last week has primed the Yellow Jackets for a chance to end Florida States 28 game winning streak.
The Seminoles survived yet another close scare last week in a 24-19 victory over the Florida Gators. The victory marked Florida States 3rd straight win by 5 points or less. As a result of not looking overly impressive in several weeks and several near losses, the Seminoles lost their number 1 ranking to a one loss Alabama team. However those rankings at this point are rather irrelevant considering the Seminoles need just one more win this Saturday to lock their selves into the playoffs.
The good news for Seminoles fans surrounding this Saturdays match-up against no. 16 Georgia Tech is that they have a sizeable advantage in terms of talent on both sides of the ball. The Florida State defense has held opponents to just 22 points per game (27th in FBS) and the offense has posted a healthy average of 34.6 points per game (31st in FBS). However the bad news for Florida State fans is that this Saturdays matchup against Georgia Tech is not the most ideal matchup the Seminoles could have hoped for in terms of an ACC Championship Game.
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The reasons are fairly simple and should not be overlooked. The Yellow Jackets quirky triple option offense is tough to defend. Georgia Tech averages 333.8 yards per game on the ground which is the 4th best mark in college football. The offense has 3 different running backs that have touched the ball at least 100 times while averaging over 5 yards per carry. As a result of Georgia Techs ability to move the football on the ground, they are a tough matchup for opponents for several related reasons. The Yellow Jackets typically chew up a lot of clock which limits opportunities for opposing offenses and the Georgia Tech defense is good enough to challenge offenses in those limited circumstances.
The reason that this style of football presents a big threat for Florida State this weekend is because it plays towards the Seminoles weaknesses. The Seminoles have notoriously been slow starters this season especially in the first half. Additionally, Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston has been turnover prone this season with 17 interceptions compared to just 21 touchdowns. Last week, Winston threw 3 interceptions in the 1st quarter against Florida and he currently leads the country in 1st half turnovers.
The big difference in last weeks game is that Floridas putrid offense could not capitalize off the opportunities. However if Florida State gives the ball away or suffers through another slow start this weekend, they will be in serious trouble. Georgia Tech is not a team that Florida State can afford to get behind against. Due to the nature of the Yellow Jackets offense, they are built for holding leads to grind out the clock. Therefore, I personally think that the first half of this game will be extremely important for both teams. If Florida State gets off to a good start, they should punch their ticket to the playoffs. However if they falter early again, the Yellow Jackets will be prime for the upset.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Again, I think this is a bad matchup for Florida State considering both teams style of play. Additionally, the Seminoles have been one of the worse teams in the land against the number going 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games. Meanwhile, Georgia Tech has an 8-4 mark ATS this season. Even though this not technically a road game (neutral field), it is worth noting Georgia Tech has played well outside of Bobby Dodd Stadium going 5-1 ATS this year. If those trends are not solid enough, consider the Yellow Jackets are also 7-3 ATS in their last 10 meetings against the Noles. Take Georgia Tech +3.5!