No. 2 Florida State Seminoles (9-0 SU, 2-7 ATS) vs. Miami Hurricanes (6-3 SU, 5-4 ATS)
College Football Week 12
Date and Time: Saturday November 15th, 2014. 8:00PM EST
Where: Sun Life Stadium Miami, F.L.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: FSU -1.5/MIA +1.5
Over/Under Total: TBA
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The 2nd ranked Florida State Seminoles quest for a 2nd straight National Championship will face a huge challenge this Saturday night in a road trip against their in-state rivals, the Miami Hurricanes. Florida State has held the upper hand in this rivalry winning 7 of the last 9 games and they will need another win to keep their bid at the playoffs alive. The Seminoles have avoided the upset bug all year avoiding numerous close calls and they are expected to face yet another tough challenge this Saturday inside Sun Life Stadium.
Despite a slow start, Miami has come along strong during the 2nd half of the season winning 4 of their last 5 games. The Canes offense has tallied 44 points on average over their past 3 games which included wins over Cincinnati, Virginia Tech, and North Carolina. Its those types of offensive numbers that have many people, including book makers, believing that Miami can take down the Seminoles this Saturday night. In fact, the Hurricanes will enter this Saturdays contest as a measly 1.5 point underdog to the 2nd ranked team in the country.
If you consider the fact that Florida State is just 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games, another loss against the number would likely snap the nations longest winning streak of 25 games. Miami running back Duke Johnson is one of the key catalyst that could contribute to a Miami upset this weekend. Johnson is 2nd in the ACC in rushing with 1,213 yards and appears to be picking up steam. The junior tailback has eclipsed the 100 yard mark in 5 straight games and posted 588 yards with 4 touchdowns in the last 3 games alone. A year ago, Florida State was among the best rushing defenses in college football but they have regressed a bit in 2014 giving up 3.54 yards per attempt on the ground.
Therefore if Miami can feed Johnson the rock and keep the chains moving it will accomplish two important things to help out the Hurricanes defense. It will chew up the clock and limit Florida States chances on offense. Both of those obstacles will be vital towards keeping the Seminoles off the scoreboard often this Saturday night. Just like Miami, the Seminoles offense has played exceptionally well during the latter part of the season. The Noles offense has scored at least 31 points in 6 straight games since Jameis Winston served his 1 game suspension against Clemson.
Winston has thrown the ball fairly well hitting 66% of his passes for 2,540 yards with 17 touchdowns thus far on the year. However the interceptions, 11 to be exact, have been somewhat concerning this year. In the last 3 games, Winston has tossed 6 picks and that is something that he must avoid this Saturday. The Hurricanes have an under rated defense that does not get the credit they deserve. Miami has held opponents to just 21.9 points per game this year as the 27th best scoring defense in college football. If Winston turns the ball over and gives the Miami defense confidence, the Seminoles will be in a tough predicament for 60 minutes this Saturday. On the other hand, if Winston can come out and hit a few passes early perhaps they can keep the Canes defense on their heels. The best way to make that happen is to get the ball in the hands of wide receiver Rashad Greene early and often. Greene leads the team with 71 catches for 989 yards and 5 scores. Greenes catches as twice the amount of any other Florida State wide receiver and they will need a big performance from their star receiver again this weekend.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Count me in as one of those that believe the Seminoles get taken down Saturday night. Miami is good enough on both sides of the ball to make it happen and I think they will not have much trouble running the football. Take Miami +1.5