No. 1 Florida State Seminoles (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
College Football Week 1
Date and Time: Saturday, August 30th, 2014. 8:00PM EST
Where: AT&T Stadium Arlington, T.X.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: FSU -17.5/OSU +17.5
Over/Under Total: 63
College football’s opening weekend will be highlighted by a Saturday night showdown between the no. 1 Florida State Seminoles and the Oklahoma State Cowboys. The defending National Champions will put their preseason no. 1 ranking on the line when they meet the Cowboys inside the home of the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Experts around the country believe Florida State has a team capable of repeating their 2013 National Championship campaign and they enter this Saturday’s big matchup against Oklahoma State as large 17.5 point favorites.
Oklahoma State enters this Saturday’s matchup representing one of the top programs from the Big 12, fresh off a solid 10-3 season, and owns one of the most respected head coaches in the nation with Mike Gundy at the helm. So why are the Cowboys such large underdogs? The answer is quite easy considering Florida State returns many of the key components to 2013’s title run and is stacked with experience on each side of the football. Meanwhile Oklahoma State lost nearly everyone from their 2013 team. The Cowboys have just 9 starters returning on both sides of the football which is tied for the 2nd fewest in the FBS and tied for last in the Big 12.
Defensively Oklahoma State returns just 4 starters and will be completely inexperienced with their back seven. Offensively, the team returns 5 starters and an entirely new receiving corps. Quarterback J.W Walsh will get the nod behind center. Walsh shared snaps with Clint Chelf last season before he was relieved completely during the latter part of the season. Walsh has some game time experience under his belt but will have to play better than he did a year ago when he completed just 59% passing and tossed 5 picks with just 9 scores. Oklahoma State, like much of the Big 12, typically has relied on their strong passing threat to move the football.
However this year’s passing offense severely lacks experience. The biggest strength the Cowboys have on the offensive side of the football this season can be found in their backfield with senior Desmand Roland and JUCO transfer Tyreek Hill. If you have not heard the name Tyreek Hill, get ready because you will likely hear the name sooner than later. The junior running back is one of the fastest players in the nation with 4.25 type speed in the 40 yard dash. Hill is a world class sprinter who just happens to be talented with a football in his hands. Since Oklahoma State is looking for playmakers on the offensive side of the ball, expect the offense to use Hill not in a variety of ways from tailback to receiver in effort to get the ball in his hands.
Even with some exciting talent like Hill, the bulk of Oklahoma State’s concerns surrounding 2014 are valid. If you read between the lines or simply familiar with Florida State’s football team, then you have probably figured out this matchup does not bode well for the Cowboys. Oklahoma State’s depleted back seven on defense will get their first experience against the reigning Heisman Trophy winner in Jameis Winston. Winston is coming off of an incredible 4,000 yard passing season that was highlighted by 40 touchdowns so rest assured he will be ready to exploit the Cowboys defense. Additionally Oklahoma State’s only true strength that we know thus far in their rushing attack will meet the no. 2 total defense from a year ago that returns much of their supporting cast. Therefore will the upset this Saturday night is not impossible, it is highly unlikely Oklahoma State is ready to challenge Florida State this early in the season with all of the inexperience concerns.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: This game will be much closer of a home game for Oklahoma State as compared to the Seminoles but I don’t think that will matter much in this contest. Florida State is largely more prepared in this game and I expect them to win this game convincingly. Florida State -17.5