No. 1 Florida State Seminoles (5-0 SU, 1-4 ATS) vs. Syracuse Orange (2-3 SU, 1-4 ATS)
College Football Week 7
Date and Time: Saturday October 11th, 2014. 12:00PM EST
Where: Carrier Dome Syracuse, N.Y.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: FSU -23.5/SYR +23.5
Over/Under Total: TBA
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One week after losing the number 1 ranking in the USA Today Poll, the Florida State Seminoles have regained the nations number 1 ranking in both the USA Today and AP polls. The Seminoles are among just a handful of teams that remain unbeaten following last Saturdays big shakeup of upsets across country. This Saturday the Seminoles will look to keep their school record 21 game winning streak alive as they go into the Carrier Dome for a battle with the Syracuse Orange
Another streak that Florida State will try to keep alive this Saturday is an impressive 18 game ACC winning streak which goes back to October 2012 when the Seminoles lost to North Carolina State. Florida State obliterated Wake Forest 43-3 last Saturday in one of the teams most complete games of the season. The Seminoles finally put together a strong performance on both sides of the ball which resulted in the teams first cover of the season (1-4 ATS). The Seminoles have been getting better with each passing week and it will be interesting to see if they can do the same again this Saturday with an early noon kickoff inside the Carrier Dome along with the big matchup with Notre Dame on the horizon.
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Syracuse will try to catch Florida State in a looking ahead type scenario this Saturday. However, the Orange has been having a ton of problems on the offensive side of the football. Syracuse has suffered 3 straight losses and has scored just 41 points combined in those contests. The quarterback play has been awful in terms of passing behind Terrel Hunt who is expected to miss the next 4-6 weeks with a leg injury. Sophomore quarterback Austin Wilson will get the start this Saturday having just a handful of snaps under his belt in his career. While I am unsure of what Wilson brings to the table, I do understand the difficulty of facing Florida States extremely strong defense in your first career start. Additionally, Hunt really helped the Syracuse rushing attack and led the team with 307 yards on the ground. The Orange have relied heavily on the ground attack this season meaning running backs Prince-Tyson Gulley and Adonis Ameen-Moore will get more of the carries in the backfield.
At first glance, Syracuses favored ground attack seems like a bad matchup against Jimbo Fishers highly touted defense. However, the Seminoles have been rather mediocre on defense this year and suspect against the run. Florida State currently ranks 54th against the run giving up 142 yards per game on the ground. The key for Florida States defense will be winning the battle on early downs to put Syracuses inexperienced quarterback in tough 3rd down positions. If the Seminoles can win the early downs, then they should be able to put a lot of pressure on the young sophomore in Austin Wilson.
Offensively, Florida State has started to hit their stride. The Seminoles posted 56 points in the victory over North Carolina State two weeks ago then exploded in the 2nd half last week against Wake Forest to post another big number. Jameis Winston has averaged 330 yards over the past two games with 5 touchdowns through the air. Still, the Seminoles face some challenges this Saturday not necessarily against the Syracuse defense which has been mediocre at best but rather against the injury bug. Running back Karlos Williams is listed as doubtful with an ankle injury and star wide out Rashad Greenes status is unknown following a concussion last week. If Florida State can get by Syracuse this week without any further injuries from those guys, those guys should be good for the heavily anticipated showdown with no. 6 Notre Dame. However the Seminoles still have to withstand Syracuses bid for an upset before they can look forward to their showdown with the Fighting Irish.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Both Florida State and Syracuse are a disappointing 1-4 ATS in their 5 games this season. I am not sold on this Seminoles group but I do think they present a bad matchup for the Orange this week who have some serious offensive problems. Take Florida State -23.5