No. 9 Florida State Seminoles (8-1 SU, 4-5 ATS) vs. Virginia Tech Hokies (4-5 SU, 2-7 ATS)
College Football Week 11
Date/Time: Thursday November 8th, 2012. 7:30PM Eastern
Where: Lane Stadium Blacksburg, V.A.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: FSU -12/VT +12
Over/Under Total: OFF
ACC Football returns again this Thursday night when the no. 9 Florida State Seminoles travel to Lane Stadium to challenge Frank Beamer’s struggling Virginia Tech Hokies. The Hokies will partake in their 2nd straight Thursday night affair after falling to Miami 30-12 last week in a pivotal ACC Coastal match-up. Virginia Tech had a chance to take control of the division but the offense was shutout in the 2nd half in what turned out to be another dismal performance by QB Logan Thomas. The loss put Frank Beamer’s staff at 4-5 SU on the year marking the Hokies worse record in two decades. While some may be questioning Beamer’s remaining time in Blacksburg, Virginia Tech will have a chance at some immediate redemption when the no. 9 Florida State Seminoles roll into town this Thursday night.
The Seminoles currently sit in the driver’s seat in the ACC Atlantic with their head to head victory over Clemson despite both teams being 5-1 in the conference. Florida State will get 4-5 Maryland next week in a game where they will be heavy favorites. Therefore, this week’s game against a hungry Virginia Tech group could be defining for the Seminoles chances to play for an ACC Championship. While it may be obvious that Virginia Tech is struggling this year, the Hokies still have one of the best home game environments in the ACC where they have won 16 of the last 19 games SU. Therefore, Florida state will face a difficult challenge on the road this Thursday night in effort to keep the ACC Title hopes alive.
Fortunately for the Seminoles, they appear to have all the momentum entering this week’s showdown with Virginia Tech. Florida State has won 3 straight games with their blowout over Duke 48-7 in the last outing. Florida State also had an extra week of preparation with their ‘bye’ falling in week 10. Therefore, the Seminoles should be energized when they take the field this Thursday.
A energized Seminoles team could be trouble for the Hokies. Florida State currently leads the ACC averaging 524 yards per game of total offense (7th in FBS). The Seminoles have a talented stable of tailbacks between James Wilder Jr. and Devonta Freeman. As a team, Florida State averages a healthy 234 yards per game on the ground as one of the best rushing offenses in the conference. Additionally, QB E.J Manuel has emerged as a passing threat in 2012 completing 70% passing for 2,315 yards with 16 scores and just 4 interceptions on the year. Manuel has really improved with his throwing ability and made this Florida State offense much more dangerous in the process.
Still the intriguing match-up to watch this Thursday will be the Virginia Tech offense against college football’s top ranked defense in Florida State. The Hokies have really struggled to move the football which was obvious last Thursday against Miami. Not only could Virginia Tech not run the football but QB Logan Thomas hit just 19 of 37 passes for 199 yards and 2 interceptions. In the last two games, Thomas has thrown 4 picks with just 1 touchdown combined to make matters even worse.
The Hokies have not had that normal dominant Frank Beamer running attack this season to rely around in the rushing game. Then when you throw in the quarterback troubles, you have an offensive nightmare. This week the Hokies try to find answers against the best defense on paper in the country. Florida State has allowed just 227 yards per game (1st in FBS) and stuffed the run allowing just 72 yards per game (3rd in FBS). If Florida State is able to stand strong against the run again this week, they can put Logan Thomas into more pressure situations and just possibly force a few turnovers to survive a night in Blacksburg.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I just cannot see Virginia Tech finding the answers on offense to compete in this game. This may be a low scoring game early but Florida State will prove too much to handle by the final whistle. The Hokies are just 2-8-1 ATS in their last 11 games at home and I believe that record gets even worse this Thursday. Take Florida State -12!
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