North Carolina State Wolfpack (6-3 SU, 6-3 ATS) vs. No. 16 Florida State Seminoles (7-2 SU, 5-4 ATS)
College Football Week 10
Date/Time: Saturday November 14th, 12:30PM EST
Where: Doak Campbell Stadium Tallahassee, F.L.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: NCSU +10/FSU -10
Over/Under Total: 54
The no. 16 Florida State Seminoles chances at an ACC Championship crashed last week in a 23-13 loss to Clemson. The loss officially clinched Clemsons bid to Charlotte to represent the ACC Coastal. Now the Seminoles, who previously had college football playoffs type of expectations, are trying to regroup after losing 2 of their last 3 games. This Saturday the Seminoles return home where they have won 19 straight games inside Doak Campbell Stadium for a meeting with the North Carolina State Wolfpack.
After suffering two straight losses in their last two road games, a return home may just be what Florida State needs to get back on track. Then again it may be hard from a motivational standpoint with the ACC Championship hopes now in the sunset. Interestingly enough the North Carolina State vs. Florida State meetings have favored the underdog. In fact, underdogs have covered 9 of the past 10 meetings against the spread in these NCSU vs. FSU match-ups. If that trend holds true again this Saturday, it means the Wolfpack could be in contention for an upset.
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However, North Carolina State has donned the underdog title twice this season which has resulted in an 0-2 mark both straight up and against the spread. The Wolfpack are also just 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games as an underdog between 3-10 points. So how can that change this weekend? I believe it starts on offense with putting the game in the hands of quarterback Jacoby Brissett. Florida State is extremely talented in the trenches and I do not see North Carolina State doing much in the running game with star tailback Matt Dayes now gone for the season.
Last week against a very good Boston College defense, Brissett made some big throws that catapulted the Wolfpack to a 24-8 victory. Despite going just 14 of 27 passing, Brissett threw an 83 yard touchdown to Maurice Trowell that opened things up for the offense. Brissett later hit a few other throws down the field that setup scoring opportunities. Considering Florida States physical toughness up front, I believe they will need to let Brissett throw the football early and often. It may not be the most efficient day against a good Seminoles offense but a few more big plays down the field could be all the Wolfpack need to capture the victory.
The reason for that is the Seminoles offense has not looked sharp in recent weeks. This Florida State offense is lacking some confidence at the moment after being held to just 29 points combined in the losses to Clemson and Georgia Tech. Last week Dalvin Cook returned to the lineup and had a huge outing against Clemson. Cook rushed for 194 yards and a touchdown in yet another impressive outing. However, the rest of the offense struggled behind backup quarterback Sean Maguire.
Maguire got the start for Everett Golson who missed his 2nd straight game following a concussion back in the Georgia Tech outing. It is expected that Golson will start this Saturday though nothing has been officially announced. Of course that was also the thinking going into the Clemson game and Golson never played a snap. I think the outcome of this game could hinge on Golsons ability to go. Florida State is not the same offense with Maguire under center. Its not that Maguire is making mistakes but he cannot make the throws down the field like Golson. Therefore, I think it will be very interesting to follow the starting quarterback storyline this week as it will have some implications on this game unfolds.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I do not want to pick a side until the quarterback is announced. If Maguire goes, I like the Wolfpack but may stay away from the side all together if Golson returns under center. Instead if you have to make a play, consider the over 54. I expect Florida State to run the ball well again this week and the Wolfpack to score their share of points. Take the over 54!
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