North Carolina State Wolf Pack (3-3 SU, 2-3-1 ATS) vs. No. 3 Florida State Seminoles (6-0 SU, 5-1 ATS)
College Football Week 9
Date and Time: Saturday October 26th, 2013. 3:30PM Eastern
Where: Doak Campbell Stadium Tallahassee, F.L.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: NCST +28.5/FSU -28.5
Over/Under Total: OFF
Last week the Florida State Seminoles laid down one of
the most impressive performances of the college football season with a 51-14
thrashing over no. 3 Clemson in Death Valley with College GameDay on hand.
Not only was it Florida State’s biggest game of the season, perhaps even
in the Jimbo Fisher era, but it was also the Seminoles most complete performance
as they dominated Clemson in every aspect of the game. The brilliant showing
not only cemented the Noles supremacy in the ACC but it also proved they
are legitimate National Championship contenders. This week the Seminoles
return home to Doak Campbell Stadium to host the North Carolina
State Wolf Pack as they look to stay on the road to Pasadena.
While the public may have already started jumping back on the Seminoles’ bandwagon, Coach Jimbo Fisher still knows that there is a lot of football left. In fact Fisher would be the first to point out that the Seminoles’ opponent this week in North Carolina State derailed their National Championship hopes a year ago in Raleigh with a stunning 17-16 upset. However the North Carolina State team rolling into Tallahassee this Saturday has been struggling heavily in recent weeks. The Wolf Pack are just 1 of 3 teams that has yet to record a conference victory. Even worse, North Carolina State has not scored more than 14 points in any ACC game this season hence the reason they are 0-3 in conference play.
The biggest problem first year coach Dave Doeren is having is getting consistent play at the quarterback position. Junior quarterback Pete Thomas has thrown 8 interceptions already this season including at least one pick in each game thus far. As an alternative the Wolf Pack have had to resort to running the football which they have done fairly well averaging 178 yards per game. North Carolina State’s rushing attack has been a committee approach. Tailbacks Matt Dayes, Shadrach Thorton, and quarterback Pete Thomas have also contributed to the ground efforts. However North Carolina State does not have a single rusher that has over 200 yards on the ground. Therefore the offense does not have that ‘work horse’ to rely on which presents problems when defenses stack the box against the run.
Unfortunately for North Carolina State fans, that predictable style offense is a match-up nightmare for an elite Seminoles defense. The Seminoles have the talent to go man to man on the outside and keep the linebacker core up close to stop the run. The entire Florida State defense proved just how talented they are last week by holding Clemson’s offense to just 7 points before giving up a garbage touchdown in the final seconds of the game. While this may be viewed as a letdown situation for the Seminoles, I think Jimbo Fisher’s defense can keep a lot of pressure on a vulnerable Wolf Pack offense and possibly force a few turnovers to keep this game in control with just a little offensive help.
Speaking of a little offensive help, Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston has provided just that and much more. Winston has quickly become a Heisman Trophy frontrunner in a short time with excellent play behind center. The redshirt freshman has completed 71% passing for 1,885 yards with 20 touchdowns and just 3 picks on the season. Obviously the numbers are extremely impressive but there are a lot of intangibles the numbers do not show such as leadership and poise. I have yet to see the freshman get rattled this season and he appears to get the best out of his teammates every week. Of course the Seminoles have plenty of other weapons in running back DeVonta Freeman, not to mention receivers Rashad Greene and Kenny Shaw. However it is Winston that will keep the offense from having any letdown performances this week and is why Florida State is a real threat for the National Championship this year.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: As stated previously, this is a big match-up problem for North Carolina State and I think the Florida State defense will make things easy as the Seminoles roll big again. Also for those that love trends, the Wolf Pack have failed to cover the spread in 8 of their last 10 games as road dogs. Take Florida State and the points.
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