South Florida Bulls (3-0, 0-1 ATS) at No. 18 Florida State Seminoles (2-1, 1-2 ATS) Doak Campbell Stadium Saturday September 26th 12:00PM Eastern
By Jay Horne of Predictem.com
Point Spread: South Florida +14/Florida State -14
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The Florida State Seminoles are coming off a big victory over the BYU Cougars last weekend 54-28. The Seminoles blasted the Cougars who were at the time ranked 7th in the country by racking up over 512 yards of total offense. The Seminoles suffered a heart breaking loss in their opener to rival Miami, but have bounced back and will host the South Florida Bulls this Saturday. South Florida is off to a quick 3-0 start even though they have yet to play a quality football team. Even more important, the Bulls lost their most valuable player in quarterback Matt Grothe last week due to a torn ACL injury. The Bulls now face a tall task in attempting hang with the high scoring threat from Florida State considering the offense will now be led by a freshman behind center.
South Florida will likely turn to redshirt freshman B.J Daniels to handle the quarterback position. Daniels stepped in for Grothe last week against Charleston Southern completing 12 of 15 passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns. Daniels was also able to run the ball for 105 yards on just 8 carries as a dual threat behind center. However, things will get much tougher against the Seminoles defense. Also, if anything is to happen to Daniels another freshman will be in the midst to get playing time in Evan Landi. Landi lacks any game time experience so the Bulls are hoping Daniels can go the distance.
South Florida runs a pretty balanced offensive attack. The Bulls like to get their quarterbacks involved in the running game and are averaging 225 yards per game on the ground. The Bulls early success on the ground has them ranked 19th overall in terms of rushing offense. Senior running back Moise Plancher already has 4 touchdowns while having 209 rushing yards on just 38 carries this season. Still, the rushing success is likely to take a step back this week. The Seminoles defense is solid up front and has held opponents to less than 100 yards per game. However, the secondary has been subject to vulnerability meaning Daniels arm could become a focus of attack.
Florida State ran all over BYU in their big win last week. The Seminoles racked up a crazy 313 yards on the ground. Running back Ty Jones reached the century mark for the first time in his career with 108 yards in the victory. Also, quarterback Christian Ponder added to the ground threat picking up 77 yards. Florida State normally is led by a premier passing game, but made things happen last week on the ground. However, do not be surprised when the Seminoles go back to the air this Saturday. Ponder is a solid quarterback who is no stranger to 300 yards performances. The Bulls secondary is not the best of defenses as they are pretty good up front. Considering those circumstances, expect Ponder to be throwing the ball more than running this weekend.
The Florida State defense has really struggled against the pass this season. The Seminoles have given up over 320 yards of passing offense per game this season which is simply horrible. Those numbers are going to really hold the Seminoles back the later the season progresses. However, the Bulls are not the most dynamic of passing teams as they tend to have more success running the football. That type of offensive approach should tend to fair in the hands of Florida State if they can simply stop the run. Especially with Grothe being done, it is unlikely that South Florida puts it all together with Daniels in just 7 days.
Jay’s Pick – I like FSU at -14.