Texas State Bobcats (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) vs. No. 10 Florida State Seminoles (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
College Football Week 1
Date/Time: Saturday September 5th, 8:00PM EST
Where: Doak Campbell Stadium Tallahassee, F.L.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: TSU +29/FSU -29
Over/Under Total: 58
The 10th ranked Florida State Seminoles will kick off their season this Saturday when they host the Texas State Bobcats inside Doak Campbell Stadium. The Seminoles, who are two years removed from winning the National Championship and one year removed from an appearance in the inaugural College Football playoffs, are expected to have somewhat of a rebuilding year after losing 11 starters from 2014. Of course Jimbo Fisher and the Seminoles coaching staff has recruited as well as any team in the country, therefore it will be interesting to see just how much rebuilding or perhaps reloading is in store for Florida State in 2015.
The Seminoles will kick off the season as sizeable 29 point favorites over the Bobcats. Last year Florida State became one of the most hated teams in the country. A large part of that may have been for the off the field allegations and troubles that surrounded former star quarterback Jameis Winston. However, the Seminoles kept finding ways to win close games and the hate just grew with each victorious escape. It was not until the playoffs semifinal match with Oregon that Florida State finally met their demise in an embarrassing 59-20 blowout. Looking back it was one impressive season for Jimbo Fisher and staff in a year where they lost a lot of talent from their 2013 National Championship campaign. This year similar circumstances surround the team and it will be interesting to see if Florida State can exceed expectations yet again.
With just 4 starters returning on the offensive side of the ball and nearly an entire offensive line to replace, there is a lot of concerns heading into the year. Junior redshirt quarterback Sean Maguire earned the started nod. Maguire was the only quarterback to step on the field outside of Winston last year. If you remember when Winston was suspended against Clemson, Maguire started that game and struggled significantly throughout most of the contest completing 53% passing with 1 score and 2 picks. In fact if it were not for Clemsons own mishaps, the Seminoles Cinderella season would have ended in mid-September. Obviously Maguire has had another full off-season to prepare but it is safe to say that the quarterback position will be downgraded in 2015.
As a result, it will be interesting to see if the Seminoles rely more on their running attack which was their bread and butter during the beginning years of the Jimbo era. Running back Dalvin Cook appears to have his legal issues under control which caused him to miss the first few weeks of practice. Despite the setback, Cook should be a full go on Saturday and the returning 1,000 yard rusher is likely to be a huge factor for the offense this season. Outside of the offensive concerns, the Seminoles return a good amount of talent on the defensive side of the football and should be one of the better groups in the ACC.
The Seminoles defense had some troubles getting off the field last year which was a big reason they were in so many close games. Texas State, while clearly outmatched in the talent department, does have some experience on the offensive side of the ball that could give the Seminoles a nice little challenge in their first matchup. The Bobcats offense has a pretty solid passer in duel threat in quarterback Tyler Jones and a solid running attack which will be led by running back Robert Lowe along with Jones. Texas State reached their highest win total of the Dennis Franchione era last year with a 7-5 mark and they have trended upwards on offense every year. With more returning talent, expect good things from Texas State in the Sun Belt yet again.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Unfortunately for the Bobcats, this is not the Sun Belt which basically wipes out any threat of a upset. Florida State replaces starters with 5 star talent and will have the upper hand in every aspect of the field. However, I do not think that Florida States offense is going to be that spectacular especially early in the season. Expect some growing pains as the Bobcats cover the spread. Take Texas State +29
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