MIAMI HURRICANES (3-0)
at FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES (1-2)
Doak Campbell Stadium – Tallahassee, FL
Kickoff: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET
Line: Miami -3.0, Total: 46.0
Florida State will be hoping to upset #13 Miami when the teams meet in Tallahassee on Saturday.
It’s not very often that you’ll see a Miami-Florida State matchup like the one coming up this Saturday. Miami will actually be entering this game as the lone ranked team, and the Hurricanes definitely deserve that distinction. They have two solid victories this season, as Miami beat Toledo 52-30 as a 13.5-point home favorite in the team’s second game of the year and then beat Duke 31-6 as a five-point road favorite last week. Duke was undefeated at the time, so it really was a convincing victory. Florida State, meanwhile, was dominated by Alabama in the season opener, as the Seminoles lost 24-7 as 7.5-point underdogs in that one. They also followed that loss up with a 27-21 loss as 11-point road favorites against NC State. The team did, however, have a pretty good excuse. The Seminoles lost QB Deondre Francois for the season early on, and he was really expected to be leaned on offensively this year. Florida State has needed to adjust on the fly and the team actually looked a lot better in a 26-19 road victory over Wake Forest last week. The Seminoles should be feeling good about what they were able to do, but that’s not the only reason they’ll be confident. Florida State has absolutely dominated this head-to-head series in recent years, as the team has won seven straight over Miami. The Seminoles have also covered in four of those seven. One trend that works in the Hurricanes’ favor is the fact that they are 8-0 ATS after a win by 17 or more points over the past two seasons. The Seminoles, meanwhile, are 23-9 ATS when the line is +3 to -3 since 1992.
The Hurricanes are coming off of an impressive road victory over the Blue Devils last week and they’ll now do what they can to snap their losing streak against the Seminoles here. If Miami is going to find a way to win this game then RB Mark Walton (403 yards, 3 TD) will need to play at a very high level. Walton has dealt with a few injuries over the past few weeks and he’ll need to be healthy in this one. When Walton has been on the field, he has run the ball extremely well. He’s averaging 9.2 yards per carry on the year and the Hurricanes will do whatever they can to get him into the open field in this one. As for the passing game, QB Malik Rosier (820 yards, 8 TD, 2 INT) is going to need to make some plays in this game. Rosier is coming off of a solid performance against Duke last week, as he threw for 270 yards with two touchdowns and also rushed for 45 yards and a score. If he can use his legs to make a few plays then it will keep the Seminoles on their heels. It’s just important that Rosier finds a way to take care of the football in this one. He has thrown a pick in two straight games and any interceptions against this Florida State team can be dooming. On defense, the Hurricanes’ main focus will need to be avoiding the big play. Florida State likes to take deep shots and can swing the momentum by landing just one.
The Seminoles got their first win of the week against Wake Forest last Saturday, so this team should be feeling pretty good right now. Florida State was dealt a difficult hand with Francois being out for the season, but the team should now be ready to rally around QB James Blackman (399 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT). Blackman threw for just 121 yards with a touchdown against Wake Forest, but he had a beautiful game-winning deepball in that one. He could really take off now that he has found some type of success within this offense. Another guy that is playing well for the Seminoles heading into this game is RB Jacques Patrick (175 yards, 1 TD). Patrick had 120 yards and a touchdown on only 19 carries against the Demon Deacons last week. He’ll get the ball plenty against Miami, but that’s only if he does a lot with his touches here. If he doesn’t then freshman RB Cam Akers (143 yards) just might steal his job. Akers was one of the most highly touted recruits in his class and has all of the talent in the world. He is insanely explosive out of the backfield and the Seminoles will want to give him a chance to make plays. As for the defense, stopping the run needs to be the first priority. If Walton runs wild then Miami will definitely win here.