Monday, September 4, 2006

Da "U" vs FSU

In what could be a preview of the ACC Championship game, FSU travels to Miami to face the Hurricanes. The Seminoles have not won in Miami since 1998 and Miami is 12-1 vs teams from Florida since 2000 (lone loss coming last season). Both teams have major questions on their offensive lines and the game could be very similar to last season's 10-7 slugfest.

#11 Florida St. @ #12 Miami 8:00 ET ESPN
Line: Mia -3.5 O/U: 39.5

Both of these teams come into this game with similar situations of hoping to bounce back from disappointing seasons a year ago. Miami Head Coach Larry Coker shook up his staff and the offense releasing six assistants. An interesting staf is that 16 of the last 19 contests have been won by the team with more rushing yards.

When FSU has the ball: Bobby Bowden would like to get the running game going early, but with the lack of talent up fromt for FSU and the talent Miami has I do not think Lorenzo Booker will have much success on the ground. Drew Weatherford struggled towards the end of the season last year and will face heavy pressure from the Miami front seven. I expect FSU to try getting the ball out of Weatherford's hands fast with short passes to help negate the pressure he will face. Advantage: Miami

When Miami has the ball: The last time Miami QB Kyle Wright played he was sacked nine times in the Peach Bowl. In the offseason, Miami brought in Rich Olsen to install a new offense. The offensive line returns just one starter, but does bring back some good depth from last season. Charlie Jones and Javarris James (cousin of Edgerrin) will be running the ball due to the suspension of starter Tyrone Moss. Top wideout Ryan Moore is also out and the Canes will play as many as five receivers in this game who combine for just one start last season. Miami will need to get the ball out of Wright's hands quickly, so I expect some WR screens to take advantage of the Canes small, speedy receivers. Advantage: FSU

Special Teams: Kickers have defined this series and last year was no different as a bobbled snap prevented Miami from tying the game late in the 4th quarter. Once again, FSU has questions at kicker. No team has more returns for TD since 1999 than Miami. Advantage: Miami

Coaching: Both coaching staffs have been under the micrscope as of late. Miami brought in six new assistants this year in what is a pivotal year for Coker. Most of the criticism on the Seminole side has been on the offense. Advantage: Even

Intangibles: With a win last season, FSU regained some swagger it had lost in this series after five consecutive defeats. The Miami players should be eager to show their resolve after last season's finish. Also, Coker is on everyone's hot seat despite losing just nine game in sixe seasons. Despite playing the game in the Orange Bowl, FSU fans will have their hands on plenty of tickets. Advantage: FSU

Vegas Considerations:
FSU under Bowden (31st year at FSU)
176-136-2 ATS, 22-17 Road Dog, 40-43-1 ATS last 7 years

Miami under Coker (6th year at Miami)
27-33 ATS, 11-21 Home Fav, 16-21 vsACC

FSU 14 Miami 13 (FSU wins SU, Under Total)

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