Friday, December 26, 2008
Florida State vs Wisconsin Preview and Prediction
Champs Sports Bowl
Florida State vs Wisconsin
Saturday 4:30 PM ESPN
Line: FSU -5
The Seminoles and Badgers will meet for the first time ever in the Champs Sports Bowl on Saturday. Both teams had disappointing seasons in 2008, but will look to this game to springboard the 2009 season. FSU and Wisconsin are led by their running games which both average at least 180 ypg on the ground.
Keys to the Game:
1. Size vs Speed on the Lines
Wisconsin's offensive line pushes 320 lbs on average leading the way for two big backs in PJ Hill and John Clay. FSU counters with a fast defensive line led by speed rusher Everett Brown. The Seminoles like to run as well on offense with a smaller, younger offensive line paving the way for Antone Smith and a speedy freshman named Jermaine Thomas. The key for Wisconsin's defense will be to keep FSU's back away from edge while FSU will want to string out Hill and Clay along the line.
2. Rushing Battle
This is an extension of key #1, but running the ball is how both of these teams move the ball. FSU has good WR, but has not found a QB who can consistently deliver the ball. The Noles rotate Christian Ponder and D'Vontrey Richardson and we even had a Drew Weatherford sighting in the Florida, but no one has been able to nail down the job. Wisconsin benched starter Allan Evridge for Dustin Sherer who basically has the same stats, but the Badgers have won more games under Sherer. If one of the defense can force the opposition to throw the ball then they have a big advantage.
Despite both of these teams having disappointing seasons, I think both teams will be excited to play in this game considering the big name cache of their opponent. FSU will have more of a home field advantage playing in Orlando, but Wisconsin travels pretty well also.
Wisconsin has done pretty well in bowl games of late despite being an underdog in many. I think FSU has a clear advantage in talent, but the Noles have been slipping down the stretch while Wisconsin has been surging. I think FSU pulls this one out, but it is a close one.
Florida State 28 Wisconsin 24
Wisconsin Covers +5
Confidence Ranking (of 34): 22
My confidence ranking of the 34 bowl games for a FSU win.
Bowls: 1-0 ATS, 1-0 SU
Season: 32-30-3 ATS, 42-23 SU
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