Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Florida State-West Virginia Prediction: Gator Bowl Preview

Florida State Seminoles vs West Virginia Mountaineers
January 1 1PM
Jacksonville, FL

Bobby Bowden will grace the FSU side line for the final time on New Years Day looking across the field at the team he left the Seminoles for, the West Virginia Mountaineers.

FSU comes into their 28th straight bowl trying to avoid their first losing season since 1976, Bowden's first in Tallahassee.
West Virginia has some experience playing in emotional games as they were the first team to play UConn after the death of Jasper Howard. The Mountaineers pulled that game out late in come from behind fashion.

Bill Stewart has surprised me with his ability to keep West Virginia at a fairly high level after Rich Rod left two seasons ago. His Mountaineer club is at 9-3 and had the advantage on paper over the .500 'Noles.

West Virginia is much better at running the ball and stopping the run than FSU. When you can run the ball and the other team can't stop it, it wears on a team mentally and FSU is already mentally worn out with all the controversy surrounding Bowden's exit.

And in terms of similar opponents the Seminoles had a very tough time stopping Georgia Tech who runs a similar offense to West Virginia.

For FSU to pull off the upset, it has to be on pure emotion because they don't match up well on paper. I know the players want to send Bowden out a winner, but with Bowden's forced retirement is he in it enough to inspire his team?

I don't think so.

West Virginia 30 Florida State 23

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