The Miami Hurricanes and Florida State Seminoles have played for high stakes on many occasions over the past 30 years in college football. The two teams will both take the field this Saturday without a loss, and they’ll both be ranked in the top 10. It will in some ways feel as though this is a journey back in time to the good old days of college football, but it’s just as reasonable to think that Miami has to show more quality before getting too excited about this specific reincarnation of one of college football’s best rivalries.
Miami Hurricanes @ Florida State Seminoles
Saturday, November 2nd – 8:00 PM ET
Doak Campbell Stadium – Tallahassee, FL
NCAA Football Odds: Florida State -21.5
Why The Hurricanes Can Cover The Spread:
Their defense can stay on the field, make plays, and carry a big workload. The Hurricanes were outgained by the Florida Gators in week two of the season, but the defense was regularly able to get the job done in the red zone, turning away Florida’s offense by getting a turnover and applying more pressure on Gator quarterback Jeff Driskel. Miami’s defense kept the Hurricanes in each of the team’s last two games, a pair of narrow wins against North Carolina and Wake Forest. It’s true that Florida State poses a challenge that Miami has not really seen to this point in the season. Yet, if the Hurricanes can start well on defense and confuse Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, who – one must remember – is still a freshman, Miami could establish the right pattern for this game, planting seeds of doubt in the mind of Florida State’s most important player. If the Hurricanes can bother Winston and disrupt his sense of timing as a passer and a reader of defensive alignments, they can create a game in which Winston will commit three or four turnovers, and that’s Miami’s path to victory in this game. Winston has been excellent this year, but he only needs to play one horrible game for Miami to take advantage on the football lines and spring the biggest upset in the college football season.
Why The Seminoles Can Cover The Spread:
They are the much better team. Florida State faced a very, very good Clemson team on the road a few weeks ago and throttled it by 37 points, moving the ball up and down the field with ease while not conceding a play of more than 20 yards to Clemson’s offense. The Seminoles are supremely talented at all 22 positions on the field. Their quarterback is a Heisman Trophy candidate, one of the two players at the forefront of the conversation for the award. Their secondary has been suffocating, and with Miami quarterback Stephen Morris laboring through each and every game, the Seminoles are in position to gobble up a lot of turnovers against the UM passing attack.
This game comes down to Florida State’s ownership of the trenches. Is Miami really good enough to hang with the Seminoles on a physical level? It’s possible, but it’s definitely not likely. There’s really no area of play in which Miami can outperform FSU or find a weakness it can exploit. This game will be ugly before too long and FSU will cover the football spread rather easily.
Pick: Florida State -21.5