(5-4, 3-6 ATS)
Florida State Seminoles
(6-3, 5-4 ATS)
One team will probably be eliminated from the chase in the ACC Atlantic Division on Saturday night in a huge game in Tallahassee, as the Florida State Seminoles take on the Clemson Tigers.
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Clemson has won three of its last four games overall, but it just doesn’t feel like this is a team that is deserving of even being considered for a BCS bowl game. The Tigers have played some sloppy, sloppy ball, and the only thing that is keeping them in line right now is the fact that they are playing some solid defense. This unit has only allowed 49 points on this four game run, but the offense hasn’t scored more than 31 points in a game against a team any better than the North Texas Mean Green this season. QB Kyle Parker has struggled, as he has only thrown for 1,530 yards and nine scores against seven INTs and has just a 55.3 completion percentage. Is it time for QB Taj Boyd to get his chance as a full time quarterback? If Parker is really more interested in cashing in as a baseball player with the Colorado Rockies, it might be that time. RB Andre Ellington can’t do it all. He has tried this year, and does have the Tigers within one win of a bowl game this year, as he has 684 rushing yards and 11 TDs.
The Seminoles are coming off of back to back losses to the teams from North Carolina, and they hope that this doesn’t boil over to a problem with all of the Carolina teams. QB Christian Ponder has clearly been playing hurt for most of the season, and his most recent injury is a burst bursa sac in his throwing shoulder. Ponder has only thrown for 1,647 yards and 16 TDs, but he does have a terrific trio of backs to get the ball to. Unlike last year, when it didn’t really seem like anyone was picking up the slack on the ground, this year, RB Chris Thompson, RB Jermaine Thomas, and RB Ty Jones all have at least 425 yards on the turf, and the three have combined for almost 1,500 total yards and a dozen TDs. Defensively, allowing over 400 passing yards last week to QB TJ Yates and the North Carolina Tar Heels was devastating, especially on the heels of the dreadful showing against QB Russell Wilson and the North Carolina State Wolfpack. FSU needs to win out and have the Wolfpack drop another game in conference to win the ACC Atlantic Division to go to its second conference championship game.
This is one the Noles cannot let get away. HC Jimbo Fisher knows that his team is just one bad kick and one fluky fumble away from being 8-1 and ranked in the Top 10 in the country. Clemson is never going to get significantly better than this. The Noles have to make amends this weekend with a big time ‘W’.
College Football Free Pick: Florida State Seminoles -6