Miami bounced back from their crushing defeat to Virginia quite nicely a week ago, as they rolled the hapless Duke Blue Devils at home. Now they take their act on the road to bitter rival Florida State, a team that has won four straight, and have shown no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
When: Saturday, 3:30 PM EST
Where: Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, FL
LINE: -8.5 (Florida State), O/U 50.5
Jacory Harris had probably his best game all season long a week ago against the Blue Devils. Yeah, he completed 14 of 20 passes, something he can routinely do. Sure, he threw for three touchdowns. Not the first time, and probably won’t be the last either. The main sticking point here is that he did not throw an interception.
Putting the ball in the hands of the opposition’s secondary has been Harris’ Achilles heel all career long. He has never been able to avoid throwing them for a long period of time. If his is able to keep that type of performance going, the Miami Hurricane is very capable of beating this Florida State team on Saturday.
Then you have the always steady Lamar Miller. He is having an outstanding year for what has been a mediocre team. He continued his good play with a 147 rushing yards performance this past weekend and was able to add two more touchdowns, bringing his season total to eight. He has now surpassed the 1,000 yard mark already this season, which puts him into the top 15 in the country.
All of this being said, Miami has still been a very below average team this year. They have struggled both offensively and defensively all season posting just five wins this season.
They are ranked 67th in passing yards per game, and are barely able to sneak into the top half of the country in rushing yards, ranking a middling 59th overall.
The defense isn’t any better, coming in at 81st in rushing defense. It does get a little brighter in the secondary and passing defense as a whole. They rank 38th, and will need to use that to slow down Florida State’s main weapon–junior quarterback EJ Manuel..
Manuel fuels a Seminoles’ passing game that ranks in the top 20 nationally.
He has thrown for a touchdown in all but one game he has played in this season. The downside is that he is also very prone to throwing interceptions. Turning over one in all but two of his games this season. He has a 14 to 8 touchdown to interception ratio overall. Not the greatest for a guy that is relied upon as heavily as he is.
While FSU does struggle to run the ball, the fact that Miami’s run defense is so porous, may cancel out entirely. The big thing to keep an eye on here, is whether or not Miami will be able to move the ball against this stout Seminole defense.
They are one of the top five defenses in the country in terms of yards per game. They are also in the top 10 in terms of points allowed per game. So this will be a major test for a Miami.
Matt’s Prediction: Florida State 17, Miami 13 –This could be a fantastic game if Miami’s offense decides to show up. If they don’t, Florida State could win this one big. The fact that it is in Tallahassee gives the Noles’ another advantage. However, I do expect this one will be tightly contested.