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Florida State Takes on South Florida

Grothe Out - Noles Favored by 14

9/26/09

Florida State takes on in State rival South Florida this weekend in a game that has the Noles Favored by two touchdowns at most sportsbooks. The game opened up at -12.5 at bookmaker.com, the first to post the lines each week and was quickly bet up to -14 largely due to star QB Matt Grothe being sidelines. The big question for bettors is, which Florida State team will show up? The one that blasted BYU or the one that struggles against Jackson State?

What a crazy year it has been for the Florida State Seminoles. They opened the year with a tough loss to Miami on Labor Day. Both teams played extremely well in that game, and if Florida State used better clock management its very possible they would have pulled out the victory. Then they go up against Jackson State and had to score twice in the last 35 seconds to win 19-9 which would have been the most embarrassing loss in score history. Then BYU and their 18 game win streak and BCS hopes and Florida State went from the outhouse to the penthouse beating BYU 54-28 and established themselves as an ACC title contender again.

So which team is the real Florida State Seminoles? We will get a better idea of that after this weekend’s game against South Florida. South Florida is coming into Tallahassee 3-0, but all three wins were against overmatched competition. They are about to get the acid test this weekend when they take on the Seminoles, but unfortunately for the Bulls they will have to play without the Big East’s all time career leader in total offense Matt Grothe. Grothe tore his ACL in South Florida’s win over Charleston Southern. His replacement is Tallahassee native B.J. Daniels. Daniels was impressive against Charleston Southern going 10 for 13 for 149 yards and 1 TD and rushed for 105 yards and 2 TDs. South Florida is going to need that same kind of production from Daniels this weekend against the Noles if they want to leave town with the victory.



FLORIDA STATES KEY TO VICTORY


This Florida State team and how much success they are able to achieve all depends on their QB Christian Ponder. In most games this season his play will be the key to victory, but in my opinion it will depend on something else. I think Florida State’s defense will play the biggest roll in a Florida State victory. Florida State defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews has already said this is his fastest defense he has ever coached which says a lot. South Florida’s back up QB B.J. Daniels had a big game statistically in his last game and all of South Florida’s hopes of a victory depend on his play at QB. You can bet that Mickey Andrews plans to get after this Freshman QB early and often and put him into bad situations. If that happens South Florida will be up against in all night.



SOUTH FLORIDA’S KEY TO VICTORY


South Florida’s dreams for this season took a big hit when their QB and leader Matt Grothe tore his ACL last game. Matt Grothe is the Big East all time leader in total offense, so there is no way they are going to be able to replace him, but Freshman back up B.J. Daniels came in and did a good job leading South Florida when Grothe went down. Once again this week Daniels will be asked to lead this South Florida team, but luckily he will have some help in the running game. South Florida is averaging 225 yards a game on the ground and with Daniels also being a threat to tuck and run I expect them to continue to work the running game and try to control time of possession. If South Florida can keep from turning the ball over and put their freshmen QB from bad situations through establishing the run South Florida will have a chance to pull the upset.



THE FINAL VERDICT

This Florida State team has been inconsistent, but when they are in rhythm they can compete against any team in the country. Christian Ponder is becoming one of the better QB’s in the country and you know Florida State will always have playmakers on the offensive side of the ball. Throw in the fact that Mickey Andrews called this his fastest defense ever I am afraid South Florida and their Freshmen QB B.J. Daniels will be up against it Saturday and I expect FSU to show that they are a legit ACC title contender, and that there win over BYU was not a fluke. Florida State -14

 

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