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Virginia Tech vs. Florida State

Betting Line: Virginia Tech -4


Those who say ACC football is weak haven’t been watching Virginia Tech and Florida State. Both teams have been rock solid in 2010. They will meet this week in the ACC Championship Game. The victor will earn a trip to a BCS Game, while the loser will get only a booby prize of a bowl.

The Seminoles enter this Game after an emphatic 31-7 win over the Florida Gators. The Hokies are a tad better at 10-2 and their latest victim was Virginia whom they defeated 37-7. They haven’t lost since dropping the season opener to Boise State and then losing to FCS foe James Madison. Will HC Jimbo Fisher have his Seminoles in a BCS Game in his first year on the job, or will old salt HC Frank Beamer lead his team to their 4th BCS Game in the last 10 years?

The early line has the Hokies as a 4 point favorite. They are averaging 34.8 PPG and giving up 17.9 PPG. The Seminoles are putting up 31.7 PPG and allowing 17.8 PPG. The Hokies are an incredible 9-2 ATS and have won 9 straight ATS. The Seminoles stand at 6-5 ATS. They were 3-2 on the road this year. Their biggest road victory came against Miami. The Hokies didn’t lose on the road this year, but lost to Boise State on neutral territory. This Game will be played at the home of the Carolina Panthers, the Bank of America Stadium in North Carolina. The Seminoles won the last meeting 30-20 and have won 4 of their last 5 against Virginia Tech.

The Hokies have many offensive weapons. Things start with QB Tyrod Taylor. The senior is an extremely veteran player and has played in many big Games. He’s going to be as cool as a cucumber in the pocket against the Seminoles. That is, when he isn’t leaving it to run up yardage on the ground. The next key cog in the offensive is RB Darren Evans. The junior has 748 yards and 10 TDs this year. Ryan Williams has recently returned at RB after missing a couple of Games. He is a great goal line rusher. David Wilson gives the Hokies a third threat at RB. The sophomore owns 573 yards on 97 carries and 5 TDs. 

Florida State certainly knows how to Scorepoints too. They have slowed down just a tad though. In the first 6 Games they GAined 400+ yards in 5 of them. They have GAined 400+ yards in a Game since then. QB Christian Ponder leads the offense. The senior has 2,038 yards and 10 TDs this year. His last Game saw him pass for 221 yards and 3 TDs against the Gators. Sophomore RB Chris Thompson will be the key to FSU’s offense. It’s up to him to get big yardage on the ground to open up the pass. Ponder could struggle against such a good secondary if he doesn’t.

The Seminoles defense has been hot and cold. They allowed Maryland to rack up 432 yards, but managed to give up just 16 points in that Game. NC State got them for 473 yards and 37 points. They held Clemson to 13 points, and kept Miami to a low 17 points. FSU allows a lot of yards, but it hasn’t been translating to tons of points for their opponent in most cases.

Virginia Tech also excels on the defensive side of the ball. They rank 13th in the nation in Points against at 17.9 PPG. They are good at keeping points off the board, but are giving up big yardage. NC state burned them for 500+ yards and 3 teams have GAined over 400 yards of offense against them this year. The secondary does a great job. They have won the turnover war all but oNCe this year. They have sacked opposing QBs at least 3 times in 6 Games this year.

Statistically, these two rank even across the board in most major categories. Even their yards per points numbers are identical, very good on both sides of the ball. One category where Va Tech has a huge edge is turnover margin as they weigh in with a whopping +17 while Florida State is a +2. That’s significant. Most big Games are decided by a mistake or two.

But oNCe again, we are going to take the points here in a title Game. These two teams are here for a reason. They both know how to win. We have the Game a toss up so getting +4 looms large here in a Game that figures to come down to the wire. Anytime you have a team that you can make a good case for winning straight up and you’re getting points to boot, you have a favorable long term proposition. Florida State +4

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