This looked like a huge Game ahead of the season, but with how Florida State’s first month has gone, the hype is no longer. The Seminoles may end up fighting to make a bowl Game by season’s end if things don’t turn around. And so, the Hurricanes were -3 point road favorites early in the week at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
While FSU has failed to do many things right, Miami has gotten the job done through its three Games. Most recently, the ‘Canes put in an impressive performance in a dominating 31-6 road win against previously undefeated Duke. If they bring that level of play in every Game, they’ll finish near the top of the standings in the Coastal division, especially with a home Game against Virginia Tech on the Schedule.
Florida State barely got past Miami last year in a 20-19 win, but that was with the help of Deondre Francois and Dalvin Cook. Without those guys, this offense has failed to do anything impressive in a home loss to NC State and then barely getting past Wake Forest last week. Freshman James Blackman has been serviceable under center for the ‘Noles, but he’s clearly inexperienced and not at the same level as Francois. In two Games, he’s completing 55.9% of his passes for a couple touchdowns. As a positive, he hasn’t thrown an interception yet. Still, Florida State will run the ball as much as possible between Jacques Patrick and Cam Akers. So far, that’s been a fine strategy, but isn’t enough to run away from teams.
Miami’s run defense may be a weak link after giving up 183 rushing yards to the Blue Devils last week, so that would be a path for the Seminoles in this one. Of course, if Blackman doesn’t do more than what he’s been doing, running the ball for Four yards per carry probably won’t be enough to win this Game.
On the other side, Florida State’s defense has also been a bit sketchy, similar to last year. They couldn’t stop NC State and then let a mediocre Wake offense stay close on the scoreboard. The ‘Canes don’t have the best offense in the conference, but Malik Rosier has looked good in his three starts, already with eight touchdowns. This is still an offense that wants to build off running back Mark Walton as he already has 403 rushing yards. Yet in the Duke Game, it was mostly Rosier as he threw for 270 yards and ran for 45 more with three total touchdowns.
The last thing FSU wants to do is lose at home to Miami, but the road team is the better side in this matchup and there’s no denying that. It’s going to take a huge effort from the Seminoles on both ends to win this Game and right now it’s too hard to trust Blackman. As three-point road favorites, the Hurricanes are in a good spot for another cover. The Hurricanes are 7-1 ATS in their last eight Games overall, while the Seminoles have covered in their last five following a straight-up win.
Our Pick – Miami -2.5