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No.3 FSU hosts No.7 Miami Saturday night

Written by Robert Livingston

Kickoff: Saturday, 8:00 p.m. ET
Line: Florida State -22, Total: 61

No. 7 Miami travels to in-state rival and No. 3 Florida State for a battle between the two undefeated teams in the ACC on Saturday night.

The Seminoles enter this game as the heavy favorite despite playing another top-10 foe, having dismantled everyone in their path this season. They are now 7-0 SU and 5-2 ATS, having won their past three games—including one against then-No. 3 Clemson—by a margin of 169-31. They could be in for another win and cover, as favorites of 21.5 to 31 points are 52-13 ATS (80%) over the past 10 years after scoring 35 or more points against a conference rival. Miami, meanwhile, has stayed undefeated, but is 4-3 ATS, having lost two in a row ATS with narrow wins against North Carolina and Wake Forest. The Hurricanes have typically fared well covering against teams with prolific passing attacks like the Seminoles, going 7-0 ATS over the past three seasons against teams with a completion percentage over 62%. Overall, the Seminoles have beaten Miami three consecutive times, but the Hurricanes have covered in the past two matchups. Every game is big for the Seminoles, who currently sit third in the BCS standings and this is their final regular-season game against a ranked squad.

RB Duke Johnson is the star of the Miami offense, averaging 6.7 YPC for 823 rushing yards and six touchdowns this season. He was on top of his game last week, rushing for 168 yards against Wake Forest, his second game of at least 150 rushing yards in the team’s past three contests. He couldn’t figure out the Seminoles defense last year, however, rushing the ball nine times for only 27 yards. Supplementing him is red-zone back Dallas Crawford, who doesn’t have a gain of longer than 19 yards, but still has nine touchdowns already. Through the air, QB Stephen Morris has been serviceable, but not great. Completing 60% of his passes, he has thrown for 1,463 yards, 10 TD and 8 INT. He went 25-of-43 for 223 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT in last year’s meeting. Miami’s defense has been stout, giving up 17.7 PPG, good for 11th-best in the nation. The ‘Canes yield just 3.7 YPC and allow opponents to complete a pithy 54.2% of their passes, averaging 6.2 yards per passing attempt.

Florida State’s offense ranks third nationally with 52.6 PPG, while its defense places fourth with 13.0 PPG. On the offensive side of the ball, it’s the Jameis Winston show. The freshman signal caller has thrown for 2,177 yards already while completing 70% of his passes, reaching the end zone 23 times through the air while throwing only four picks. He’s also a threat with his legs too, rushing for three more touchdowns. RBs Devonta Freeman (561 rush yards, 6.4 YPC, 6 TD) and Karlos Williams (349 yards, 7.9 YPC, 7 TD) have also been quite effective, forcing opponents to keep guys in the box, which opens up the field for the wide receivers. Freeman found the end zone twice on 10 carries last year against the Hurricanes. Leading the receiving corps has been Rashad Greene, who has a team-high 690 receiving yards on 39 receptions (17.7 avg.) and eight touchdowns. The Seminoles defense is great against the pass and run. They yield just 3.2 YPC on the ground while opposing quarterbacks are completing just 52.2% of their passes against FSU.

Source: Statfox

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