On Saturday, the extremely disappointing Florida State Seminoles travel to Durham, North Carolina where they will take on the Duke Blue Devils in Wallace Wade Stadium at noon. Florida State is 1-3 after falling to Miami last weekend, 24-20. This was a team that began the season ranked No. 3 in the nation, but now are looking to simply look credible after losing three of their first four games of the season. Duke enters this contest 4-2, mired in a two-game losing streak after winning the first two games of the season.
The Seminoles are 0-3-1 against the spread this season but are 5-0 against the spread in their last five games against Duke. They are also 5-0 against the spread playing at Duke over there last five games. Florida State has gone under the total expected in six of their last seven games, including going under in their last five road contests. Duke is 4-2 against the spread this season, including 9-4 over there last 13 games against the spread. They are 6-1 in their last seven home games against the spread. The Blue Devils have gone under in eight of their last 10 games at home.
To say that Florida State has been a disappointing season, may be the understatement of the year. They are simply not getting solid play from their offense, and the loss of quarterback James Blackman has really put this team in an even worse situation. Deondre Francois got the start this past Saturday, and looked solid, throwing for 210 yards and a touchdown, but two interceptions proved to be costly in helping Miami to pull off the four-point victory. He is going to have to be more careful with the ball for Florida State to win this game.
A credible ground attack would really help their young quarterback, but Jacques Patrick and Cam Akers have been solid, but not spectacular. Patrick has 266 yards rushing and a touchdown, while Akers has rushed for 264 yards. Both have impressive yards per carry averages, but only one touchdown on the ground is pathetic four games into the season for a Florida State team that was expected to do great things.
The defense has also been a disappointment for the Seminoles. With eight sacks, two interceptions, and a fumble recovery, they have done very little to help their offense to gain extra possessions or to keep opposing offenses off the field. Matthew Thomas leads the team with two sacks.
DUKE BLUE DEVILS
The Blue Devils were flying high to start the season, winning three non-conference games before defeating North Carolina on September 23. They were then dominated by Miami 31-6, before falling to Virginia last week 28-21. The struggling Florida State Seminoles may be just what the doctor ordered to get Duke back on the winning pathway.
Duke has put together a fairly impressive offense, led by quarterback Daniel Jones. The QB has thrown for 1194 yards and six touchdowns while gaining 208 yards on the ground and three scores. He is smart with the ball but will force things at times, throwing five interceptions this season and completing 54.5 percent of his passes. Florida State simply has to force Jones into making some mistakes if they want to win this game.
That’s going to be a tough thing to do because the Blue Devils have a very impressive ground game as well. Shaun Wilson and Brittain Brown have each rushed for over 400 yards this season, with Wilson running for 440 and Brown for 427. Both have a 5.9 yards per carry average, and Wilson leads the team with five touchdowns.
T.J. Rahming is the big threat in the passing game, making 28 catches for 314 yards.
This is a pretty good Duke defense, which gets a lot of pressure on opposing quarterbacks, forcing mistakes. The Blue Devils have recorded 19 sacks this season, led by Mike Ramsay who has 4.5. Joe Giles-Harris leads the team in tackles with 58, and also has 3.5 sacks, an interception, and five pass defenses. He seems to be everywhere making plays. Byron Fields, Jr. and Mark Gilbert lead the team with three interceptions each.
Seminoles vs. Blue Devils Betting Lines
Florida State his favorite to win this game and that really makes no sense at all. Their young quarterback was not impressive last week, and this is a Duke defense that knows how to force opposing quarterbacks into making mistakes. Not only will Duke cover the spread, but they are going to win this game outright. Expect this to be a low-scoring affair.