coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
On 10/27/2013 08:15 AM in NCAA Football

Miami Hurricanes at Florida State Seminoles: Preview and Pick

Miami Hurricanes at Florida State Seminoles: Preview and Pick

There is one game that stands out above the rest heading into week ten of the college football season. That game is the ACC throw down between the Miami Hurricanes and the Florida State Seminoles. The Canes will hit the road looking for the victory and some respect after the near loss to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. The Seminoles are cruising right along and realize that the Canes are just their next hurdle on their way to the National Championship game. A win here for Miami would propel them up the college football rankings.

Miami Hurricanes at Florida State Seminoles Odds

The college football odds for this game will favor the Seminoles since this game is in Tallahassee. The Seminoles may get even more action after the college football fan bases watched the lackluster performance by the Canes against Wake Forest, but that was obviously a look ahead game as the Canes have had this game circles all season long.

While the Canes had some letdown, the Seminoles did not. The Seminoles, just one week after further distancing themselves from the rest of the ACC with a convincing road win against then-No. 3 Clemson gave the conference exactly what it needed in Week 9, a chest-bumping, spear-throwing, old school national title contender that can win it all. Florida State looked no different in its 51-14 dismantling of Clemson last week than it did in its 49-17 win over unranked NC State on Saturday, and that’s what’s different about the Seminoles this year. The Canes will see it firsthand this weekend.

The college football betting trends for this game reveal just how good both of these teams are. Miami is 8-0-1 straight up in its last 9 games overall and 4-2 straight up in its last 6 games on the road. However it should be noted that Miami is 1-4 straight up in its last 5 games when playing Florida State, but they do play better when the game is at Tallahassee. Florida State is 8-0-1 straight up in its last 9 games overall and 11-1-1 straight up in its last 13 games at home. This game is expected to be highs coring as the total has gone over in 6 of Miami's last 8 games on the road and over in 4 of Miami's last 6 games when playing Florida State.

Miami Hurricanes at Florida State Seminoles Pick

With plenty of time before kickoff we will wait for more information to come in before we select a side on this contest. Make sure to check back on the day of the game to see who we select as our winner for this big game.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/28/2013 02:27 PM

Don't expect the Florida State-Miami football rivalry to ruffle Hurricanes coach Al Golden.

"I am not worried about the magnitude of games or anything like that," Golden said during his Sunday teleconference with the media. "I plan on being here for a long time and facing a lot of these games."

Golden has thick skin for a good reason. He has navigated the undefeated and seventh-ranked Hurricanes (7-0) successfully through troubled waters since his arrival three years ago.

Last Tuesday, the NCAA released its long-awaited sanctions against UM, docking the Hurricanes' football program nine scholarships over the next three years but allowing it to play in bowl games.

Golden called last week an emotional roller coaster, and the Hurricanes punctuated it with a thrilling 24-21 comeback win over visiting Wake Forest on Saturday.

Third-ranked FSU (7-0) did its part with a 49-17 win over visiting North Carolina State, setting the stage for Saturday's mega-matchup between the state rivals at Doak Campbell Stadium at 8 p.m.

Pardon Golden is he's not caught up in any pregame hype. Or that his team is a three-touchdown underdog. Or that it's the second meeting of ACC teams ranked in the top-10 in three weeks.

"They are all big now because when you winning, all the game are significant," Golden said.

"I think the stakes get higher as you climb the ladder for sure and there's not much for error now certainly as we are closing in on November. We have to trust the process, take our training to the game and (have) everybody do their job and block everything else out."

Golden, of course, admitted his team faces a stern challenge from the Seminoles.

FSU has proven to be the best team in the ACC and are in the mix to play for the BCS title. Quarterback Jameis Winston has staked his claim in the Heisman Trophy race as well.

"There's no question we've seen them and we know how talented they are," said Golden, whose team has won four of the past six games played in Doak Campbell Stadium.

"They are an extremely talented team led by an excellent quarterback right now. They are not beating themselves, they are explosive and they will make you pay for any mistake that you make. Clearly, that's why they ranked where they are and that's why they are playing at the type of level they are playing at."

Golden also knows the importance of a good start against FSU.

UM's win over Wake Forest marked the third straight game in which the Hurricanes had to overcome a double-digit deficit – becoming the first FBS team to do that in a season since 2007.

And it was also the second straight game in which they scored the game-winning touchdown in the final minute.

The Hurricanes couldn’t do much early. They had the football a mere 1:38 in the first quarter against Demon Deacons and trailed 7-0. On the flip side, FSU led the Wolfpack 35-0 in the first quarter and set a school record for seven consecutive games scoring 40-plus points.

"We know the challenge we are facing in Tallahassee this weekend," Golden said.

"It's an excellent football team, really in all three phases, led by maybe the premier quarterback in the country. Plus, the environment, it's going to be a great challenge. That's going to take all of our effort."

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/28/2013 02:29 PM

There are definitely three things that Florida State and Miami have in common right now.

Both are 7-0.

Both are among the nation's top 10 teams.

Both are not being forthcoming about their disdain for the other side.

The third-ranked Seminoles will play host to the seventh-ranked Hurricanes in Tallahassee, Fla. on Saturday night, in a matchup with national championship implications and one that — at least statistically — could be considered one of the most significant in the history of the storied rivalry. Barring season-openers, this will be only the ninth time that Florida State and Miami have met with both sides unbeaten.

"It's just another game," Miami receiver Stacy Coley said.

No, it's not.

"We're going to prepare the same," Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston said.

No, they won't.

The politically correct comments — so far, anyway — of the players involved notwithstanding, this is one of those games that will be overhyped when there's no need for hype. They have waged some of college football's all-time classic games, with upsets and blowouts and Wide Rights and Wide Lefts and dozens of eventual NFL players all involved in the rivalry, which has been somewhat one-sided in recent years.

Florida State has won the last three meetings by a combined 101-56 score, and oddsmakers Sunday set the Seminoles as early 21-point favorites — a massive number against a ranked opponent, say nothing of that opponent being a seventh-ranked rival that's still unbeaten past the midpoint of the season.

"Just need to keep marching on," Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said. "Another great opportunity next weekend."

Florida State rolled past North Carolina State this weekend 49-17, while Miami needed two fourth-quarter touchdowns from Duke Johnson to rally past Wake Forest 24-21. The Seminoles' numbers have been staggering of late, winning their last three games by 63, 37 and 32 points, respectively. Miami, meanwhile, has trailed by double-digits in each of its last three games before rallying every time.

Style points? Florida State has the clear edge.

Then again, in this series, stats never seem to matter that much anyway.

"I mean, it's why you come to UM," a grinning Hurricanes linebacker Denzel Perryman said, after being begged on Saturday to say something — anything — about the Seminoles, when it was clear that many of his teammates weren't willing to go down that path immediately following the win over Wake Forest. "It's a lot of fun. You're competing with guys you played against in high school and Pop Warner, so it's a lot of fun."

Up in Tallahassee, players seemed to be a little freer with the fire-stoking words after the North Carolina State game.

"Miami, we're definitely going to be ready for them and we're going to prepare well," Seminoles safety Terrence Brooks said. "I can't wait. It's going to be a big stage and that's what we all want."

Oh, it'll be a big stage, all right.

A sellout crowd is expected. Hotel rooms are booked solid for about 100 miles in every direction, and some of the ones that were available were going for around $500 a night — about twice the usual rate for a Seminole home weekend. And even though just about every football game is televised these days, it's still a big deal for players to know that they'll be on network TV in prime time.

"That's what I came here for ... just the big games and the big-game atmosphere, playing football for Florida State," said Winston, the Seminoles' brilliant redshirt freshman who not only has his team in the national-title mix but has placed himself squarely in the Heisman Trophy conversation.

At Miami, coach Al Golden always talks about things like winning the week, keeping a bunker mentality, blocking out the external attention and remembering the process.

But even he knows that in a week like this, copious amounts of emotion will certainly enter the equation.

"I don't think there's any question we have to invest in this game emotionally," Golden said. "I just think as coaches we don't have to do as much this week, because it kind of sets itself up. ... The rivalry, it stands by itself, to be honest with you."

And to think, this might be the first of two meetings this season.

Win or lose this coming weekend, Florida State and Miami will still be on track for trips to the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game.

"They're going to come with it," Winston said. "And we've got to come with it, too."

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/29/2013 02:27 PM

Miami must know how Rodney Dangerfield felt. They are getting no respect.

The Canes have had a rough 28 months with the NCAA sanctions looming heavy over their heads and with recruits opting to go elsewhere, but with a 7-0 record and a 3-0 record in the ACC, the Canes are a 21-point underdog against the Florida State Seminoles this weekend in Tallahassee. The lack of respect is unacceptable. It is time for Miami to win this game outright and reclaim its perch in the top five of the BCS Standings and stake its claim for the right to play for the national title.

"This is the greatest challenge that we have seen all season. We have to invest in this game emotionally, and we will," Miami coach Al Golden said on Sunday. "The rivalry speaks for itself."

Miami is no stranger to big games. At last count, the Canes have won five national football championships and have played in countless games that had significant relevance. Never have they been shown such disrespect as a top-ten ranked team playing in a game that had so much on the line.

Golden has never been one to look at polls or to look at point spreads. That is up to the sports writers and the fans. Golden might have his thoughts on the subject matter, but he will never reveal them publicly.

Golden also added, "I'm not worried about the magnitude of games or anything like that. I plan on being here a long time and facing a lot of these games.

"The stakes get higher as you climb the ladder," Golden said. "There is no more margin for error."

That adage has proven correct as the computer models did not move an undefeated Miami team up in the polls, despite Missouri losing to South Carolina this weekend. There apparently is not a lot of style points in Miami's come from behind win over Wake.

The coach also added on Twitter on Monday, "When I was growing up, and when you start coaching, this is what you dream about." Time to make this dream a reality and make Al Golden a national champion when all is said and done. No one deserves it more. With all of the good will and confidence that he has shown this program in staying here when the lights were flickering, what better "feel good" story would there be in college football than to see Coach Golden win it all.

It is time for Miami to show the country that Hurricane football is back. It is time to wrap up the state title and win the last game against a team from the state of Florida. After defeating FAU, Florida and USF, Florida State would be the final jewel in the crown en route to an ACC or even possible, national, championship.

"We're just trying to work our tails off," Golden said. "This is the greatest challenge that we have seen all season. They are led by the premier quarterback in the country."

Stephen Morris must put his ankle issues aside and show the country that he is the same quarterback that was mentioned as a pre-season Heisman candidate. Before anyone heard of Jameis Winston, Morris was busy showing that he is relevant and that he is the master of the ACC. He must reclaim his position. He must show that he can air the football out and become the same passer that was the MVP at the Manning Passing Academy. Despite having lost Philip Dorsett to injury, he still has Allan Hurns, Stacey Coley and Herb Waters to throw the deep ball to. He needs to show that he can throw the seam route to Clive Walford and continue to let him make big plays.

Morris is ready to go back to Tallahassee and fight for a Hurricane victory.

"As a competitor, you want to win games," Morris said. "We're 7-0 and that is our mentality. We'll be ready."

Golden wanted to establish the run against Wake Forest and they did that with The Duke. Duke Johnson led Miami with 169 yards on 30 carries. The talented sophomore has the ability to put the team on his back, as he did on Saturday, and will this team to victory. When he needs a rest, Dallas Crawford and his team leading ten touchdowns can come in and spell Johnson and pick up valuable first downs. The Noles need to prepare for two ticking time bombs that can score from any space on the field. FSU has not seen a tandem like this this season and they will have their work cut out for them.

This game could come down to the kicking game once again. Everyone remembers "Wide Left" and "Wide Right". One of these games could be labeled "Down the Middle". UM place kicker Matt Goudis did miss kicks in his last two games. He needs to make a few early in the game to get his confidence to new levels. Golden, meanwhile, has nothing but confidence in his kicker.

"We just have to make sure that he follows through when he kicks the ball," Golden said. "He's been excellent in practice. He just has to move forward. I have not lost any confidence in him."

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/29/2013 02:28 PM

Miami and Florida State both are undefeated and ranked in the top 10 heading into their meeting this weekend, but the game may not be as close as the rankings imply. The odds are running heavily against the Hurricanes, in fact -- they are a three-touchdown underdog, which is a historic margin under the circumstances.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/30/2013 11:30 AM

A top 10 showdown is on tap in Tallahassee this weekend, as third- ranked Florida State takes aim at the seventh-ranked Miami Hurricanes in ACC action at Doak Campbell Stadium.

The defending ACC champions sit in the driver's seat in the Atlantic Division, as they have run the table thus far, sitting at 7-0 overall and 5-0 in conference play. Jimbo Fisher's squad has made light work of just about every opponent on the schedule thus far, including a 49-17 rout of NC State last weekend. With the victory, FSU has now won 11 straight conference games and is 7-0 for the first time since 1999.

Al Golden's Hurricanes are in a similar situation, sitting atop the Coastal Division with a record of 7-0, including a 3-0 mark in-conference. Miami's wins haven't all been flashy, but most have been exciting, including last week's come-from-behind victory over a tough Wake Forest squad, 24-21. It marked the fifth time under Golden that the Hurricanes needed to score in the final minute of regulation to win a game.

Miami leads this Sunshine State series by a count of 31-26. However, Florida State has closed the gap a bit with wins in each of the last three meetings and six of the last eight overall.

Miami is averaging just under 40 points per game (39.6) and has shown great balance, averaging 214.7 yards per game rushing and 269.6 yards passing.

The ground game is fueled by standout tailback Duke Johnson, who is averaging 117.6 yards per game, leading the team with 823 yards and six touchdowns. Dallas Crawford has shown the ability to be effective in spurts as well, with a team-high nine rushing scores.

Quarterback Stephen Morris has played well for the most part, but has had moments of inconsistency, completing 59.9 percent of his passes, for 1,463 yards, with 10 touchdowns against eight interceptions. Morris has dealt with some health issues of late, but Golden thinks he will be ready to go on Saturday.

"He looked better. He has been looking better. I fully expect him to be with clean bill of health by Saturday. He looked markedly better today. I'm excited about him."

Wideout Allen Hurns is the top target in the passing game, with 28 catches, for 506 yards and two TDs.

Athleticism abounds on the defensive side of the football for Miami, which limits foes to just 17.7 ppg and 342.3 yards per game. In addition, the team has disrupted opposing passing games, with 22 sacks on the season.

Linebackers Denzel Perryman (52 tackles) and Jimmy Gaines (42 tackles) pace the unit in stops. Defensive ends Shayon Green (31 tackles, team-high 7.5 TFL, 3.0 sacks) and Anthony Chickillo (24 tackles, 5.5 TFL, 3.0 sacks) have been productive up front.

If Miami's offense is good, then Florida State's is great. That was on display against NC State, as FSU racked up 566 yards, leading to 49 points. It marked the seventh time in as many games this year that the team has scored over 40 points. Overall, Florida State ranks third nationally in scoring (52.6 ppg) and fourth in total offense (553.7 ypg). The offensive line for FSU is arguably the nation's best, with at least four starters playing at an All- American level.

It has certainly helped redshirt freshman quarterback Jameis Winston become a real Heisman favorite. Despite his lack of experience, the game is not too big for Winston, who has looked the part of a savvy signal caller, completing just under 70 percent of his passes, for 2,177 yards with 23 TD passes and a mere four interceptions. He has also accounted for three rushing scores.

It has definitely helped to have a deep and reliable receiving corps at his disposal, led by Rashad Greene (39 catches, 690 yards, 8 TDs), Kenny Shaw (31 catches, 574 yards, 3 TDs), Kelvin Benjamin (23 catches, 430 yards, 5 TDs) and Nick O'Leary (17 catches, 307 yards, 6 TDs).

The ground game also boasts of multiple threats, headlined by tailbacks Devonta Freeman (561 yards, 6.4 ypc, 6 TDs) and Karlos Williams (349 yards, 7.9 ypc, 7 TDs).

The Seminoles are chock full of talent on the defensive side of the football as well and it has shown game-in and game-out. Florida State ranks fourth nationally in scoring defense (13.0 ppg), first in pass defense (153.7 ypg) and eighth in total defense (289.4 ypg).

Star power on the FSU defense comes in the form of linebacker Telvin Smith (49 tackles, 5.0 TFL, one sack, one INT, one fumble recovery) and cornerback Lamarcus Joyner (37 tackles, 4.0 TFL, 3.0 sacks, one INT and three fumble recoveries), both of which may garner All-American status at the end of the season.

Joyner's versatility is key to what Fisher does defensively.

"Lamarcus is a natural corner," Fisher said. "He can be a safety, which is great. But him as a nickel, a nickel is everything. It's a safety, it's a linebacker, it's a corner, you can play man-to-man against the Sammy Watkins' of the world in the slot. You can blitz, you can cover. He's a naturally instinctive football player."

Despite the convincing win over the Wolfpack, Florida State fell to third in the BCS rankings. Another big win here should propel the Seminoles back into the second spot over idle Oregon. The Hurricanes won't make it easy on the hometown Seminoles, but FSU, behind the play of Winston once again, should stay unbeaten and take one step closer to another conference crown.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/31/2013 03:06 PM

Miami and Florida State have returned to the Top 10, a home from a bygone era that continues to influence both programs still today.

Because the natural question before us headed into their showdown Saturday is one that has trailed both programs for close to 10 years now:

Are the Hurricanes and Seminoles back?

Furthermore, what does it even mean to be back?

College football has waited on their return to prominence after a dominating 20-year stretch that put both programs on the national map. Twelve times between 1987 and 2004, Miami and Florida State met as Top 10 teams -- including a whopping seven consecutive meetings. National championship implications became the norm, not the exception. The programs combined to win six national titles in that time span and played for six others.

Both set standards that today seem unsustainable. College football has changed since Miami and Florida State rose in the mid-1980s. Their recruiting territory is no longer truly theirs; neither is their philosophy to win with athletes and speed. Everybody else has caught up to the once-trailblazing programs.

Since 2004, Miami and Florida State have combined to play in one BCS game. Miami has won zero conference titles. Florida State has won two. Yet every year, thanks to the weight of history, the inevitable question has been asked of one program. Sometimes both.

Are you back yet?

So seeing both unbeaten this late in the season, ranked in the Top 10, with national title implications again on the line has revived the irresistible notion that both are, indeed, back. But neither side believes as much. Not when their recent history speaks more to unmet expectations than championship rings.

“Honestly, I wouldn’t say we’re back because we’re not the past,” Miami tight end Clive Walford said. “I have a lot of respect for what happened in the past, but we’re trying to build our own new legacy. We’re a whole new team, with a different mindset. And we’re just trying to win every game, that’s all.”

To be sure, the Miami of today is a distant cousin to the Miami of yesteryear. They have the same name, but they bear little resemblance. What Walford says is true. This Miami team is not the past. There are no larger than life personalities. There are no household names. There are no All-Americans. There are no swaggering, trash-talking, in-your-face, we-don’t-care-what-you-think players roaming that sideline.

All those qualities that made the U one of the most despised teams outside South Florida? This team embodies none of them. Not one quote has made a bulletin board in Tallahassee. When given the opportunity to talk some smack, Miami players have politely declined and given clichéd quotes about this being just another game. Do the Canes feel disrespected knowing they are 21-point underdogs? This is as close to an inflammatory quote as you will get.

“It doesn’t really matter about whether someone respects us or not,” Miami running back Duke Johnson said. “We don’t care. We’re just here to play football and do it the way we’re being taught to.”

All of this is by design, the way Miami coach Al Golden wants it. He has his players believing in “the process,” so much so that a week generally filled with friendly back-and-forth has been doused with cold water.

In this way, Miami might never be back. But it does not have to embody an old persona to win championships. That is the key, of course. Miami has not won championships recently. Then, and only then, can Miami begin taking steps on the road back.

Quarterback Stephen Morris is not toeing a line when he says, “When you bring up the term back, our biggest thing is let’s talk about that at the end of the season.”

Florida State is closer than Miami is given what it has done over the last two seasons. The Noles won the ACC last season and went to a BCS game. They are No. 3 and more closely resemble the Florida State teams of the past -- with a dynamic quarterback in the Heisman race and NFL talent up and down its roster. But there remain skeptics who are not quite sold. Not until they see the Noles put a complete season together, and then stack them on top one by one, the way they used to.

"Is Florida State back on a national stage? Right now we are," Florida State cornerback Lamarcus Joyner said. "Like they were in the ‘90s and late ‘80s, I guess we’re doing the same things those guys were able to do. But as far as being back? What’s in the past is in the past. We just have the responsibility of carrying the respect, the tradition and the legacy around here.”

There is no question both teams are trying to forge their own identities, and their own legacies. Whether or not their rise back up continues, the past can never truly be in the past for Miami or Florida State.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
11/01/2013 03:53 PM

Here are three key matchups to watch in Saturday's contest between No. 3 FSU (7-0, 5-0 ACC) and No. 7 Miami (7-0, 3-0 ACC).

1. FSU defensive line vs. Miami offensive line

This is the matchup that every FSU defensive player has been talking about this week. As CB Lamarcus Joyner said, football is played in the trenches. FSU lost sight of that a month ago against Boston College, but has dominated in that category the past several games.

Miami has a massive offensive line, one FSU DL Timmy Jernigan calls one of the best in the country. The Hurricanes average 318 pounds per starting lineman and have paved the way to RB Duke Johnson’s success. Johnson is 11th nationally with 117.6 rushing yards per game.

The Hurricanes have had a lot of movement across its line because of injuries and suspensions, so continuity has been a concern. But as the players gel, this OL becomes one of the most dangerous groups in the conference just based on size and talent alone. LT Ereck Flowers and RG/RT Brandon Linder both have NFL potential. RT Seantrel Henderson, who has been battling his way out of the doghouse after a suspension last month, is an elite pro prospect.

That means there will be a huge onus on Jernigan – who has been dominant at NT – and FSU DL like Eddie Goldman, Jacobi McDaniel, Nile Lawrence-Stample and Mario Edwards Jr. to not let the Hurricanes get much push up front and clear lanes for the LBs to make plays. Expect FSU to mix up its fronts to confuse Miami, going 3-4, 4-3 and nickel.

2. Jameis Winston vs. Miami secondary

The freshman QB goes against arguably the top secondary he’s faced all season.

The Hurricanes are surrendering 200.6 passing yards per game (17th nationally) and are forcing 1.71 interceptions per contest (13th nationally). CB Ladarius Gunter (6-2, 196) is physical, while CB Tracy Howard is very fluid and has three INTs on the year. They create a solid tandem and are capable of capitalizing on any mistakes Winston makes.

Winston has just four interceptions on the year, but what we’ve seen from the Hurricanes is that they force turnovers in bunches. Because of that, Winston cannot afford to get this aggressive group of DBs confident. FSU will likely be fine if it gets into a punting battle with Miami, but the Hurricanes could be in a position to upset the Seminoles if they shorten the field with a few turnovers.

3. Stephen Morris vs. FSU secondary

Another QB vs. secondary matchup, how original.

However, Morris is undoubtedly the X-factor of this game.

The senior signal caller entered the year as an intriguing pro prospect because of his arm strength, but has yet to hit his stride in 2013.

Morris, hampered by an ankle injury, has thrown for 1,463 yards, 10 TDs to 8 INTs while completing a little less than 60 percent of his passes. Those numbers are pedestrian given the strong run game and line he has around him. It’s even worse when looking at his stats in conference play (4 TDs to 6 INTs).

But FSU’s stellar secondary must be leery. If the Hurricanes get the run game going, Morris has the quick release and velocity to get the ball down the field on play-action passes. He has some big-play receivers and can really stretch the Seminoles, so FSU’s DBs must keep everything in front of them and cannot let Morris get in a rhythm.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
11/02/2013 11:21 AM

Pick on this game and more info can be found at the COLLEGE FOOTBALL BLITZ!

btb Posts:2279 Followers:163
11/02/2013 11:55 AM

Really looking forward to this one!

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