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Northern Illinois vs. Florida State,
9-22-2018 - Expert Prediction

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Game Snapshot with Current Line

#331 Northern Illinois
Huskies 44.5
#332 Florida State
Seminoles -10

Saturday, September 22, 2018 at 3:30pm

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Game Stats

Northern Illinois Huskies

1 - 2


Florida State Seminoles

1 - 2


Featured Video from Scott Reichel

Northern Illinois Huskies at Florida State Seminoles 

When and Where: Saturday, September 22 at 3:30 p.m. ET at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, FL

Northern Illinois won its first game of the season in a nice performance against Central Michigan. The Huskies don’t have much to offer offensively, but they have a solid defense, and should be in the game against a possibly unfolding Seminoles team. Florida State lost another game against Syracuse in dull fashion. Florida State kicked itself in the foot time and time against. It’s been a truly terrible start for the Seminoles. At least they will be home this weekend.

Coming Off a Win

The Huskies won their first game of the season behind a solid performance from Marcus Childers. Childers managed three touchdowns in the 24-16 win over Central Michigan. He only had seven incompletions as the Huskies ran the ball 48 times. It wasn’t an impressive rushing performance, but Tre Harbison flashed, carrying 13 times for 124 yards. The Huskies managed to milk the clock with a rushing attack that was just good enough. Northern Illinois’s D.J. Brown had four catches for 69 yards and a score. Even if Florida State has been a disaster this season, the Huskies could be in for a challenge since the Seminoles have plenty of talent on their defense.

Vinny Labus had a fourth-quarter interception that helped seal the win for the Huskies. Northern Illinois had some defensive success against the Utah Utes in a tough fought 17-6 loss a couple weeks ago. The Huskies are allowing 22 points per game and 342 yards per game. The Huskies have been mostly solid against the pass. Northern Illinois has a middle of the road defense, but it’s flashed, especially defensive tackle Ben LeRoy, who had a sack and a half in the win over Central Michigan.

Sluggish Start

It hasn’t been a good start to the Willie Taggart Era. The Seminoles no-showed their first game against a solid Virginia Tech team and then couldn’t do anything against a so-so Syracuse team in Syracuse. Florida State shouldn’t have a problem against Northern Illinois, but the Seminoles haven’t proven to be good at anything offensively, and they face a solid defense in Northern Illinois. Florida State barely beat Sanford in its only win. In games against actual competition (Virginia Tech and Syracuse) Florida State has managed a whopping 10 points. Quarterback Deondre Francois rushed for a score in Saturday’s loss. It’s an abysmal offense that has averaged only 96 yards rushing per game. Francois has thrown for three touchdowns to four interceptions, including one against Syracuse. Cam Akers is the guy to watch. He’s ready to break a long touchdown run as he’s averaging over five yards per carry.

Florida State’s defense was disappointing against Syracuse. The Orange were able to rush all over the Florida State defense, carrying 57 times for 222 yards. Northern Illinois doesn’t have many skilled guys on its roster, but Harbison is a player to watch for the Huskies. Harbison managed to run well in Northern Illinois’s win over Central Michigan. Brian Burns had two sacks in the loss against Syracuse.

The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet

It’s crunch time already for Florida State’s new head coach Willie Taggart. Many calling for his firing already. It’s only been three games, but it really couldn’t have gone any worse. The win over Sanford isn’t much of a win considering Florida State barely beat a cupcake. The Seminoles do have plenty of talent, and they should be able to put things together at home against an inferior Northern Illinois team. The Huskies defense will be challenged by Cam Akers. Akers could be in for a big day.

Prediction: Florida State -10.5

Full-Game Total Pick

Both teams are really struggling offensively. Francois has been subpar for Florida State and the Noles have to rely on their ground attack. Northern Illinois could score single digits against this defense because they really can’t pass. Pass defense for FSU has been an issue but won’t be against the Huskies.

Prediction: Under 42

Half-Time Side Pick

Neither offense is all that impressive. But the Huskies are much worse off than the Seminoles. Florida State should take advantage of the matchup after three disappointing weeks to begin the season. Things have to turn around soon, and why not this week?

Prediction: Florida State -7

Half-Time Total Bet

Florida State should be able to practically shut down Northern Illinois. It has been a rough stretch for the Seminoles, but they really shouldn’t have a problem with the Huskies from the beginning.

Prediction: Under 22.5

Joseph Phelan

Joe graduated from St. Bonaventure University in Western New York. He works as a news reporter for a paper in Saratoga Springs, NY. He's been watching sports since he could walk, his favorites being basketball and football.


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