There are a few rivalries in college football that are must-watch TV, and Miami/Florida State is definitely one of them. The two rivals will meet for the 65th time on Saturday in Miami. The Hurricanes are confident after starting the season with two wins, including last week’s victory over #18 Louisville. Florida State has dealt with a myriad of issues since naming Mike Norvell head coach, and now Norvell will not be able to coach on Saturday due to testing positive for COVID-19.
Florida State opened the season with a disappointing 16-13 loss at home to Georgia Tech, a game in which the Seminoles were favored by 11.5 points. After taking an early 10-0 lead, the Seminoles experienced difficulty moving the football consistently against a much improved Georgia Tech defense. With the score tied late in the fourth quarter, quarterback James Blackman fumbled on a sack which set up the winning score for Tech. Florida State was supposed to play Samford in week two, but Samford announced they would only play conference opponents in 2020 leaving the Seminoles without an opponent.
The line has edged up slightly as the week has gone forward. After being an initial 9.5-point favorite in the contest when the lines came out, Miami is now an 11-point favorite in this contest. 62 percent of the wagers ATS are backing the Hurricanes in this one in addition to a hefty 86 percent of moneyline bets.
The over/under has gone the other way, heading in a downward direction this week. After starting off at 57 points, the total for this one has dropped down to 54.5 points. It seems the consensus is that this one will fall short of that mark as 70 percent of bets on the total are leaning under.
Game-time Weather: Temperature at kickoff is expected to be in the mid-80s with the real-feel temperature in the low-90s due to the humidity. There is up to a 50 percent chance of rain at points during the contest and one can't rule out the potential for a stray thunderstorm or two, which could impede play. Winds are out of the south-southwest at about seven miles per hour with gusts expected to reach around 10 mph.
Noles Hope to Put Struggles Behind ThemThe Florida State Seminoles’ rough offseason carried over to the regular season with a 16-13 loss to Georgia Tech. Now, head coach Mike Norvell will have to sit out the game because of a positive COVID test. Despite the adversity, Florida State is hoping that they can make significant improvement from their first game to this one.
Bye week practice 📹.— FSU Football (@FSUFootball) September 19, 2020
Up next: rivalry week. pic.twitter.com/FxcuyvaqOj
Quarterback James Blackman completed 23 of 43 passing attempts for just 198 yards and a touchdown and an interception. Last season, Blackman was hesitant to throw downfield and that trend was prevalent in his first game of 2020. Part of the issue was a porous offensive line that allowed three sacks and five tackles for loss. The Seminoles were unable to run effectively, with La’Damien Webb picking up just 39 yards on 13 carries. Star receiver Tamorrion Terry hauled in six passes for 52 yards.
Defensively, the Seminoles allowed 438 yards to a Yellow Jacket offense that struggled mightily the previous season. Despite projecting to have a dominant front seven, the Seminoles allowed 161 rushing yards and 277 passing yards to a freshman quarterback. Amari Gainer led the way with 10 stops (2.5 TFL) and a half-sack in the game.
OUT: DT Dennis Briggs Jr., DE Jamarcus Chatman, DB Meiko Dotson, DE Joshua Kaindoh, QB Chubba Purdy, TE Jordan Wilson
Questionable: OL Devontay Love-Taylor, WR D.J. Matthews, DB Hamsah Nasirildeen, OL Darius Washington
Canes Try to Make it 3-0 in 2020 with Fourth Win in a Row Against Florida StateThe Miami Hurricanes have put a much-improved offense on display in 2020, with Houston transfer D’Eriq King leading the way. King has engineered an offense that has gained 240 yards passing and 248 yards rushing over the first two games. King is 33 of 53 passing for 466 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. King has also picked up 92 yards rushing and a touchdown thus far. Running back Cam’Ron Harris leads the team with 10.3 yards per carry (26-268) to go along with his three touchdowns. Stud tight end Brevin Jordan leads the receiving unit with 10 receptions for 171 yards and two touchdowns.
A big question mark coming into 2020 was the offensive line, which struggled with sacks and tackles for loss last season. Through two games, the line has allowed only three sacks while opening up holes for the running game.
Defensively, the Hurricanes have given up 256 passing yards and 140.5 rushing yards per game. DB Amari Carter and S Bubba Bolden each lead the team with 13 tackles. Bolden has added a sack and a forced fumble. In all, the defense has recorded four sacks and 16 tackles for loss. Last year against the Seminoles, Miami recorded nine sacks and 16 tackles for loss in the 27-10 win.
OUT: OL Navaughn Donaldson, OL Kai-Leon Herbert, OL Zalon'Tae Hillary, QB Tate Martell, S Avantae Williams
Questionable: P Matias Gasc, TE Larry Hodges, WR Jeremiah Payton, OL Issiah Walker Jr.
- Miami: 4-1 ATS last five games following a win
- Miami: 14-6 ATS in last 20 September Games
- Florida State: 7-15-3 ATS in previous 25 conference games
- Florida State: 0-4 ATS in last four games
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This rivalry has been consistently close throughout the history of the series. The Hurricanes look to have the offensive advantage with D’Eriq King running a balanced offense. Florida State did not appear to have fixed too many of their issues from the 2019 season in a disappointing loss, but have had two weeks to make corrections. Both offensive lines are suspect, and both defensive lines have the capability of controlling the line of scrimmage. Miami has the edge in the rushing game which is why they should win this one.
Prediction: Miami -11
Full-Game Total Pick
I like the UNDER here in a rivalry that trends toward the UNDER. Over the past nine meetings between the two teams, the UNDER is 8-1. The UNDER is also 7-3-1 in the last 11 meetings in Miami. The main reason I like the UNDER is that both defenses appear to have the upper hand in this one, especially in the D-Line/O-Line matchups. Look for a lower scoring affair and go with the UNDER.
Prediction: UNDER 56.5