Seminoles Will Look for a Revenge Against Louisville

Florida State Seminoles player in action

Rainman M.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017 5:12 PM GMT

Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017 5:12 PM GMT

Florida State (2-3) hosts Louisville (4-3) this Saturday at 12:00 PM ET. Florida State is favored by between 6 and 7 points. They seek revenge for last year's blowout loss at Louisville.

Louisville Cardinals vs Florida State Seminoles  

Florida State's offense is better than its point totals suggest. The Seminoles' offense is slow-paced and conservative. They rank 91st in yards per play, but 32nd in time of possession.

They strive to control the clock through their rush attack. Cam Akers is a rising freshman star who shredded the respectably-ranked rush defenses of Duke and Miami for combined 236 yards and over 6 yards per carry. Backup Jacques Patrick added combined 189 yards.  

The Seminoles have the weapons with which to run over a Louisville team that is already 0-3 ats when allowing over 150 rush yards. In rushing all over Louisville, the Seminoles are following a code that Louisville, who ranks 90th in allowing 40.7 rushes per game, has yet to crack.

The red zone constitutes another area of advantage for Florida State. Louisville's red zone defense ranks outside the top 100. Under Jimbo Fisher, Florida State has historically been very strong in the red zone. For example, the Seminoles were first in this category last year. 

Despite this already being a strength, Fisher added new offensive red zone packages during the Spring. After an uncharacteristically slow start, the Seminoles offense, behind their current starting quarterback James Blackman, ranks 30th in red zone scoring %. The Seminoles, with their size, are well-equipped to score touchdowns in the red zone, led by their 231 pound bruising running back Patrick and 6'5 receiver Auden Tate, who has caught 5 touchdowns.

Florida State should make the most out of their possessions on offense against a Louisville defense that has given up 39+ points against the 4 ACC opponents that they have faced thus far.

The key to stopping Louisville is to stop Lamar Jackson, who has almost 3 times as many rush carries as their leading running back.

Jackson shredded Florida State last year and ended their hopes for the playoffs. Last year, Florida State struggled massively against mobile quarterbacks. Their route to revenge begins with their improvement against mobile quarterbacks.

Dual-Threat Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts had his worst rushing performance, in terms of yards per carry, in averaging 3.7 yards per carry this season against Florida State. The Seminoles' defensive line and linebackers, 7 of whom are upperclassmen, displayed their speed and physicality against Hurts. 

The Seminoles rank 23rd in allowing 3.4 rush yards per attempt.  The deep Florida State defensive line is speared by defensive end Josh Sweat, who leads the team with 2.5 sacks and 5.5 tackles for loss. Matthew Thomas leads Seminole linebackers with 2 sacks and 4 tackles for loss.  

Last year against Louisville, they missed the opportunity to utilize Derwin James and Sweat, who were both injured. James would have been crucial from the secondary to help contain Jackson as a spy.  The Seminoles also missed Sweat's production from the end position, which derives from his ability to disengage from blockers and use his length, strength and supreme tackling efficiency to contain the edge.  The maturing Seminoles have the ability and motivation with which to stop Jackson. 

 

The Verdict

The Cards don't like look like a team that can turn around their 1-5-1 ATS streak on the road on our NCAAF Picks. Their defense is lacking chemistry, effort, and concentration. They haven't shown the ability to halt a good rush attack, which has been decisive against them in a betting sense. Florida State's duo at running back is surging in production and should help the Seminoles procure a lead, that their motivated, experienced and talented defense can help defend.

 

Free NCAAF PIck: Florida State -6Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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