Take Florida State -6.5 As Your Peach Bowl Pick Against Houston

Joe Gavazzi

Tuesday, December 29, 2015 8:16 PM GMT

Favored by seven points on the college football odds board, the Florida State Seminoles will try to beat Houston Cougars at the Peach Bowl. Check our college football pick inside.

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College Football Picks: Florida State -6.5
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

 

Houston vs. Florida State
The Houston Cougars battle the Florida St. Seminoles in the 2015 Peach Bowl. The game will be played in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA with a kickoff time at Noon ET. This is a battle of two teams whose motivation for being here may be quite opposite.  Houston has just had a highly successful season and considers this to be a major reward for their accomplishments. For Florida St., a team who has annually played for the National Championship in recent years, the game could be a bit of a disappointment. It is seldom that we fade quality Big Dogs in Bowl Games. But, the fundamentals and the class difference warrants the selection on favored Florida St.

What a season for the Houston Cougars under 1st year HC Herman, who took over the program after his success as OC at Ohio St. in recent seasons. Along with an entirely new coaching staff, Herman transformed a Houston team, who had won 8 games each of  the previous 2 seasons, into a 12-1 SU, 8-5 ATS Cougar team, who captured the AAC Title with a (24-13) victory over a quality Temple team. In so doing, the Cougars, with 8 RS to the defensive side of the ball, maintained their same level of excellent defense as last season when they allowed just 21 PPG. The big difference came on the offensive side of the ball, where a Houston team, who had averaged 32 PPG in the previous 3 seasons, exploded for an average of 41 PPG on 487 YPG. Led by dynamic QB Ward, whose quickness and elusiveness made him a dual threat QB, the Cougars averaged 240 or more YPG on both offense and defense. As a TD underdog, they bring quality statistics to the table. The question is whether they can match the superior athletes of Florida St., who is far and away the toughest team they have faced this season.

Though it was another highly successful season for Florida St., the record of 10-2 SU was below the expectations which have recently been undefeated seasons. The 22-16 loss to Georgia Tech was a shocker that burst their undefeated bubble! Yet, there was still opportunity for an immensely successful season, if they defeated Clemson in Death Valley November 7th. But, the Tigers clawed their way to a (23-13) revenge victory against Florida St., dropping the Sems out of the National Title picture. It is to the credit of 6th year HC Fisher that there was no letdown on this team, as they finished the year on a 3-0 SU ATS burst, including a 17 point win vs. a quality NC State team and a (27-2) season-ending rivalry victory against Florida.  It would appear that the motivation for Florida St. is one of redemption in this Bowl Game, following the Clemson defeat. The addition of QB Golson (Notre Dame) in the off-season was supposed to make up for the loss of departed QB Winston. But Golson had an underperforming season and will miss this contest due to a death in his family. Enter Sean Maguire, who outperformed expectations in his tenure as Sems’ signal caller down the stretch. The Florida St. offense took a minor hit in averaging just 32/425 per game.  But, it was a vastly improved Florida St. defense which paved the way to success this season. They had Super D numbers of only 16 PPG and only 328 YPG.  It is that quality defensive unit with speed and athleticism throughout which I expect to be the dominant unit on the field today in controlling Cougar QB Ward.

I invite you to put the college football odds in your favor and lay the points with my college football pick on Florida State in this year’s Peach Bowl.