Florida State is on a 25 game winning streak but they are the underdogs as they head to Miami Saturday night. The Seminoles have struggled with their inability to blow the bad teams out, and their best performance to date might have been their win against a Notre Dame squad that isn’t as good as everyone first thought. With all that being said Florida State is due for one game this year where they absolutely annihilate their opponent, and Miami is setting up nicely to be the victim. Historically the great teams put on a show when everyone else thinks they are at the weakest.
Miami freshman quarterback Brad Kaaya leads the ACC in touchdown passes, yards per completion, yards per attempt, and quarterback rating but Miami (6-3) has lost to every good team they’ve played. With losses against Duke, Nebraska and Georgia Tech; what’s to say Miami can beat a great team? Yes, they beat a very good Cincinnati team but statistics show Miami isn’t outstanding in any phase of the game. Their defense is worlds better than it was last year ranking 11th in the country, and their running game with Duke Johnson is top 30th nationally, but stats are stats.
The intangibles tell the whole story, Florida State just does it what it needs to do to win games. Jameis Winston as I mentioned earlier isn’t even the leading statistical quarterback in the ACC, but he’s 22-0 as a starter and “Just win baby” readily applies to this 2014 Florida State squad. They don’t rank highly in any phase of the game; the passing game is top 30 nationally, but unlike last year their defense is average and they’ve struggled to get their running game going. With all the rumors circulating around Heisman trophy winning quarterback Jameis Winston, the Seminoles have yet to fall apart. In fact I would argue it’s made them closer.
Florida State is 42-3 in their last 45 games, including four straight wins over the Hurricanes. In the past four years the Seminole program has quickly ascended, while you could argue the Miami program has been stuck in a state of mediocrity, winning no more than eight games a year. This is a rivalry game so its always to be smart to error on the side of caution when choosing a winner. Miami could really use this win to show the country that it’s on its way back to being a premier team, but recent history has shown Miami is still not ready for primetime. Just last year they were undefeated when they took on Florida State and got waxed, Saturday night it’s going to happen again.
Prediction: (2) Florida State 38 Miami 20
*Section Photo credit to Mike Ehrmann, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Justin K. Aller, Getty Images