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Champs Sports Bowl Game of the Week: #24 Florida State at #14 Miami

The Champs Sports Bowl Game of the Week is a preview of a pivotal matchup featuring teams from the Big East and/or ACC that could impact the bowl picture.

Week Six: 
#24 Florida State (4-1, 2-0 ACC) at #14 Miami (3-1, 1-0 ACC)
 
Saturday, Oct. 9 –-7:00 p.m.
Sun Life Stadium — Miami, Fla.
Miami leads the series 31-23
Last Meeting: Oct. 7, 2009 (Miami 38, Florida State 24)
 
Florida State Outlook

The Seminoles currently sit at first place in the Atlantic division with a 2-0 ACC record (4-1 overall). In last week’s win over Virginia, Florida State recorded its third consecutive game amassing 200+ yards of offense – the first time it has done so since 2000. Running backs Jermaine Thomas and Chris Thompson combined for 256 yards and three touchdowns in the contest. Christian Ponder passed for 172 yards and one score.
Florida State’s defense has helped the teams’ strong start and ranks No. 1 in sacks per game, No. 2 in tackles for loss and No. 4 in rushing defense. After suffering a setback in Norman against #7 Oklahoma when they gave up 47 points, the Seminoles have only allowed 24 points in the last three games combined. 
 
Miami Outlook
 
Miami’s defense has been impressive as well and has the sixth-ranked red-zone defense in the nation. It also ranks No. 1 in tackles for loss, No. 2 in sacks per game and No. 2 in passing efficiency defense. The ‘Canes have forced 10 turnovers this season, six of which came in last week’s contest against Clemson.

The ‘Canes offense has done a favorable job in helping out the defense and has outscored opponents 142-48. Wide receiver Leonard Hankerson has 23 receptions on the year for 388 yards and six scores. Hankerson received National Receiver of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards after catching seven passes for 147 yards and adding three scores against the Tigers. Jacory Harris has passed for 10 touchdowns through the team’s four games and has totaled 895 yards passing. However, he has also totaled eight interceptions – second highest in the ACC.

Impact on Bowl Picture

Both teams have only suffered one loss this season, and each came from a top 10 team on the road. This game has the potential to be a preview for the ACC Championship Game. Florida State leads the Atlantic and Miami is second in the Coastal behind Virginia Tech.  The Seminoles’ toughest conference game would be at NC State who has been impressive through five weeks of the season. Miami will play Virginia Tech at home in the final week of conference play. Although this rivalry game means more to both teams than postseason positioning, a conference win over a ranked opponent in the ACC will have major implications in bowl selection at the end of the season.
Extra Point

This in-state rivalry originated in 1951 and only one game has gone to overtime – Sept. 10, 2004 – where the ‘Canes defeated the Seminoles, 16-14. The away team wins 58% of the time.
 
Expert Predictions

Andrea Adelson
Andrea Adelson
ESPN.com CFB Blogger

PICK:  Miami
RECORD: 7-3 (3-2 CSB)

Bram Weinstein
Bram Weinstein
ESPN Anchor

PICK:
  Miami
RECORD: 8-2 (4-1 CSB)
Jay Gruden
Jay Gruden
Florida Tuskers Coach

PICK:
  Miami
RECORD: 9-1 (4-1 CSB)
Chuck Beverly
Chuck Beverly
FCSports Chairman

PICK:
  FSU
RECORD: 9-1 (4-1 CSB)

 

 

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