Can the Seminoles bounce back from the disaster? Are the Bulls ready to come up with a program-changing win? Check out the Florida State vs. South Florida fearless prediction and game preview.
Florida State (2-1) vs. South Florida (3-0) Game Preview
Date: Saturday, September 24th
Game Time: 12:00 pm
Venue: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
Why Florida State Will Win
This is still one of the most talented teams in America. It’s still banged up, it’s still coming off an embarrassing performance, and it has to pick itself up off the mat after getting housed by Louisville, but it’s still good enough to run the table.
It was an obviously awful day early last Saturday, but the pass rush is still fantastic, the athletes are there at linebacker to slow down the Bull ground game, and the playmakers and weapons are just too good on offense to be that bad again.
Yeah, South Florida is the hot underground pick this week because FSU looked so bad, but Towson, Northern Illinois, and Syracuse aren’t Ole Miss and Louisville. This is an embarrassed and well-motivated Seminole team that’s not going to take this game lightly.
The Bull secondary got hit hard by Syracuse QB Eric Dungey last week, giving up 350 yards and two scores against a good passing attack. There isn’t enough of a USF pass rush to bother Deondre Francois, who just never got comfortable last week and didn’t get enough help.
That’ll come this week. If you’ve been waiting for Dalvin Cook to shine again, this will be it.
Why South Florida Will Win
Do the Bulls have the right makeup to handle the Noles?
FSU might be saying all the right things, and they appear to have the exact attitude needed to bounce back quickly, but this could still be a gassed team playing its fourth game in 19 days.
Don’t blow off the relative lack of stress USF has faced, to go along with the two extra days of rest so far this year – FSU has had to deal with some powerful battles so far and the body blows on both sides of the ball seem to be adding up.
Playing its third game of the year away from home isn’t going to help, either, even with plenty of Garnet and Gold fans in attendance.
And then there’s the other factor that no one seems to notice – maybe, just maybe, Florida State is just okay.
New year, new team, but going back to the bowl loss to Houston, and over the last three games against FBS teams, the Noles have come up with one really good half against Ole Miss, and struggled the rest of the way.
The USF running game has been fantastic so far – if Marlon Mack really is hurt, he didn’t look it last week. He missed the Northern Illinois game going through the concussion protocol, but came back to average almost 13 yards per pop in the blowout over Syracuse. And it’s not just him, with the rest of the offense doing its part over the first three games.
All it might take is a few early big plays to put the Seminoles right back into the tank. Confidence and momentum might mean everything.
What’s Going To Happen?
You know sometimes when a pick becomes too trendy? South Florida has become the one team everyone in “the community” seems to be in love with this week, but Florida State is still way too good, way too promising, and with way too much to play for.
It’s possible Louisville is just that good, and it’s also possible the Cardinals just hit the right note on the right day. The Bulls are being overhyped based on playing three bad teams – this is where Florida State gets its groove back.
Florida State vs. South Florida Prediction
Final Score: Florida State 34, South Florida 16
Line: Florida State -5.5, o/u: 61
ATS Confidence: 5: Xmas in September – 1: Get out now … 5
Must See Rating: 5: The Magnificent Seven – 1: The Voice … 4
Source: College Football News