Two of the most successful college football programs in recent history meet this Saturday (3:35 pm EST) in Norman, OK where the No. 20 Florida St. Seminoles led by new coach Jimbo Fisher travel to take on the No. 8 Oklahoma Sooners led by coach Bob Stoops. Fisher led the Noles to a 59-6 spanking of Samford in his debut last week, while Oklahoma squeaked by Utah St. 31-24. The teams met in the Orange Bowl ten years ago for the National Championship, won 13-2 by Oklahoma, and Florida St. has not been a serious title contender since while the Sooners are consistently in the title chase, ranking no lower than tenth in the pre-season polls since then . Florida St. will look to re-establish its place in the national spotlight and possible vault into the top 10 with a win in Norman.
The defenses will be the key to this match-up, with Stoops’ Sooners looking for a better performance than last week when they gave up 341 yards passing to Utah St. Mark Stoops, the new Seminoles defensive coordinator and Bob Stoops’ younger brother, is facing his first test against top-level competition in this game after holding FCS foe Samford to only a pair of field goals last week. The Sooners carry a hefty 31-game home winning streak, currently the longest in the country, into this matchup. They also have Senior Jeremy Beal, one of the best defensive ends in the nation who notched 11 sacks a year ago. The linebackers, led by Sophomore Ronnell Lewis, are young but very talented. The key for Oklahoma is the secondary; they can not afford to get lit up the way they were against Utah St. last week if they hope to win this one.
On offense the Sooners are led by quarterback Landry Jones, who struggled last week completing only 47.2 percent of his passes with two interceptions. He will have to take better care of the ball this week against Florida St. in order to come out with a win. Landry will look to throw to stud receiver Ryan Broyles, who set a school record with 1,120 receiving yards last season to go along with 15 touchdown catches. Florida St. will likely have cornerback Xavier Rhodes, not star Greg Reid, covering Broyles and this will be the key matchup to watch when the Sooners have the ball. Workhouse running back DeMarco Murray is coming off of a 35-carry 208 yard performance last week and has the talent to have a big day in this one. The Seminoles are led by Senior quarterback Christian Ponder who has an excellent 62.4 career completion percentage and passed for over 2,700 yards in only nine games last season. Florida St. returns all five starters from last year’s offensive line, which allowed only 20 sacks all year. If they are able to play up to their usual standards and give Ponder time to throw he can certainly put up some big numbers.
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Florida St. vs Oklahoma Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Florida State Seminoles +7
@ Oklahoma Sooners -7
Florida St. +250
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Florida St. vs Oklahoma Prediction for Week 2 Game:
Over/Under Prediction (Top Play) – Both offenses are capable of lighting up the scoreboard, and the Oklahoma secondary was lit up last week by Utah St., so look for Heisman hopeful Ponder to throw early and often behind a stout offensive line and put up a lot of points on Saturday. Look for Landry Jones, Ryan Broyles and company to do the same against a young Seminoles defense in an old-fashioned shoot out in Norman. Take the over in this one. PREDICTION (TOP PLAY) – Over 58.5
Spread Prediction – The Sooners are tough at home and Florida St. is on the rise. With both offenses featuring playmakers and plenty of experience, this could be a game where whoever has the ball last wins. Take the Seminoles and the seven points in what looks to be a pretty even matchup. The Sooners should prevail, but the thinking here is they will not be able to stop Florida St. or cover the spread due to the combination of a leaky secondary and an tough, experienced Seminole offensive unit. Prediction – Florida State +7