The rivalry game of the week in Week 6 features the Florida State Seminoles and Miami Hurricanes. It’s been a tough start for Willie Taggart in Tallahassee, but all would be forgiving if he upsets the Hurricanes on Saturday. At least for a week, the pressure would be off Taggart at Florida State. Hiring him wasn’t exactly in the plans, but Jimbo Fisher dipping for a bigger contract at Texas A&M and they had to look elsewhere. They landed on former South Florida and Oregon head coach, Willie Taggart.
Taggart brought his spread offense to Tallahassee and the team just hasn’t adjusted yet to everything. It’s been a slow start for the Noles’ offense, as Deondre Francois is taking a minute to get used to Taggart’s offense. This offense isn’t particularly difficult to understand, but it’s necessary that the quarterback is on the same page as everyone else. Did you see how Oregon looked without a healthy Justin Herbert last season? That’s essentially what FSU looks like right now.
Taggart has to get his own guys to Tallahassee for them to be truly an effective team. The question is whether FSU fans are going to be patient enough for that. And even then, is this kind of offense going to work in the ACC? Finding another Justin Herbert out there in high school isn’t going to be so easy. The most surprising thing is the lack of a running game for the Seminoles.
The offense line has struggled immensely, as Cam Akers has failed to find many holes to run through. Akers came into the season as one of the top runners in the nation, but he’s failed to get going yet. They’ve been outgained in three of their first five games on the ground. Syracuse ran all over them for a 160-yard edge. Overall, there was a 201-yard difference. And then last week, despite the win, Louisville outgained FSU by 51 yards. Francois tossed 4 touchdowns, but Akers had just 42 yards rushing. That isn’t going to work against the Miami defense. The Hurricanes have had extra time to prepare, with their previous game last Thursday against UNC, a 47-10 win. Get our free Florida State vs. Miami pick below.
Florida State Seminoles vs. Miami Hurricanes NCAAF Betting Odds:
vs. Miami -13.5(-110)
Betting odds provided by Sportsbetting.ag
Florida State vs. Miami Pick:
Miami let North Carolina hang around for the 1st quarter last week, but once the floodgates opened, the Hurricanes didn’t let up. The Miami defense was suffocating, as they scored three defensive touchdowns. The first was a scoop and score, and then two pick-6’s to round out an impressive night for the Hurricanes’ defense. The Turnover Chain was out early and often. Taggart has had his hands full drawing up something to counter the Miami defense.
Again, though, this spread offense comes down to personnel. Taggart and the Seminoles can run all the wide receiver screens and slants they want, they don’t have speed on the outside to counter the Hurricanes’ defense. Akers is the one talent who can go toe-to-toe with Miami, but Taggart isn’t finding ways to get the most out of him. It doesn’t help that the offensive line is horrendous a well.
Florida State can’t be satisfied with beating Louisville by a score of 28-24 last week. The Cardinals are not a good team this year. This isn’t the same squad with Lamar Jackson and have struggled. Louisville are 121st with 312 yards per game this season. It might have been a motivation booster for Francois, though, who threw 4 touchdowns and had no interceptions last week.
The Noles enter Saturday averaging 373 yards per game for 97th in the nation. They are scoring 22.2 points per game for 110th. Their best performances offensively came against Samford, a game they struggled in for a 36-26 final score. And then a 37-19 win over MAC opponent Northern Illinois. Conversely, the Hurricanes are 16th with an average of 44.2 points scored per game, along with 430 yards per game. With N’Kosi Perry taking over at quarterback for Malik Rosier, the offense has seen plenty of progress. He’s thrown 7 touchdowns and 3 interceptions with a 66.7 completion percentage.
As stated earlier, Miami has had a couple of extra days to prepare for the Seminoles. The defense is playing extremely fast to begin with, so the extra preparation isn’t going to hurt an already stout defense. Note that FSU have beaten Miami in seven straight games in Hard Rock Stadium. The Canes won last year in Tallahassee, 24-20, though.
The major mismatch in this one is the Hurricanes’ up-front against a dreadful FSU offensive line. Taggart can tweak this and that, but the offensive line isn’t going to suddenly figure out how to block in a week. Akers likely gets boggled up, leading to Francois having to fire away. -13.5 seems like a lot for a rivalry game, but it’s hard to see the Seminoles getting much push from their line against the Miami defense. +13.5 is likely going to trap a lot of FSU money. The Hurricanes punch the Seminoles in the mouth while they’re down and make Taggart’s stress level inch higher on Saturday.