The Thursday night (7:30 pm ET) college football game for week 9 of the 2010 season features a pair of ACC rivals as the number 16 ranked Florida St. Seminoles (6-1, 4-0 in ACC) travel to Raleigh, NC to take on the North Carolina St. Wolfpack (5-2, 2-1) in an Atlantic division showdown. The Seminoles need a win here to retain sold possession of first place in the division ahead of NC State and Maryland, who each have one conference loss. The Seminoles have not appeared in the ACC championship game since 2005, and a win this week would go a long way towards securing a return trip. FSU last played on October 16, when they defeated Boston College 24-19, and did not cover the 21.5 point line. NC State’s last game was also on October 16 when they lost 33-27 to East Carolina in a game in which they were favored by 7.5 points.
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Florida St. quarterback Christian Ponder leads the offensive charge for the Seminoles, and has thrown for 1,187 yards with 12 touchdowns and 60.4 completion percentage on the season for a unit that has averaged 34.9 points per game and 421.1 YPG. The Seminoles also boast the top scoring defense in the ACC with an average of 16.1 PPG allowed, good enough for the number 13 ranking in the nation.
NC State boasts an explosive offensive attack as well led by quarterback Russell Wilson, who has spurred the Wolfpack to a 36.0 PPG average and an ACC-best 448.9 yards per game of total offense. Wilson has thrown for 2,124 yards with 18 TDs and 9 INTs on the season with a 57.8 completion percentage; he will have to avoid any costly interceptions against the rugged Seminole defense in order to have a chance to win this contest. The Wolfpack defense has allowed 23.7 PPG and 350.4 total yards per contest, including over 148 YPG on the ground. The defense will need to show more consistency against FSU and take some of the burden off of the high-scoring NC State offense which will be facing its toughest challenge of the season from FSU’s ACC-leading defense.
Florida St. was victorious in last year’s meeting in Tallahassee, a wild 45-42 win, and the Seminoles have won 3 straight and 5 out of the last 7 against the Wolfpack. Florida St. is 0-8-1 ATS in the last 9 meetings between the two schools, and 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 Thursday games. NC State is 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games overall, and 15-6-1 ATS against a team with a winning record. The over is 7-3 in Florida State’s last 10 road games and 15-5 in their last 20 games in October. The over is 7-1 in NC State’s last 8 game sin October, and 13-3 in their last 16 ACC games.
Florida St. vs. North Carolina St. Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Florida State Seminoles -4
@ North Carolina State Wolfpack +4
Over: 58.5 (-110)
Under: 58.5 (-110)
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Florida St. vs. North Carolina St. Predictions for Week 9 Thursday Night Game:
Spread Prediction (Top Play) – Florida St. has a dismal record ATS in recent meetings between the two teams, and Ponder struggled with a bursa sac injury, a bruised triceps in his right shoulder and a contusion on his right leg in the Boston College game, and as a result had 4 turnovers including 3 interceptions against the Eagles. Injuries on the offensive line will also hamper the Seminoles in this game, and NC State knows a win here will put them in the lead in the Atlantic division of the ACC with the head-to-head tie-breaker over Florida St. Expect the Wolfpack to be amped up at home, and to keep the pressure on Ponder and Co. all game long. This should be another close, high-scoring game just like last year.
Over/Under Prediction– With both teams featuring prolific offenses, the scoreboard should get a workout on Thursday night. Expect NC State’s quarterback Wilson to bounce back from his 3 interception game last time out against East Carolina and have some success against the vaunted FSU defense. Ponder, despite his various injuries, should be able to have some success against the Wolfpack through the air as well. This game has the makings of an old-fashioned ACC shootout, and whoever has the ball last may be the one who emerges victorious.
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