This blog was written by Seminole fan and Canespace blogger "scUM" as part of the "UM-FSU Canespace Challenge". On Thursday the opposing point of view will be offered by Hurricane Fan and Canespace blogger "Loco". Here is Part I...
To me there is no better rivalry game than the Florida State Seminoles verses the Miami Hurricanes. These teams defined college football through the 80’s, 90’s and even into the new century. This game is going to be a hard-fought struggle between two teams that were once sitting on top of the college football world and are hungry to get back. And this game is a turning point for both teams.
Miami is coming off a very tough fourth quarter loss at home to UNC and is sitting at 2-2 (0-1). A win would get Miami back into the hunt for the Coastal division while a loss would put the Canes in an up hill struggle. The Seminoles will be riding the momentum from last Saturday’s win against Colorado. FSU is looking to get to .500 in the ACC and build on its 3-1 record. Both teams look very similar but one team is going to emerge from this game as the better team. Here’s how the teams stack up against each other:
Quarterbacks Edge: None
Let’s face it, neither team holds the advantage in this category. Robert Marve’s QB rating is slightly higher than Christian Ponder’s but the stats for both quarterbacks are very similar. Both Ponder (seen here) and Marve are going to be put to the test this Saturday. Miami’s offensive line has given up 8 sacks so far this year and FSU’s defense has sacked opposing QBs 13 times. The one wrinkle that could affect this category is the possibility of Jimbo Fisher bringing in Devontre Richardson who has shown the ability to break long touchdown runs. The D’vo package could be brought into the game for a change of pace if Ponder struggles to produce in the red zone. Ultimately, it’ll come down to which QB doesn’t make the mistakes that could cost their team the game.
Running Backs Edge: FSU
FSU has three very capable backs led by Senior Antone Smith (seen here). So far, Antone has rushed for over 300 yards and 5 touchdowns. Sharing the workload is Jermaine Smith a freshman who has surprised the coaching staff has rushed for 162 yards and two scores. Add to these two the playmaking ability of Preston Parker. In the two games back from the suspension Parker served earlier this season he has yet to get into the groove of the offense but he has shown he can makes things happen at anytime. These backs combined with good run blocking are why I give FSU the nod here.
Receiving Edge: None
The numbers are too similar on both teams and both teams possess talent and playmaking ability at this position. Both teams are extremely deep at WR. Even though FSU holds the slight edge statistically I’ll call this category a draw.
Rush Defense Edge: Slight FSU
Both teams have held their opponents to about the same number of yardage so both teams can stuff the run. However, FSU has yet to give up a rushing touchdown while the Canes have surrendered three.
Pass Defense Edge: FSU
Miami’s defense has allowed 250 more yards and twice as many touchdowns as FSU so far this season. The Noles received some additional help on defense last week as the remaining players serving a four game suspension were back on the field. Cornerback Tony Carter (seen here), who was held out of the Colorado game for injury, will be back in time for the Miami game. Everette Brown and Markus White have proven to be a good DE duo. Combined with Budd Thacker and Justin Mincey clogging up the middle the pass rush should provide plenty of pressure on the young Miami QBs.
Special Teams Edge: None
Both FSU and Miami have returners who are capable of taking it to the house anytime they touch the ball. With great defensive play, like what I’m expecting in this game from both teams, comes the battle of field position. Which punter will be able to pin the other team inside the 5? Can FSU’s punt rush block it’s third kick of the season? The answers to these questions will have a huge impact on the game.
Home Field Advantage Edge: None
When this game kicks off at 3:30 Saturday afternoon half of Dolphin/Hurricane Stadium half of the stadium (or more) will be decked out in Garnet & Gold joining together to make the Warchant sound loud and proud in Miami.
Prediction FSU 24 Miami 13