Hurricane Matthew does not appear to be stopping Saturday night’s primetime matchup on ABC, as the Miami Hurricanes host in state rival the Florida State Seminoles at 8:15 p.m.
Miami comes in ranked No. 10 while FSU dropped to No. 23 in the polls after a last-second 54-yard field goal by North Carolina last week.
The momentum in Saturday night’s matchup has swung Miami’s way due to being undefeated and with FSU arguably out of the ACC title hunt. Some people are saying FSU still has the upper hand due to its six-game winning streak against the Canes.
Now let’s make things clear. The last six meetings have no implication on this game. Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya has played well against the Seminoles the past two years throwing for five touchdown passes and only one interception.
Surprisingly, ESPN’s power football index shows that FSU has a 55.6 percent chance to win the game, compared to Miami at 44.4 percent.
All stats put aside, the key matchup watch is FSU running back Dalvin Cook versus Miami’s front seven. Cook, who accounted for all three of FSU’s touchdowns last year against the Canes, is quite explosive out of the backfield and must be contained.
“Our goal is to try to not let him get started with a lot of space to begin with,” said Miami Head Coach Mark Richt in an interview before practice on Wednesday.
FSU freshman quarterback Deondre Francois has looked pretty sharp for the Seminoles and can also be a threat to run with the football.
What about the kicking game? We haven’t seen a wide right or wide left in over a decade, but FSU kicker Ricky Aguayo, younger brother of previous FSU kicker Robert, struggled last week against UNC missing three field goals all in the first quarter.
It should be a high scoring game, and I have Miami coming out on top 38-34.