2014 Dr. Pepper ACC Championship
#1 Florida State Seminoles vs #11 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Bank of America Stadium – Charlotte, North Carolina
Saturday, December 6, 2014, 8:00 pm Eastern, TV: ABC
Opening Line: Florida State -4 (-106)
Current Line: Florida State -4
Opening Total: 60
Current Total: 63
Opening Money Line: FSU -200 / Georgia Tech +170
Current Money Line: FSU -180 / Georgia Tech +160
The defending national champion Florida State Seminoles have won 28 straight games. Last year, they went 14-0 with every win by 14 points or more until a come from behind victory over Auburn in the BCS Championship game. This year has been different as the Seminoles have won six games by a single possession including 3 straight. The 12-0 Seminoles are the only undefeated team left in FBS football, yet FSU keeps getting passed in the playoff standings. This week Florida State dropped to #4 behind Alabama, Oregon and TCU who all have one loss.
Florida State looks to win a third straight ACC title as they take on the 10-2 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in Saturday’s ACC Championship game in Charlotte. Florida State won the ACC Atlantic Division with an 8-0 record. Georgia Tech won the Coastal Division with a 6-2 record. The Seminoles have won 14 ACC titles and are 3-1 in 4 previous ACC Championship game appearances. The Yellow Jackets are looking for their 4th ACC title and first since 2009. Georgia Tech is 1-2 in two previous ACC title game appearances.
Florida State leads the series 13-9-1 against Georgia Tech. The teams haven’t played since FSU beat Georgia Tech 21-15 in the 2012 ACC Championship game also in Charlotte. That win started Florida State’s current 28 game winning streak.
Georgia Tech is coached by Paul Johnson. The Yellow Jackets have losses to Duke 31-25 at home and at North Carolina 48-43 in back to back weeks. Georgia Tech has won 5 straight games since that 2 game losing streak. The Yellow Jackets have home wins over Wofford 38-19, Georgia Southern 42-38, Miami 28-17, Virginia 35-10 and Clemson 28-6. Georgia Tech has road wins at Tulane 38-21, Virginia Tech 27-24, Pittsburgh 56-28, NC State 56-23, and last week at Georgia 30-24 in overtime. The Yellow Jackets are 8-4 ATS and the total is 6-6 this season. Georgia Tech was a 10.5 point underdog against Georgia and the total was 68.
Florida State is coached by Jimbo Fisher. The Seminoles have a neutral site win over Oklahoma State 37-31 in Arlington, Texas, home wins over the Citadel 37-12, Clemson 23-17 in overtime, Wake Forest 43-3, Notre Dame 31-27, Virginia 34-20, Boston College 20-17 and Florida last week 24-19. FSU also has road wins at North Carolina State 56-41, Syracuse 38-20, Louisville 42-31 and Miami 30-26 . Florida State is 3-9 ATS and the total is 4-8 this season. The Seminoles were 7 point favorites against Florida and the total was 52.
Georgia Tech is outscoring teams 37-24 this season. The Yellow Jackets are #17 in scoring and #44 in points allowed nationally. Georgia Tech is averaging 469 yards per game (#23 nationally) on offense including the nation’s fourth leading rushing attack at 334 yards per game. The passing game is an after thought at best for the triple option Yellow Jackets and Georgia Tech is #122 in passing at 135 yards per game out of 128 teams. On defense, the Yellow Jackets are allowing 389 yards per game , including 221 passing yards and 167 rushing yards. Georgia Tech is +11 in turnovers with 27 takeaways. The Yellow Jackets are 96/163 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 75/159. Georgia Tech is 51/65 scoring in the red zone with 43 touchdowns and opponents are 32/42 with 23 touchdowns. Georgia Tech averages 43 penalty yards per game and opponents average 44. The Yellow Jackets have forced 18 sacks and allowed 10 this season. Georgia Tech has 5 pick sixes and a fumble return for a touchdown, and have allowed a fumble return for a touchdown.
Georgia Tech quarterback Justin Thomas has completed 50.3% of his passes for 1,460 yards with 16 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, along with 165 carries for 861 yards and 5 touchdowns. Back-up Tim Byerly has thrown for 148 yards with a touchdown, but has 45 carries for 204 yards and 7 touchdowns.
Running back Zach Laskey has 150 carries for 748 yards and 8 touchdowns, plus 6 catches and a touchdown. Synjyn Days has 117 carries for 686 yards and 3 touchdowns, plus a touchdown catch. Tony Zenon has 44 carries for 287 yards and 4 touchdowns, along with 8 catches for 161 yards and a touchdown. He is probable for undisclosed reasons. Broderick Snoddy has 283 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 3 catches for 100 yards. He is out for the season with a leg injury. Deon Hill has 3 rushing touchdowns, along with 9 catches for 151 yards and a touchdown. Leading receiver DeAndre Smelter has 35 catches for 715 yards and 7 touchdowns, plus 103 rushing yards and a touchdown. He is out for the season with a knee injury. Darren Waller has 16 catches for 255 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Florida State is outscoring teams 35-22 this season. FSU is #31 in scoring and #27 in points allowed nationally. The Seminoles are averaging 430 yards per game on offense including 299 passing and 131 rushing yards per game. Florida State is #13 in passing offense nationally, but #105 in rushing. The Seminoles are #48 in total offense. FSU is allowing 371 yards per game on defense including 225 passing and 146 rushing yards per game. The Seminoles are -4 in turnovers with 23 takeaways. Florida State averages 48 penalty yards per game and opponents average 51. The Seminoles are 67/151 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 86/209. FSU has forced 17 sacks and allowed 21 this season. The Seminoles are 45/49 scoring in the red zone with 31 touchdowns and opponents are 31/44 with 21 touchdowns. FSU has 2 pick sixes and a fumble return for a touchdown this season.
FSU quarterback Jameis Winston, the defending Heisman Trophy winner, has completed 65.1% of his passes for 3,250 yards with 21 touchdowns and 17 interceptions, plus 3 rushing touchdowns. Sean Maguire filled in for a suspended Winston against Clemson. He threw for over 300 yards with a touchdown and 2 interceptions.
Running back Dalvin Cook has 124 carries for 728 yards and 7 touchdowns, plus 14 catches for 136 yards. Karlos Williams has 138 carries for 608 yards and 10 touchdowns, plus 24 catches for 206 yards and a touchdown. He is out with a concussion. Mario Pender has 39 carries for 201 yards and 4 touchdowns, plus 10 catches for 56 yards and a touchdown. Receiver Rashad Greene has 86 catches for 1,183 yards and 5 touchdowns. Tight end Nick O’Leary has 44 catches for 517 yards and 5 touchdowns. Jesus Wilson has 37 catches for 455 yards and 4 touchdowns. Travis Rudolph has 27 catches for 419 yards and 3 touchdowns. Five defensive players are questionable or out for the Seminoles.
Florida State is 5-1 ATS after passing for less than 170 yards, 7-2-1 in December, 14-4-1 in neutral site games, 2-5 against teams with winning records, 3-9 after a straight up win, 3-10 overall, 2-8 on grass, 0-5 after allowing less than 20 points and 0-4 after allowing less than 170 passing yards.
Georgia Tech is 5-0 ATS after rushing for 200 yards or more, overall and on grass, 4-0 in ACC games, after a win and a cover, against teams with winning records, and after passing for less than 170 yards, and 3-7 in December. The Yellow Jackets are 3-0-2 ATS in the last 5 against the Seminoles and were underdogs in each of those contests.
Florida State can’t keep living on the edge like they are. They can’t keep playing these close games because they will eventually lose one. Turnovers have been an issue especially from quarterback Winston who is throwing way too many picks. I think the Seminoles want to send a message and will win this game comfortably.