College Football Saturday: (2) Florida State Seminoles at (10) Louisville Cardinals

Travis Rudolph-florida-state-2015FSU-Louisville
Spread: FLA -1
M/L: FLA -118, LOU -102
Total: 67

Betting odds c/o 5dimes

The Florida State Seminoles improved to 2-0 and a No. 2 national ranking following last week’s 52-8 dispatching of Charleston Southern. Deondre Francois could do little wrong, throwing 25 of 32 for three TDs, 262 yards and a QBR of 85.9, though he did throw one interception.

The Seminoles rushed for another 169 yards, led by Dalvin Cook’s 83 yards on 11 carries. Travis Rudolph caught seven passes for 105 yards and two of FSU’s three passing TDs. Jesus Wilson had an 89-yard TD punt return, and Logan Tyler returned two punts for 51 yards on average. The Seminoles were not really stoppable in any area, but that was not to be expected of the lowly Buccaneers.

Francois is now throwing for 69 percent completion on the season with an 8.11 yard per attempt average. He has five TDs and just one INT, with a passer rating of 154.4. Rudolph and Wilson both have 13 catches for 179 and 178 yards, respectively. Rudolph has three TDs, which accounts for 60 percent of FSU’s end zone passes. Cook has functioned well in pass plays, with eight receptions for 110 yards and an average of 13.8 yards per attempt.

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The Seminoles have enough talent to work any number of schemes to involve Cook, and if Francois can get more from his rushing attempts that will add another dimension. The QB has only averaged 3.7 yards per carry, but has rushed 15 times in two games and that is sure to increase slightly as the season presses on.

Given that there are few strong options after Cook, it may be imperative. Amir Rasul has rushed for 46 yards on just six carries, but that is a small sample size to predict any sustainable success. The 5’10” 196 pound freshman is speedy enough to make a difference.

Seminole kicker Ricky Aguayo has been perfect this season with 7 of 7 FG and 10 of 10 XPTM. He has hit 4 of 4 from 40-yards and further with a long FG of 46 yards.

Louisville put the clamps on Syracuse last week with a 62-28 drubbing to improve to 2-0 on the season. The Cardinals are ranked No. 10 in the nation and are prohibitive favorites in the ACC this season. Lamar Jackson threw 20 of 39 for 411 yards with one TD and one interception. He rushed for an additional 199 yards and four TDs on 21 carries, with a long stint of 72-yards.

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Out of the backfield, Brandon Radcliff had his way too, rushing for 156 yards on 10 carries with a TD, as the Cardinals rushed for seven TDs and threw for yet another (James Quick). Jamari Staples had five catches for 136 yards and Quick had 108 on four catches. Jaylen Smith had two catches for 78 yards.

The Cardinals had 845 yards of total offense, and it was a dominant offensive performance that will be much more difficult to replicate against a tough team like the Seminoles this week, obviously.

Jackson has thrown for 697 yards and seven TDs in two games with a 59.7 percent completion ratio and a passer rating of 188.1. He also leads the team in rushing and is averaging 9.9 yards per attempt on his 32 carries. The Cardinals can really get the chains moving between Jackson, Radcliff, Staples and Quick.

That is a lot of talent at the skill positions and the OL is strong enough to help this unit become one of the most dominant in the nation. The Seminoles are just one-point favorites in late odds on 5dimes, and this game really could go either way obviously. FSU is going to have to dig deep defensively and this does have the potential to be a high scoring affair at any rate, with the over/under set at a healthy ’67.’

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