FSU vs. USF Prediction, Game Preview

    FSU vs. USF prediction and game preview. The Seminoles and Bulls meet at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa for a Week 4 non-conference matchup.

    September 19, 2016


    FSU vs. USF prediction and game preview. The Seminoles and Bulls meet in Tampa for a Week 4 non-conference matchup.


    FSU vs. USF Game Preview

    When: Saturday, Sept. 24 – Noon ET

    Where:
    Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL

    TV Broadcast:
    ABC

    What kind of performance should we expect from the Seminoles after their disastrous effort against Louisville last week? FSU fans are hoping that a salty unit shows up this week for an in-state rivalry game against a South Florida team that stormed back from a 17-0 deficit to beat Syracuse 45-20 last week at the Carrier Dome, where the Bulls moved to 5-0 in their history.

    In last season’s meeting in Tallahassee, FSU running back Dalvin Cook rushed for 266 yards on 30 carries with three touchdowns in a 34-14 ‘Noles victory.

    What To Know About FSU

    As bad as the Seminoles looked on defense in the blowout loss to Louisville, the team was mostly out of sync offensively as well. Cook was held to 54 yards on 16 carries and quarterback Deondre Francois went just 7-of-18 passing for 101 yards. It doesn’t appear that there is a defense in the country capable of stopping Lamar Jackson, but it was still a woeful effort from the FSU ‘D.’ How will this team pick up the pieces?

    What to Know About USF

    Because of the Bulls’ quick-strike offense, Willie Taggart’s squad was able to respond to adversity and erase the big deficit against the Orange. The Bulls have won 10 of their last 12 games, and they gained at least 200 yards on the ground for the eighth-straight contest, led by Marlon Mack’s 115.

    Advantages

    Offense: Even. FSU has plenty of weapons, but USF has scored 149 points this season.

    Defense: Even. Taggart’s bunch gave up yardage to the Orange, but the Bulls did a good job of keeping them out of the end zone. Meanwhile, the brutal effort by the FSU defense was an aberration because it was going up against UL’s Jackson.

    Special Teams: USF. The ‘Noles almost allowed two touchdowns on punt returns in the loss to Louisville, while USF’s D’Ernest Johnson returned a punt 84 yards for a score against the Orange.

    Coaching: Even. Jimbo Fisher has won a national championship, but Taggart is building an AAC power.

    Intangibles: USF. A home game against a wounded in-state rival gives Taggart’s squad the edge.

    Matchup To Watch

    Rodney Adams vs. FSU secondary

    USF receiver Rodney Adams scored three touchdowns in the Bulls’ comeback win over Syracuse last week. FSU will be without Derwin James, and it’s a secondary that can give up big plays. Taggart loves to run the football, but USF dual-threat quarterback Quinton Flowers can make plays through the air.

    FSU vs. USF Betting Odds

    Spread: Florida State -5.5

    Over/Under:
     No line

    FSU vs. USF Prediction

    Even though FSU will be re-focused, it will be tested by a South Florida team that has a chance to win the AAC. Flowers and the USF offense will be able to move the ball against the ‘Noles, and the Bulls’ defense will give the FSU offense some resistance early. But a touchdown run by Cook on a long drive deep into the fourth quarter is the difference.

    FSU vs. USF Score Prediction: Florida State 33, South Florida 27

    MORE: 1-128 College Football Rankings – Week 4

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