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Florida State vs. South Florida: Latest Spread Info, BCS Impact and Predictions

TALLAHASSEE, FL - SEPTEMBER 22:  EJ Manuel #3 of the Florida State Seminoles celebrates after his teammate runs for a touchdown during their game against the Clemson Tigers at Doak Campbell Stadium on September 22, 2012 in Tallahassee, Florida.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer ISeptember 27, 2012

Florida State is sky-high after quarterback E.J. Manuel led the Seminoles to a monumental 49-37 victory over ACC foe Clemson last week.

South Florida (2-2, 0-1 Big East) is just coming off of a 31-27 loss to Ball State. 

Not only is Florida State ranked No. 4 in the country, but South Florida isn't even a bubble team in the AP poll.

Here's a look at the matchup in Tampa on Saturday.

 

Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL

When: Saturday, Sept. 29 at 6 p.m. ET

Watch: ESPN

Listen: Seminole IMG Sports Network, BullsCast

Live Stream: WatchESPN

 

Injury Report (via USA Today)

Florida State

WR Jarred Haggins - Undisclosed - Questionable

DB Justin Bright - Head - Questionable

OT Garrett Faircloth - Hip - Questionable

WR Josh Gehres - Hamstring - Questionable

LB Ukeme Eligwe - Hand - Questionable

DT Moses McCray - Concussion - Questionable

OL Daniel Foose - Back - Questionable

DE Brandon Jenkins - Foot - OUT for season

TE Dan Hicks - Knee - OUT for season

DT Derrick Mitchell - Back - OUT indefinitely

RB Mario Pender - Groin - OUT for season

 

South Florida

WR Sterling Griffin - Knee - OUT for season

 

Spread: Florida State -17 (via ScoresAndOdds.com)

Anybody who saw Florida State explode against Clemson last week knows that the Seminoles have a high-powered offense to go along with a defense full of playmakers.

South Florida has yet to face a ranked team and ranks 78th and 66th in points per game and points allowed per game respectively. 

Florida State just scored 49 points against Clemson and ranks second and sixth in points per game and points allowed per game respectively.

Forgive me if I go with the spread here.

 

Over/Under: 54.5 (via ScoresAndOdds.com)

Florida State has averaged 56.3 points in its first four games, including a 49-point outburst against Clemson last week.

South Florida just allowed Ball State to rack up 31 points and is allowing 24.5 points per game this season.

It's not out of the question that Florida State goes over 55 points by itself.

I'm going with the "Over" here.

 

BCS/Top 25 Implications

Florida State is currently ranked No. 4 in the nation in the AP poll, so it's unlikely the Seminoles drop from the Top 25 anytime soon.

On the other hand, Florida State is not playing for a mere Top-25 ranking. The 4-0 Seminoles are playing to make a BCS Bowl, with the main goal being the BCS Championship Game.

If Florida State loses to unranked South Florida, which isn't even a bubble team in the AP poll, then the program will surely fall down the rankings.

Florida State hasn't won the ACC since the 2010 season, but the 'Noles won the Champs Sports Bowl last season against Notre Dame.

 

Key to Florida State Win: Limit Turnovers

Florida State is so much more talented on both sides of the ball than South Florida that it would have to take some crippling turnovers for the Seminoles to lose this battle, in my opinion.

That's not likely to happen, though. Quarterback E.J. Manuel has only thrown one interception this season, and that was in Week 1. In his last three games, he's notched seven touchdowns and zero interceptions. He exploded against then-No. 10 Clemson last week.

 

Key to South Florida Win: Win Turnover Battle by a Landslide

In South Florida's first two games, senior quarterback B.J. Daniels threw six touchdown passes and only one interception.

In the team's last two losses, Daniels has racked up five interceptions. 

If the Bulls have any shot against Florida State on Saturday, Daniels must be more careful with the ball.

 

Prediction: Florida State 50, South Florida 17

This should be an all-out blowout, barring a catastrophe (i.e. a turnover parade) for Florida State.

I want to say this will be more competitive since it's an in-state game, but I just can't see that happening given what I've witnessed from the Seminoles and the Bulls so far this season.

 

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