Only one team in the matchup between No. 14 Florida State and Miami (FL) is currently in first place in its ACC Division, and it is not the Seminoles.
After its shocking loss to North Carolina State two weeks ago and a blowout victory over Boston College, FSU sits at 3-1 in the Atlantic Division. Miami also holds a 3-1 conference record—which is good enough for first place in the Coastal Division—but the Maryland Terrapins are undefeated within the ACC, and currently top the Atlantic standings.
But with a victory and a Maryland loss, the Seminoles will be back on top of their conference.
Here is everything you need to know about this ACC showdown.
Where: Sun Life Stadium, Miami, Fla.
When: Saturday, Oct.20, 8 p.m. ET
Live Stream: Seminoles.com (audio)
Listen: Florida State Radio Affiliates, 560 WQAM and 1260 Radio Caracol (Miami)
Betting Line: Florida State (-19) (according to Sports Book)
Florida State Injury Report (via USA Today)
Trey Pettis—freshman offensive lineman is questionable with concussion-like symptoms.
Justin Bright—junior defensive back is questionable with a head injury.
Garrett Faircloth—junior offensive lineman is questionable with a hip injury.
Ukeme Eligwe—freshman linebacker is questionable with a hand injury.
Moses McCray—senior defensive tackle is questionable with a concussion.
Daniel Foose—sophomore offensive lineman is questionable with a back injury.
Derrick Mitchell—freshman defensive tackle is questionable with a back injury.
Chris Casher—freshman defensive end is out for the season with a knee injury.
Jacobbi McDaniel—senior defensive tackle is out for the season with an ankle injury.
Colin Blake—freshman defensive back is out for the season with a shoulder injury.
Brandon Jenkins—senior defensive end is out for the season with a foot injury.
Dan Hicks—junior tight end is out for the season with a knee injury.
Mario Pender—freshman running back is out for the season with a groin injury.
Miami Injury Report (via USA Today)
Rayshawn Jenkins—freshman defensive back is questionable with an upper body injury.
Ben Jones—senior offensive lineman is questionable with a foot injury.
Stephen Morris—junior quarterback is doubtful with an ankle injury.
Jermaine Johnson—junior offensive lineman is out indefinitely with personal issues.
Malcolm Lewis—freshman wide receiver is out for the season with an ankle injury.
Sean McNally—junior long snapper is out for the season with a knee injury.
Ramon Buchanan—senior linebacker is out for the season with a knee injury.
BCS/Top 25 Poll Implications
Florida State had its eyes on the national championship before losing to NC State, but now it sits at No. 14 in the BCS standings. The Seminoles will need to win convincingly against the Hurricanes in order to build their résumé up for an attempt at a BCS Bowl Game.
Miami has a chance to factor into some of the polls with an upset in this game, but climbing up the BCS standings seems out of the question at this point in the season.
What They’re Saying
ESPN’s Heather Dinich believes that the Seminoles are back in the fast lane after hitting a speed bump against the Wolfpack.
The Seminoles bounced back from their deflating loss to NC State with a convincing 51-7 drubbing of Boston College. They’ll get more of a fight this week when they face rival Miami on the road, but on paper, this is another game the Noles should win.
Linda Robertson of the Miami Herald notes that the Hurricanes blew an opportunity to give themselves some breathing room in the ACC, and now the road forward will be difficult.
The Hurricanes had a prime opportunity against a mediocre opponent to remain undefeated in the Atlantic Coast Conference but lost their second game in a row — and have No. 12 Florida State and Virginia Tech on the docket.
Florida State Player to Watch: Chris Thompson, Running Back
The senior running back has racked up 640 yards this season and is averaging 7.6 yards per carry. However, he has not reached the end zone in the past three games.
Florida State’s offense will be looking for another explosive day, and Thompson will certainly be motivated to add to his five touchdowns this season against a weak Miami run defense.
Miami Player to Watch: Ryan Williams, Quarterback
Ryan Williams will likely start for the first time this season after Stephen Morris sprained his ankle against North Carolina last week.
The Canes are ranked 24th in the country in passing yardage, and if they are able to move the ball against the Florida State defense, Williams will have to play extremely well in a difficult situation.
Key Matchup: Miami Tackles vs. Florida State Pass Rush
With an inexperienced quarterback under center, the Miami offensive line will have to give its signal-caller time in the pocket. This will be a difficult task with Bjoern Werner relentlessly pursuing Williams.
Werner is a frighteningly talented edge-rusher who has 6.5 sacks this season. Blocking him will be crucial to Miami’s success in this game.
Key Storyline: Florida State in the BCS
Florida State will hope to be a one-loss team who finds itself in one of the marquee bowl games this postseason, and it will need to start beating ACC opponents convincingly to accomplish this.
The Seminoles put themselves on track against Boston College, and another blowout victory over Miami would keep them moving in the right direction.
Prediction: Florida State 45, Miami 21
Florida State’s running game will tear through the Miami defense and the Seminoles will control this contest.
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