ACC Championship 2013: Complete Game Preview for Florida State vs. Duke
TALLAHASSEE, FL - It's the final obstacle between Florida State and a national championship berth.
Newly-christened No. 1 FSU will take on surprise contender Duke, who managed to win the Coastal division over traditional football names like Miami and Virginia Tech, in an ACC Championship that is NOT basketball.
Few expect Duke to be able to compete with a Seminole team that has dominated any opponent that has crossed their path.
Time: 8 p.m. ET
Place: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, N.C.
Radio: Florida State IMG Sports Network
Spread: Florida State by 29 according to Bovada.lv
Florida State Keys to Victory
There will be a myriad of distractions surrounding this football team come Saturday: No. 1 rankings, postseason trophies and, of course, potential legal troubles. If the Seminoles can remain as focused as they have been all year, they'll have no problems.
Play your game
There's a reason Florida State is favored by 29 in a conference championship game. They're the better team and by a wide margin. There shouldn't be a scenario where FSU looks overmatched or overwhelmed.
Duke Keys to Victory
Embrace the underdog role
On ESPN, they were laughing at the thought of Duke playing FSU. Rece Davis suggested that the Blue Devils don't even have to practice. They're 29-point underdogs in their home state. There's plenty of bulletin board material to go around, and expect Duke to embrace it.
Pressure Jameis Winston, but don't blitz
The way to get to Winston is to pressure him, as he tends to throw the deep ball when he feels he has the opportunity. Blitzing, however, is when he tends to be the most deadly, so if Duke wants to mess with him, they need to find the happy medium.
Florida State Players to Watch
The redshirt sophomore caught three touchdowns against Florida last week and joined Kenny Shaw and Rashad Greene as a member of the 800-yard club. Benjamin will be a matchup nightmare for the Blue Devils.
Joyner was just named to the All-ACC defense team, and it was an accurate representation of the season that the senior is having. He wants to leave the ACC on a high note, and he should do so.
This is the last opportunity for the redshirt freshman to convince Heisman voters that he's the favorite to win the trophy, and he shouldn't disappoint.
Duke Players to Watch
Crowder was named to the All-ACC first team, a result of having 1,131 receiving yards and seven touchdowns on the season. Crowder will be one of the best receivers FSU has seen this season and a good test for the Seminole defense that gave up a few big passing plays to Florida last week.
Cash will be essential in stopping Jameis Winston. The safety has four interceptions and 103 tackles this year, and will be looked at as a leader of a Duke defense that hopes to stop one of the nation's best offenses.
What They're Saying
The regular season is over with and now we have to go to an ACC Championship game. I’m very happy to be going and blessed. (We’re) very thankful for the opportunity to go to Charlotte and play, representing our side of the division and playing Duke. Duke has had a tremendous season. (They have) ten wins, they’re on an eight-game win streak, playing extremely well (on) both sides of the ball. (They’re) creating points, doing well on defense, special teams – returning kicks. Dave Cutcliffe has done a tremendous job with that program and we’re going to have to prepare well and practice well and bring our ‘A’ game up to Charlotte and play a heck of a game.
Their receiver (Jamison Crowder) is a tremendous player. He can catch, run, he can change direction. (He’s) a great punt return guy. They get the ball in his hands as much as possible.
In the end, Florida State is the much better, more talented team. Duke is having an amazing season, and it's unfortunate their reward for it is having to play the best team in college football.
The margin of victory should be similar to if Duke played Florida State in basketball, so the Blue Devils can cling to that, at least.
Final Score: Florida State 48, Duke 17