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College Football – (3) FSU Faces Stiff Test in Miami

John Benson

by John Benson in News

Nov 13, 2014 · 5:59 AM PST

(3) Florida State Seminoles (-2.5, 62 o/u) at Miami Hurricanes

Another week means more drama for Heisman-winning quarterback Jameis Winston as his No. 3 Florida State Seminoles (9-0, 6-0 ACC) seek a 26th straight win at the expense of the Miami Hurricanes (6-3, 3-2 ACC).

Like footballs, themselves, Winton’s second season at FSU hasn’t been seamless. (Rim shot.) Winston continues to struggle with off-field issues and, on the field, has already thrown more picks this year (11) than last (10).  While he doesn’t seem particularly attuned to his off-field struggles, Winston is aware that he needs to take care of the ball better if the Noles are going to repeat as National Champions.

“I’ve got to stop turning the ball over, and we’ve got to start making some noise in the first half,” said Winston. “But the good thing is our defense is playing lights out. They continue to play better and better, but my job as the leader of the team and as the quarterback of this team, I have to put both sides of the ball in good position to win the game.”

All Winston’s problems notwithstanding, the Noles have done nothing but win since he has been under center: the team is 22-0 with Winston as the starter.

Miami’s freshman signal caller, Brad Kaaya, is impressed with Winston’s ability to get the job done. “He always finds a way to win. And he’s also really good at tuning out all the outside noise, no matter what’s going on. He doesn’t let anything from the outside affect him,” said Kaaya.

With the future of Florida State’s quarterback in question, this game could be a passing of the torch of sorts between Winston and Kaaya, who is currently only 243 yards away from breaking Bernie Kosar’s freshman passing record at Miami.

Since the days of Ken Dorsey, Miami has lacked an elite quarterback who could put the Canes on par with the top teams in the nation. Miami head coach Al Golden is confident that Kaaya will break the trend. “We have a franchise quarterback,” said Golden.

Former Florida State coach and current Miami offensive coordinator James Coley isn’t about to say that Kaaya is the better QB, but did give the young pivot some kudos, “Jameis has the edge in arm strength. He’s bigger and stronger. He has an elite arm. Brad, he’s got an elite arm as well. And he’s going to get stronger.”

Storylines aside, this ACC matchup provides great betting opportunities. Not only are the home-dog Hurricanes (who are a perfect 5-0 at home on the year) a good play at +2.5, but the under (62) is even more appealing.

(Photo credit: Jayron32 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)

 

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