Florida State Seminoles vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys Pick-Odds-Prediction 8/30/14
Florida State Seminoles (14-0) at Oklahoma State Cowboys (10-3)
College Football: Saturday, August 30, 2014 at 8:00 pm (AT&T Stadium)
The Line: Oklahoma State Cowboys +18 -- Over/Under: 63 See the Latest Odds
The Florida State Seminoles and the Oklahoma State Cowboys play in Arlington, Texas to begin the 2014 college football season.
The Florida State Seminoles finished 14-0 and won the BCS National Championship Game. From start to finish in the regular season, the Seminoles were dominant. The closest margin of victory was 14 points at Boston College. They thoroughly destroyed the 4 ranked opponents they took on in the regular season. The closest any of those four came was 27 points, when the Miami (FL) Hurricanes were soundly defeated, 41-14. As one would expect, the toughest test came in the BCS National Championship game against Auburn. The Seminoles fell behind 21-3, but fought back to win 34-31, in a national championship game for the ages. Heisman Trophy winner 'Famous' Jameis Winston will once again be under center for Florida State. In 2013 he passed for over 4,000 yards, 66.9% completion percentage, and 40 touchdowns. RB Devonte Freeman and RB James Wilder Jr. are gone, but RB Karlos Williams is not and he is a load. A former safety, Williams is why Wilder Jr. left. Playing time just was not going to be there. Freshman RB Dalvin Cook comes in as one of the most heralded tailbacks in the country and has that break-away speed that makes him elite. The Seminoles return four of their top six receivers including the leader in Rashaad Greene. He will be joined by Kermit Whitfield, Isaiah Jones, senior Christian Green, and tight end Nick O'Leary, who was a 2013 Mackey Award finalist. The offensive line returns four of the five starters with 114 career starts.
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Defensively, DE Mario Edwards and DE Chris Casher will be at the defensive end positions while Eddie DT Goldman and DT Nile Lawrence-Stample are plugging the tackles. This group is experienced and has plenty of help to rotate in order to keep fresh throughout the game. The linebacker group however is inexperienced and will be asked to mature quickly. The good news is the two-deep roster is very highly touted coming out of high school. Seven of the top nine defensive backs return from last year for the Noles and this group was ranked among the best in the country. Lamarcus Joyner and Terrence Brooks will be hard to replace, but the return of cornerbacks PJ Williams and Ronald Darby will definitely soften the blow.
Oklahoma State was strong for most of the 2013 season on both sides of the ball. The Cowboys finished the season in the top from the 20 of both offense and defense last season. However, The Cowboys struggled near the end of the season after a seven game winning streak. Having a chance to win the Big 12, the Cowboys faltered in the final seconds to state rival Oklahoma 33-24. They followed up that loss with a loss to the Missouri Tigers in the Cotton Bowl. Oklahoma State had to replace big name players and their offensive line coach Joe Wickline who is now at Texas. Oklahoma State loses their second team All-Big 12 quarterback from last season in Clint Chelf, but have an experienced quarterback coming back in J.W. Walsh, who started in five games last season for the Cowboys. Oklahoma State returns two starting receivers back and five others with experience. WR Jhajuan Seales looks to be the number one receiver on this year's team. The Cowboys do have three seniors coming back on the offensive line, all with experience, but youth will have to step up with only six upperclassmen on the line.
Defensively, the Cowboys are losing some major players from last year's team on the defensive line. Oklahoma State loses two All-Big 12 selections in Tyler Johnson and Calvin Barnett. Linebacker is an area of concern going into the season. Junior Ryan Simmons is the only major contributor from last year's group returning. The secondary situation does not get much better for the Cowboys as they will have to find a replacement for first round pick Justin Gilbert. Meanwhile, there are currently three players with any decent experience in the running at the safety position.
2014 is expected to be a rebuilding season for Mike Gundy and the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Meanwhile, the Seminoles are defending their championship and may arguably a better football team than last year. I expect the Seminoles to flex their muscles on defense and make life extremely difficult on the Cowboy offense. Winston and Florida State will have no problem scoring 40 points in this one. I think the Seminoles will pull away in the second half and win by 20 plus.