Ole Miss Rebels (10-3) at Florida State Seminoles (10-3)
|Date & Time||Monday September 5, 2016, 12:00 AM (EDT)|
Florida State Seminoles -4 Over/Under 57
Down at Camping World Stadium in Orlando on Monday, September 5, the Ole Miss Rebels will clash with the Florida State Seminoles as each team opens up its college football season.
The Rebels are coming off a successful 2015 season, finishing 10-3 (6-2 in the SEC) and winning the Sugar Bowl over Oklahoma State. Fifth-year head coach Hugh Freeze returns to the helm and will try to steer the team toward a top bowl bid once again.
The Mississippi offense made their living through the air last season, putting up an average of 334.7 YPG passing. The Rebels weren’t too shabby on the ground, either, averaging 183.1 YPG there. Chad Kelly will be behind center once again, following his great 2015 in which he posted 4042 yards with a 31:13 TD:INT ratio. Judd Akeem steps into the lead RB role for the Rebels, and he’ll likely better his 78 carries and 425 yards from last year. With Laquon Treadwell gone to the pros, Ole Miss has quite a gap to fill at WR. Look for Damore’ea Stringfellow, Markell Pack and DaMarkus Lodge to step up.
As a unit, the Rebels defense posted a mediocre 258.8 YPG through the air and a much better 127.1 YPG on the ground last season. Junior Demarquis Gates is back at middle linebacker to try and lead Ole Miss in tackles once again. Gates bagged 76 total tackles and four pass defenses in 2015.
Over on the Seminoles’ side, the team was able to post a 10-3 record as well last season, going 6-2 in the ACC. Things didn’t end how they wanted, however, as Florida State lost in the Peach Bowl to Houston. Head coach Jimbo Fisher will be looking to change that outcome in his seventh year at the helm.
Florida State had a pretty balanced attack on offense in 2015, averaging 255.8 YPG passing and 168.2 YPG on the ground. Sean Maguire steps in as the No. 1 QB this season, and he’s coming off 1520 yards and an 11:6 TD:INT ratio last year. Junior Dalvin Cook will once again serve as the lead RB for the Seminoles, and he was effective last season with 1691 yards and a whopping 19 touchdowns on the ground. Travis Rudolph will be the big returning WR name; Rudolph logged 59 catches for 916 yards and seven scores a year ago for Florida State.
The Seminoles defense held opponents to 191.6 YPG through the air last season, as well as 145.3 yards rushing—both fairly respectable numbers. Leading tackler Reggie Northrup is gone, but safety Derwin James—who had a total of 91 tackles in 2015—will be back on the field for Florida State.
The Rebels are 7-1-1 ATS in their last nine neutral-site games, and 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven games in September. Ole Miss is also 25-8-1 ATS in their last 34 non-conference games, and 23-11-1 ATS in their last 35 games on fieldturf.
As for the Seminoles, they’re 5-1 ATS in their last six games overall, and 2-5 ATS in their last seven games in September. Florida State is also 3-8 ATS in their last 11 non-conference games, and 0-5 ATS in their last five neutral-site games.
I like Maguire to hit the ground running here, and Florida State shouldn’t have too many problems covering. I like Florida to jump out to an early lead and sit on it with a powerful run game. Give me the Seminoles all day long.