MARYLAND TERRAPINS (4-0)
at FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES (4-0)
Kickoff: Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET
Line: Florida State -16, Total: 57
No. 25 Maryland appears to be turning the corner under the watch of head coach Randy Edsall, and his team will get its first real test Saturday when they visit No. 8 Florida State and star QB Jameis Winston.
The Seminoles are coming off a tougher than expected 48-34 victory over 21.5-point underdog Boston College last Saturday, failing to cover the spread for the first time this season. However, Winston once again proved to the country that he is as good of a quarterback as there is, throwing for 330 yards and four touchdowns. Winston has talents that you canít coach, and is a nightmare for opposing defenses to game plan for. The Terrapins right now are the surprise of the ACC. This is the first time they have been ranked in the AP Poll since the end of 2010. Their 37-0 win over West Virginia looks even more impressive after the Mountaineers defeated then No. 11 Oklahoma State last Saturday. Injuries decimated this team last season, but a healthy C.J. Brown has given Maryland a quarterback of their own that can make plays with both his arm as well as his feet. The Terrapins are a perfect 4-0 ATS this season, but this is the first time they are an underdog as they head to Tallahassee. Last season, FSU dominated this matchup, defeating Maryland 41-14 on the road, but the Terps were using linebacker Shawn Petty as their starting quarterback that day.
Can Florida State cover the huge spread against a ranked Maryland team? For the answer, connect to College Football Best Bets for all the StatFox Experts picks throughout the 2013 regular season and bowl season. The experts continued their hot streak in college football Best Bets with an astounding 82% ATS record (14-3-2) this past week. The four experts are now a combined 61% ATS (53-34-3) for the season. StatFox Gary is a perfect 8-0-1 ATS in college football Best Bets over the past three weeks and 75% ATS (9-3) this year. StatFox Scott is 78% ATS (7-2-1) on Best Bets in the past two weeks and 63% ATS (15-9-1) for the season. StatFox Brian is 59% ATS (10-7-1) in Best Bets this season while StatFox Dave went 6-1 ATS in Best Bets last week to improve to 56% ATS (19-15) for the year.
Brown has been quite impressive this season, throwing for 1,043 yards and seven touchdowns. He missed last season due to a knee injury, and has come back better than before. He has been helped by the emergence of sophomore WR Stefon Diggs, who has 400 receiving yards and 3 TD in just four games. He is not the biggest receiver (6-foot-0, 195 pounds), but he has the ability to get behind the secondary. If the Terrapins are going to pull off the upset, they will need Diggs to provide the team with a couple of big plays down the field. Last year he was held to three catches in the loss to FSU, but was still able to record a 25-yard reception and 23-yard run. While the Seminoles offense has been rolling this season, the Maryland defense has been very impressive as well. Through four games, the Terrapins have given up only 10.3 PPG, which ranks third in the country. Florida State has one of the best home fields in all of the country, so it is key for Maryland to get off to a fast start and not allow the crowd to get into the game.
There is no denying that Winston is a special player. However, there are many other players that are capable of big plays for the No. 4-ranked scoring offense in the country (51.0 PPG). Senior WR Kenny Shaw is emerging as the go-to guy for Winston, as Winston hit him on a 55-yard bomb at the end of the first half against Boston College. While the passing game of the Seminoles gets most of the talk, Florida State is more than capable of major success on the ground. James Wilder Jr. (5.8 YPC, 2 TD) is one of the most underrated players in all of the country. He is a physical specimen that is able to run through defenders with no problem and he piled up 52 yards and a touchdown on just eight carries (6.5 YPC) versus Maryland last year. However, it is the play of the defense that will need to step up after allowing 34 points and 397 yards against an average Boston College offense. DT Timmy Jernigan has big-time talent and can be unblockable at times, however, he must learn to bring the intensity on every single play. He will be looked upon to get pressure on C.J. Brown, and not allow him to roll out and get on the perimeter.