It’s come to this. After 2 contributor roundtables, we’ve come to the question that really matters: game predictions. Here are our first 2 roundtable installments:
And now, our SOTU Staff Predictions for Miami-Florida State.
Prediction time. How do you see the game playing out?
Cam Underwood: This game scares the hell out of me. Miami is the better/more complete team now. Miami has all the momentum. Miami has everything you need to win this game. If you put blind resumes up for these teams, you’d pick the Miami-resume team by 3 TDs. But, this is Miami-Florida State, and it’s going to be a dogfight.
I’m on record in a Q&A with Tomahawk Nation, on the Basketball Conference ACC Football Podcast, and on video with Mark Rogers picking Miami, so I’m going to stick with it. And, while I think Miami will win, I need to see it happen before I feel 100% comfortable. Miami 27 Florida State 20
Matt Washington: I think the offense will start out slow again, but will gradually pick up steam leading to halftime. The defense will put pressure on the ’Noles offense, piling up sacks and TFLs. There are only four teams with a worse 3rd down conversion percentage than FSU. Miami defeats FSU 24-13
Justin Dottavio: Miami 24 - FSU 20
Stefan Adams: The way I see it, the key to the game is this: to win, the Canes just have to not help the Seminoles' offense out. FSU struggles sustaining long drives due to inconsistent offensive line and quarterback play, but they are opportunistic. Last week against Wake, FSU started drives in Wake's territory with great field position on 3 occasions: once due to a big kickoff return, once because of a bad punt, and once off an interception. They were able to come away with 17 of their 26 total points on those 3 drives. If Miami protects the football and wins the field position battle, I don't see any way FSU can score enough to win this game. Dalvin Cook ain't walkin through that door. Now, before the season, I told myself I was done picking Miami to win this game until they actually came through and proved they could do it because I've just had my heart broken too many times. Trust issues, ya know? But, without Francois and with all of FSU's other struggles, it is just too tempting. There is really no reason why Miami should not win this game. Miami wins, 27-20.
Grunewald: I see this game playing out one of three ways. First, Miami destroys FSU, something like 42-17. Possible, but not probable. Second, because Miami hasn't "been there" in a long time (meaning beat FSU) I could see something like 30-17, pull away in the fourth. Lastly, FSU gets all the bounces, Rosier gets hurt, and penalties walk back Miami big plays. That score would be 24-21 FSU.
For my pick, I go with option 2 (Miami wins 30-17). Miami hasn't made things easy for these last 10 years in this rivalry or as a program in general. Sometimes you need baby steps to keep going in the marathon of program building.
Mat Scholtec: This will be a low scoring battle for the majority of the game with a halftime score in the neighborhood of 10-7. The story here will be which defense can get the edge in takeaways and which offense can take advantage of the opportunities. I expect Miami to win time of possession and eventually wear out the Noles defense with a combination of Walton and Homer. By the fourth quarter, Canes should start to pull away and come away with a 24-14 victory.
John Pickens: Miami wins 27-20. Florida State will play better than we've seen in recent weeks, but Miami's defense will take over in the second half. Malik Rosier will continue to impress and fans across the country will start to finally notice the talents of Richards and Walton on a large stage.
Charlie Strauzer: I can see this being the typical back and forth Miami-FSU game, but in the end, the Noles lose this in a close one. Miami 24, FSU 21.
Grant Misemer: This game can have multiple outcomes, but I believe the curse will end. Miami fans, hopefully we won’t have to hear from our Florida State neighbors for another year, because seven years has been too long. I am predicting a close, relatively low-scoring game. I believe Miami has the depth to hold off another second half disaster. I believe Miami’s strong front seven allows for Miami to stop the running game without having to commit to the run. This will help the secondary do their job. This game won’t be all sunshine and rainbows, though. Miami will struggle getting their own offense going, as this will be the offensive line and Malik Rosier’s biggest test. This game will be physical, tough, but ultimately, I think Miami will pull out the win. 20-14, Miami.
Carter Balderson: This will be Miami’s lowest scoring game of the year so far. The Canes will have to grind this one out. The defense will rise to the occasion and hold FSU to field goals on possessions they should have left with 7 points. Running the ball will be difficult for the second straight week, but Walton will still be a factor in the game. Ultimately, I see Miami getting a late TD from behind to come away with a 24-23 victory.
Silas Tsang: I predict a close game and a lead for Miami headed into the 4th quarter. Which secondary will make plays? Which quarterback throws an INT? That’ll determine the winner in my eyes. I predict Miami by 6 points – 23 to 17.
Ky-Shon Hepburn: Miami will be victorious in this one, 31-20. A win can give Miami a chance to insert themselves into the national discussion as one of the top teams and help on the recruiting front.
Donovan Hutchins: I believe it will be a solid start for both teams with the Canes leading after the 1Q 10-7. The standard offensive lull will hit the Canes in the 2Q until they can make adjustments during halftime. FSU will use this time to take the lead going into the half 13-10 by adding two field goals. In the second half, Miami will make adjustments and take over. The offensive line for FSU will be worn down and the depth of the Canes front 7 will start to shine. This will allow the offense to gain the lead back by adding 2 TDs in the middle of 3Q to early 4Q. FSU will add a FG late in the 4Q but the game will be in hand. We will FINALLY see the canes take the “victory” formation in Tallahassee. Final Score: 27 – 16 Miami. Rosier will have a solid day with 2 TDs (1 pass and 1 run) Walton will struggle yardage wise but will score. Richards will have a slow day, but that is because FSU will be focused on him allowing the other WRs to shine. Oh yeah, the TURNOVER chain will definitely make an appearance in Florida’s capital.
And there you have it. Our picks for Miami-FSU.
You have picks too, so share them in the comments below. And, who knows, there may even be a gift for the person closest to the actual score. Maybe.