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This Is The Weekend We Bury The Seminoles!
It used to be automatic for bettors in America during the fall when Florida State was playing a Football game. The point spread would inevitably be double digits and it was just a matter of deciding whether you were going to lay the huge number, or grab the points with the underdog and say a prayer.
Not so in 2006 Football fans as this edition of Bobby Bowden's squad in Tallahassee is a mere shell of the great Seminole teams of the past and quite frankly they are a very risky proposition.
This weekend they travel to College Park, Maryland and a date with the Maryland Terrapins and the largest online sportsbook in the world Sportsbook has the Florida team favored by -4 ˝ .
Maryland, which is 2-1 in conference play and tied for third place in the Atlantic Division, has won all four games at home in '06. As far as the all-time series is concerned, Florida State currently holds a commanding 15-1 edge over the Terps since the squads began playing each other in 1966. Maryland's lone victory came at home in 2004 with a 20-17 decision and a season ago, FSU slipped by UM with a 35-27 victory at home.
FSU is now ranked 11th in the conference and 95th nationally with an average of only 102.3 ypg rushing after play on Saturday. Antone Smith and Lorenzo Booker are the top two in rushing for the group with 311 and 288 yards, respectively, after seven games. Clearly the offense revolves around what QB Drew Weatherford can get done, with the signal-caller having completed 62.3 percent of his passes for 10 touchdowns and five picks. Against the Terps last season, Weatherford threw a pair of interceptions against one TD, but also recorded one of his three rushing scores of the season in the win at home.
While the Seminoles were having trouble moving the ball on the ground last week, the defense for the squad was doing the same to Boston College, limiting the Eagles to just 60 yards on 32 attempts. FSU also allowed 262 yards through the air, but not a single pass made it into the end zone and the 'Noles were able to post a pair of sacks and an interception in the losing effort.
Maryland has Sam Hollenbach pitching the ball around and Coach Ralph Friedgen has been very conservative in his play calling. They have a talented runner in Lance Ball and a very quick defense, which flies to the ball. Getting the points at home looks like a gift from the higher power here.
About the Author: Bob is an experienced sports writer and handicapper who has written for the sports industry for over a decade. He has been a regular contributer to Sports Scene, a sports consultant for television's 33 Made and other major motion pictures.