No. 13 Florida State (2-1) at South Florida (3-0), Noon (ABC)
Line: Florida State by 6.
Series Record: Florida State leads 2-1.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Florida State aims to bounce back from a 43-point loss to Louisville that cost the Seminoles the No. 2 ranking and maybe any shot they have of winding up in the College Football Playoff. South Florida, 3-0 for the first time under coach Willie Taggart, hopes to state its case on national television for wide recognition and perhaps a Top 25 ranking.
Florida State RB Dalvin Cook against a USF defense led by LBs Auggie Sanchez and Nigel Harris. Cook scorched the Bulls for a career-best 266 yards rushing and three touchdowns, keying a 34-14 FSU victory in Tallahassee last season. Cook has been relatively quiet in the Seminoles’ first three games, averaging just 4.6 yards per carry and scoring two TDs.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Florida State: QB Deondre Francois has thrown for 782 yards and six TDs through his first three career starts, however the redshirt freshman was only 7 for 18 passing for 101 yards, one TD and an interception in last week’s loss at Louisville. He has experienced receivers in Travis Rudolph, Bobo Wilson and Kermit Whitfield, and Cook has been effective with nine receptions for 118 yards out of the backfield.
South Florida: RB Marlon Mack, the American Athletic Conference rushing leader past two seasons. is averaging 9.6 yards per carry. The junior is coming off a nine-carry, 115-yard performance that keyed last week’s 45-20 rout of Syracuse and is 37 yards shy of becoming the Bulls’ career rushing leader.
FACTS & FIGURES
Florida State is 11-3 coming off a loss under coach Jimbo Fisher, who’s in his seventh year as Bobby Bowden‘s successor. … The Seminoles have won two straight in the series, with USF’s lone victory coming in 2009, Bowden’s last season. … South Florida is aiming to open with four consecutive wins for the first time since 2011. … The Bulls have won 10 of 12 games following a 1-3 start last season. … USF dual-threat QB Quinton Flowers has thrown for 716 yards and seven TDs. He’s also run for two TDs.
Republished with permission of the Associated Press.