Yeah, Dalvin Cook can reach the end zone.
So, too, can Jacques Patrick.
For that matter, Deondre Francois can reach Travis Rudolph there. And Bobo Wilson. And others.
That isn’t the question. The Seminoles can score, as games against Ole Miss and USF show. But can FSU stop anyone, in particular North Carolina’s talented offense? FSU is 121st in yards per play allowed (6.78), 121st in opposing offense yards per carry, 116th in yards per play (8.9) and 108th in scoring defense (35 points per game). FSU has allowed 98 points in its last two games.
Now comes North Carolina, averaging 7.5 yards per offensive play. Quarterback Mitch Trubisky will be the latest of a talented group of signal callers the Seminoles have faced.
Can FSU play good enough defense to stay in the game for their offense?
Eventually, they’ll have to.
FSU 38, North Carolina 34
Florida at Vanderbilt
The Gators have looked sluggish in other noon starts. But Vandy probably couldn’t win this one if it started at dawn.
Look for Florida’s defense to try to re-establish the rep it lost against Tennessee. This week, maybe Jim McElwain will let quarterback Austin Appleby play in both halves.
Florida 28, Vanderbilt 13
Miami at Georgia Tech
Every week, it feels more and more like Miami might be back. Oh, the schedule will get tougher, and the defense will be tested more than it has been. But Mark Richt seems to have infused the ’Canes with some of their old confidence.
It helps that Miami has quarterback Brad Kaaya, who figures to be the difference against a tough Georgia Tech team.
Miami 31, Georgia Tech 21
USF at Cincinnati
The Bulls wore out Cincinnati last year, but this season’s game figures to be more of a contest. Still, the Bulls have enough firepower to outlast the Bearcats, who are giving up more than 400 yards a game in their 3-1 start.
Look for Quinton Flowers to add to his almost 1,200 yards of total offense. Receiver Rodney Adams might have a big week as well.
USF 37, Cincinnati 31
FAU at FIU
The question about this year’s Shula Bowl is simple. Can either team win it?
FAU is 1-3 and coming off a loss to Ball State. FIU is 0-4 and coming off the firing of coach Ron Turner. FIU hasn’t offered much pass defense, which means the Owls’ Jason Driskel could have a good day.
FAU 20, FIU 16
Central Florida at East Carolina
The Knights are 2-2, which isn’t bad after an 0-12 season a year ago. Coach Scott Frost seems to have the Knights playing well (only Michigan has been a rout).
East Carolina has enough of a passing game (12th in the nation) to hang around for three quarters. In the end, however, look for UCF to make the key play.
UCF 27, East Carolina 20
Jacksonville vs. Indianapolis (London)
The Jags have played better than you might think after looking at their 0-3 schedule. But they lost to Green Bay in a close game, and unbeaten Baltimore kicked a late field to beat them.
Indy is better now that you can say the same about Andrew Luck. But the feel is that Jacksonville is due.
Jacksonville 28, Indianapolis 23
Denver at Tampa Bay
The Broncos, Super Bowl champions, probably don’t care that the Bucs need a win. Tampa Bay is last in the NFL in points allowed, and the Bucs don’t have enough weapons to scare the Broncos defense unless Denver makes enough mistakes to help the Bucs get there.
Denver 30, Tampa Bay 17