The FSU Seminoles will return to the guidance of quarterback Everett Golson Saturday, but will it be enough to be past the pesky North Carolina State Wolfpack?
Golson has sat out for two weeks while backup Sean Maguire has played. Coach Jimbo Fisher said that the Clemson loss was not because of Maguire, but that Maguire could have played better.
“This is no knock on Sean,” Fisher said. “Were there plays he could have made? Yes. Were there plays in the Georgia Tech game. But it wasn’t just them. We all could have made plays.”
Golson has started seven of FSU’s nine games. He has thrown for 1,659 yards, with 11 touchdowns and only one interception. But Golson won’t be the only quarterback in the game who protects the ball. N.C. State’s Jacoby Brissett has thrown just two. For the season, Brissett has compleed 64 percent of his passes for 1,794 yards and 14 touchdowns.
The equalizer, again, should be running back Dalvin Cook. N.C. State’s top running back, Matt Dayes, is injured. For N.C. State, it’s advantage will be in a strong defensive front against what has not been FSU’s best offensive line.
FSU 20, N.C. State 17
Florida at South Carolina
Admit it: Now that Steve Spurrier is gone, this matchup isn’t nearly as much fun.
It’s been a tough year for the Gamecocks, who were so bad early this season that Spurrier quit on the spot. South Carolina is only 3-6 and is 13th in the league against the run. If the Gators can establish taliback Kelvin Taylor, they can avoid a close game such as the one against Vanderbilt last week
Quarterback Treon Harris could use a big play or two, just to remind fans it’s still in the playbook.
For Florida, the game is going to bring some unpleasant memories. Florida lost to South Carollina 23-20 in overtime last year, and coach Will Muschamp was fired the next day.
Florida 23, South Carolina 13
North Carolna at Maimi
The Hurricanes will try to slow down the Tar Heels’ offense, but it won’t be easy. That offense gained 704 yards last week, and this is the Miami defense that gave up 58 points to Clemson and saw Cincinnati pass at will.
Marquise Walker (494 yards last week) will be a challenge. Miami’s Brad Kaaya and Joe Yearby figure to be able to move the ball, but at some point, the Hurricanes defense will have to show up.
The Tar Heels can claim a share of the ACC Coastal title with a win.
North Carolina 27, Miami 17.
Temple at USF
The 8-1 Owls bring a nasty defense to Tampa, one of the fiercest that the Bulls have played. That defense has led Temple to a surprisingly good season where the only loss is by four points to Notre Dame. Against USF, it faces a strong running game with quarterback Quinton Flowers and tailback Marlon Mack.
Defensively, the Bulls have played well for most of this year, but quarterback P.J. Walker is a threat to ruin their night.
Temple 28, USF 14
FIU at Marshall
So far this year, the Panthers have not traveled well. They’re only 1-4 on the road, and Marshall is unbeaten at home.
FIU will hope it can offset that advantage with quarterback Alex McGough, but Marshall has played well on defense. But the Panthers just don’t run the ball well enough to stay close.
Marshall 31, FIU 13
Middle Tennessee at FAU
Middle Tennessee is coming off an upset of Marshall, and it isn’t bound to let the 2-7 Owls ruin their weekend.
Middle Tennessee’s Brent Stockstill threw for 354 yards last week, which will be a test for FAU. However, the Blue Raiders are 0-4 on the road this season.
Middle Tennessee 30, FAU 10
Dallas at Bucs
Things are tough for America’s team. Greg Hardy’s signing has been a huge mistake, Dez Bryant is feuding with reporters and the team is on a losing streak. But the Cowboys still have some advantages. The offensive line is one of the NFL’s best, and the defense is pretty good, too.
Dallas 24, Tampa Bay 20
Jacksonville at Baltimore
Blake Bortles of the Jags has thrown for more than 300 yards in three of his last four games. But the Ravens, despite a horrible start to this season, are far better than their 2-6 record.
Look for Joe Flacco to have a solid game for the Ravens.
Ravens 17, Jaguars 10
Dolphins at Eagles
The Eagles are coming off an overtime win against Dallas where they showed signs of getting their offense in sync. The Dolphins have lost two in a row.
For Miami, the challenge will be to try to run the ball as much as possible to put Ryan Tannehill in position for the play-fake. Whether the Dolphins can build a running game is the question.
For the Eagles, free agent DeMarco Murray finally had a decent game last week.