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College Football Game of The Week: Florida State vs. Miami

The Noles and the Canes play the first real rivalry game of 2020. How will it look on the field?

Malik Cunningham of the Louisville Cardinals runs with the ball while defended by Quincy Roche of the Miami Hurricanes at Cardinal Stadium on September 19, 2020 in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The FSU-Miami is the first rivalry matchup of the 2020 college football season, but it’s two teams trending in opposite directions early on this season.

The ‘Canes are 2-0, and looking like a contender for the ACC Championship Game with D’Eriq King looking like a Heisman contender after two games. And offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee made some great adjustments. Multiple times the Canes completely isolated their speedy skill players due to scheme and design. Here’s some great film on how they did it, focus not just on their adjustments, but also anticipating how Louisville would react and countering.

And that might be a huge problem for FSU, who often looked disorganized and undisciplined in their loss to Georgia Tech. Check out this zone coverage when they rush three and drop eight early in the second quarter with a two-score lead on Georgia Tech already against a true freshman quarterback.

The Noles gave up a respectable-but-not-great 5.9 yards per play to a Yellow Jackets team picked to finish last in the ACC this season.

Starting quarterback James Blackman was 23/43 for 198 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. And though the interception didn’t hurt as the the Georgia Tech drive resulted in one of three blocked kicks on the day, it shows the problems FSU has with Blackman even when he has time to throw.

And if FSU does find a victory, it won’t be the first for new head coach Mike Norvell: He’s been diagnosed with Covid-19 and will not make the trip south.

This all leads up to FSU being a double-digit underdog on the road in a series where so many games have had razor-thin margins over the years. Here are the bigger stats for the Florida State Seminoles and Miami Hurricanes:

Florida State Seminoles (0-1, 0-1 ACC) vs. #12 Miami Hurricanes (2-0, 1-0 ACC)

Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, FL

When: Saturday, September 26th, 7:30 p.m. ET

TV: ABC

Odds at DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: Miami -11.5

Total: Over/Under 55.5

Money Line: FSU +335, Miami -455

SP+ Ranking after Week 3

FSU: 46 (48 offense, 40 defense)

Miami: 21 (39 offense, 16 defense, offense entered 2019 projected as 56th)

Returning Production

Florida State

Overall: 73% (27 of 130 FBS)

Offense: 63%

Defense: 83%

Coaching Staff: All new but WR and DL coach

Offense: 7 starters returning, 10 QB starts (James Blackman)

Defense: 10 starters returning

Offensive line games started: 37

Miami

Overall: 55% (91 of 130 FBS)

Offense: 59%

Defense: 50%

Coaching Staff: New OC (Rhett Lashlee), OL, & WR coach

Offense: 7 starters returning, new QB (D’Eriq King, transfer from Houston)

Defense: 4 starters returning

Offensive line games started: 65

Team Talent via 247 Sports Composite

FSU: 22nd of 130

Miami: 18th of 130

Championship Odds

FSU: National Champion +50000, ACC Champion +5000

Miami: National Champion +10000, ACC Champion +1000