Two of the worst pass defenses in the nation clash when Florida State and NC State take the field in their Halloween match up.


NC State Preview: Since the shocking win over Pittsburgh in Week 4, the Wolfpack have come back to earth. Three consecutive losses to Wake Forest, Duke and Boston College have warmed the backside of head coach Tom O’Brien. Fortunately, dual-threat quarterback Russell Wilson will be at the helm for NC State the next couple of seasons. Wilson is the straw that stirs the drink for the Wolfpack – as he goes, so goes the offense.

The sophomore ranks second on the team with 348 rushing yards and has thrown for 1,659 yards and 16 touchdowns against four interceptions this season. State’s rush defense is stable, ranking No. 13 in the country, but the team’s secondary has been vulnerable. Duke’s Thaddeus Young torched the Wolfpack secondary for 459 yards and five touchdowns on 40-of-50 passing! The last four NC State games have been shootouts and O’Brien’s crew has only come away with a single victory.

FSU Preview: Do you get the feeling that Florida State fans are secretly rooting against the program so the heralded, but unwanted, Bobby Bowden can quietly exit at season’s end? Front office personnel started collecting his belongings in Tallahassee last week during first half of the North Carolina game, but quickly had to unpack after the Seminoles second half resurgence. Florida State doesn’t have a quality win on the resume this season and the team has a Jekyll and Hyde persona. It is doubtful last week’s come from behind victory will be a turning point in the season because since 2004, Florida State is 7-10 in November and December games (excluding bowls).



To offset an anemic defense (413.3 ypg), the Seminoles boast one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the country in Christian Ponder. The senior signal-caller leads the nation’s No. 8 passing offense (311.4 ypg) and hasn’t thrown an interception in 237 pass straight attempts.

Matchup: Expect to see fireworks in the air as two of the worst pass defenses in country square off in this matchup. The Seminoles hold the No. 109 ranking while the Wolfpack are positioned at No. 100 in the country. And to compound matters for those feeble secondaries, the two opposing pass offenses are No. 8 (FSU) and No. 26 (NC State) in the nation.

NC State also boasts a stout rush defense (95.7 ypg), but that won’t factor into the game because Florida State is pathetic moving the ball on the ground. Ponder and his receiving corps will have to dink and dunk, using quick passes and screens to avoid an aggressive Pack pass rush that registers 2.7 sacks per outing. The ‘Noles have dropped two out of the last four meetings to NC State in Tallahassee, and the Wolfpack are coming off an idle week so the coaching staff has had ample time to prepare.

The Seminoles are a paltry 2-5 against the number this season while the Wolfpack haven’t faired much better, going 2-4-1 at the window. Florida State saved its backers some coin last week with the come from behind victory against the Tarheels. The only other ATS win came against BYU in Week 3, but that victory doesn’t glow as much now. Both of the Noles’ ATS wins have come on the road. NC State’s marquee ATS win was at home against Pittsburgh in Week 4. The other ATS was also at home against FCS team Murray State.

The two-point swing from 7.5 to 8.5 occurred in the blink of an eye on Tuesday which indicates a very large syndicate play was made across the board. The number jumped another half point on Thursday afternoon with some services and bettors following suit.

Final Prediction:
Florida State 28, NC State 14
Free Pick: Florida State -8.5