Posts Tagged ‘Chick-Fil-A Bowl free picks’

Chick-Fil-A Bowl Picks: South Carolina vs. Florida State Analysis

December 30th, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in College Football   1 Comment »

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The storylines between the South Carolina Gamecocks and the Florida State Seminoles are very, very deep for the final game played in 2010 in the college football betting campaign. These two will lock horns in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl at the Georgia Dome as the losers of the SEC and ACC Championship games respectively. But which team will recover and post a win to finish up the calendar year? We have the three keys to the game for your Chick-Fil-A Bowl picks.

Key #1: Christian Ponder needs to prove that he is healthy and ready to go against a stout defense
These Gamecocks were no joke this year defensively, as they held teams to just 356.5 yards and 22.9 points per game this year. However, if you can beat this team, you have to do so through the air. If your name wasn’t the Auburn Tigers, you only averaged about 70 yards per game on the ground against SC this year, which puts the onus on the FSU passing game. Ponder has missed some games this year due to some various ailments, but right now, he is fighting with a bursa sac injury that cost him the 2010 ACC Championship Game against the Virginia Tech Hokies. The senior has probably cost himself a lot of money in the NFL Draft this year, but he did throw for 20 TDs on the campaign and is absolutely a capable signal caller. Ponder does have some explosive receivers at his disposal as well, though none of his top four targets had even 600 total yards on the season. The ball is spread around to four different targets, led by WR Bert Reed, who had 55 grabs for 589 yards and a pair of scores.

Chick-Fil-A Bowl Odds at Diamond Sportsbook
South Carolina Gamecocks -3
Florida State Seminoles +3
Over/Under 54.5
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Key #2: Mark Stoops has to find a game plan to get into the face of Stephen Garcia
Florida State Defensive Coordinator Mark Stoops has done a tremendous job this year getting his defense back in the saddle after a horrifying few seasons. This was the second best team in the ACC in terms of sacking the quarterback, and there were some fantastic games that this unit played up front. LB Mister Alexander is always terrorizing QBs, and he’s going to be tabbed with getting in the face of QB Stephen Garcia in this one. Garcia has been prone to throwing picks in his career, as he has 11 for the season in 315 pass attempts. The pressure needs to get into the South Carolina backfield in a hurry to keep the corners from having to guard the entire field against WR Alshon Jeffrey. It’s bad enough that Jeffrey can go and get a jump ball anywhere on the field. But to give him more than just a couple seconds to get open really just isn’t fair. Jeffrey caught 79 passes for 1,387 yards and nine TDs this year, and he is really one of the best ball catchers in the entire country. If FSU can’t stop him, it can’t stop this offense.

Key #3: Marcus Lattimore needs to be a workhorse
The Seminoles still have some problems stopping ground games at times, allowing 126.8 yards per game in 2010. Meanwhile, you won’t find a better freshman back in the game than Carolina’s RB Marcus Lattimore. Lattimore really made a name for himself this year against the Florida Gators, when he carried the ball 40 times for 212 yards and three TDs to help SC win the SEC East. The frosh wasn’t just a runner either. He had 26 catches for 364 yards and two TDs out of the backfield. However, when Garcia needs to get some of the pressure off of his shoulders, he turns around and hands the ball to No. 21. Lattimore had 248 carries this year for 1,198 yards and 17 scores, and he is likely to be the big time scorer on the day for the Gamecocks if they are going to beat the Chick-Fil-A Bowl odds.