College Football Odds & Prediction for Southern Miss vs Florida State: Bet This Huge Favorite
Joe Petro/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis.
Southern Miss vs Florida State Odds
The Florida State Seminoles had one of the biggest performances of the weekend on a nationally televised prime-time stage last Sunday. Their 45-24 victory over then-No. 5 LSU boosted the Seminoles to No. 4 in this week’s AP Poll.
Coming off that massive matchup, they're now hosting the Southern Miss Golden Eagles in a game in which they're massive favorites.
While Florida State should win this game handily, it will be interesting to see if it can play up to the level of hype it's been garnering around the country this week.
Southern Miss started its season with a 40-14 win over FCS opponent Alcorn State. The Golden Eagles put up a 57th percentile performance in Offensive Success Rate and sat in the 61st percentile in EPA. On the other side of the ball, they held the Braves to a 37th percentile output in EPA/Play as they sat in the fifth percentile in Success Rate.
Despite leading for much of the game, Southern Miss didn't provide much production on the ground. It averaged -0.04 EPA/Rush and only 3.8 yards per carry.
This was a struggle for the Golden Eagles last year as well. In 2022, they ranked 110th in Offensive Success Rate and 84th in Finishing Drives. Both facets of offense gave them troubles, as the rushing game ranked 114th in Success Rate and 112th in PPA, while the passing game ranked 96th in Success Rate.
Defensively, this was one of the better units in the country last year. The Eagles finished 12th in Success Rate in FBS a season ago but return just six starters.
The front seven brings back most of its contributors from 2022, but almost the entire secondary is new. That could potentially cause major issues against a potent Florida State passing attack.
While Florida State got the job done and secured the big win last week, it was a closer game than the final score would indicate. For much of the game, these teams were going back and forth before FSU grabbed the momentum and poured it on in the closing minutes.
The offensive output by Florida State was impressive, to say the least. It put up a 91st-percentile Success Rate and 95th-percentile EPA per Play against an LSU defense that finished last season ranked 26th by SP+.
Jordan Travis was unreal through the air. The Seminoles put up a 98th-percentile performance in EPA per dropback. Travis completed 23 of his 31 attempts for 342 yards, four touchdowns and an interception while adding another 38 yards and a score on the ground for good measure.
This receiving production came from one of the best pass-catching tandems in the country. Johnny Wilson had seven catches for 104 yards while Michigan State transfer Keon Coleman added another nine receptions for 122 yards and three touchdowns.
This offense has been among the top units in college football when Travis is on the field, and with another year of experience, eight returning starters, and Coleman added to the mix, it appears the Noles are here to stay in 2023.
Defensively, Florida State returned nine starters from a unit that ranked 35th in SP+ last season.
While it came in at 43rd in Passing Success Rate and 22nd in Passing PPA Allowed, the rush defense was its Achilles’ heel. The Seminoles ranked 93rd in Rushing Success Rate Allowed and 90th in Rushing PPA Allowed. This weakness in their run defense showed up again against LSU, as they held the Tigers to 0.00 EPA/dropback but gave up 0.23 EPA/Rush (83rd percentile).
Florida State will have to improve its run defense to compete with some of the top rushing teams in the country this year, but that doesn’t appear to factor into this matchup with Southern Miss.
Southern Miss vs Florida State
Betting Pick & Prediction
The main weakness of the Seminoles is their rushing defense, but Southern Miss doesn't appear to have the ability to do take advantage. They were poor at rushing the ball last year and didn't show any improvement against an FCS opponent in Week 1.
With an inexperienced starting quarterback, I would not expect Southern Miss to capitalize on offense.
Florida State’s dynamic passing game will also prove to be no match for the new-look Southern Miss secondary. The Golden Eagles simply don't have the talent to hang with FSU’s offense.
While this spread is already high, I expect a huge Florida State win this weekend.