(11) Mississippi vs

(4) Florida St.

at Orlando, FL
Mon, Sep 5
5:00 PM Pacific
Rotation: 212
Odds: Florida St. -6, Total: 59

Game Analysis

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Florida State (-5)  35   Mississippi  30

Two of my top 10 teams square off in this Monday night prime time affair and it should be an exciting game with two explosive offenses facing off against two very good defensive units. I think the offenses will prevail and we’ll see a higher scoring than expected game.

Florida State’s attack will be run by redshirt freshman Deondre Francois, who reportedly has the confidence and potentially the talent of Jameis Winston. I don’t expect Francois to start his career with 25 of 27 passing, as Winston did at Pitt in 2013, but Florida State’s pass attack should be better than it was last season with an ultra-conservative Everett Golson opting for high percentage short passes rather than pushing the ball down the field as previous Jimbo Fisher quarterbacks had done. Golson completed 67% of his passes but for mediocre 12.0 yards per completion. The Seminoles were more effective on a yards per pass play basis when Sean Maguire stepped in as the starter the final 6 games, as Maguire averaged 7.5 yards per pass play (against teams that would allow 6.0 yppp to an average quarterback) while Golson averaged a more modest 6.9 yppp (against teams that would allow 6.3 yppp to an average QB) with his conservative approach – although with only 3 interceptions. Maguire and Francois were in a tight battle for the starting spot this season before Maguire was injured and I expect an improvement in the Seminoles’ aerial attack that returns every receiver from last year’s team. Experienced receivers make a big difference for young quarterbacks and they’ll help make things easy for Francois. Heisman Trophy candidate RB Dalvin Cook, who ran for 1691 yards at an incredible 7.4 ypr last season, returns along with the entire offensive line, so the rushing attack could be just as good (1.3 yprp better than average) and Francois should have time to look downfield. Florida State was 1.1 yards per play better than average offensively last season (6.6 yppl against teams that would allow 5.5 yppl to an average team) and I rate the Seminoles’ attack at +1.6 yppl entering this season, which is about the average rating they’ve had over the last 4 seasons.

Francois will have a sturdy test in his first start, as Ole’ Miss was 1.1 yppl better than average defensively last season (4.9 yppp allowed to teams that would combine to average 6.0 yppl against an average team) and rates at 0.9 yppl better than average this season. The Rebels’ run defense has been among the best in the nation the last two seasons and should be just as good but the secondary took a hit with the losses of star safeties Mike Hilton and Trae Elston, who were not only #2 and #3 on the team in tackles but also defended a combined 33 passes. Mississippi only allowed 10.5 yards per completion last season with those two elite safeties patrolling the back end but that number figures to rise this season and Florida State’s vertical pass attack will certainly test the new safeties. My ratings project 462 yards at 6.3 yppl for Florida State in this game.

The Ole’ Miss offense should be able to keep pace with Chad Kelly back at quarterback after an incredible 2015 season in which he averaged 7.9 yards per pass play (against teams that would allow 5.6 yppp to an average QB). Kelly may be improved as a quarterback but he lost his top two receivers, including Laquon Treadwell, who caught 82 balls for 1153 yards at 11 touchdowns last season. Another receiving star will likely emerge and Treadwell’s 9.6 yards per pass targeted at him was actually lower than the 10.2 yards per target that the rest of the wide receivers averaged last season. Still, Treadwell was Kelly’s security blanket and his slightly worse numbers than the rest of the receiving corps can be explained by the more frequent double-teams he had to combat. The Ole’ Miss rushing attack is better than average but not great, and overall I rate the Rebels’ attack at 1.4 yppl better than average this season.

The FSU defense was 1.0 yppl better than average in 2015 (4.7 yppl allowed to teams that would average 5.7 yppl) but it’s highly unlikely that the Seminoles will hold opponents to 9.9 yards per completion as they did a year ago. Regression to the team in that statistic is likely and while Florida State is just as talented defensively as they were last season they probably won’t be quite as good statistically and I rate that unit at 0.9 yppl better than average this season. My ratings project 439 yards at 6.0 yppl for the Rebels in this game.

Overall my ratings favor Florida State by 5 points (with 1.5 points given for playing nearby in Orlando), so I don’t see any value in the side. However, the numbers project 65 total points so I’ll lean over the total.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • Mississippi
  • Florida St.


  • Run Plays 31.0 42.0
  • Run Yards 158.2 220.4
  • YPRP 5.5 5.5


  • Pass Comp 24.0 20.6
  • Pass Att 36.8 34.8
  • Comp % 65.2% 59.2%
  • Pass Yards 333.4 225.8
  • Sacks 1.8 1.6
  • Sack Yards 12.2 9.8
  • Sack % 4.7% 4.4%
  • Pass Plays 38.6 36.4
  • Net Pass Yards 321.2 216.0
  • YPPP 8.3 5.9


  • Total Plays 69.6 78.4
  • Total Yards 491.6 446.2
  • YPPL 7.1 5.7


  • Int 1.2 0.8
  • Int % 3.3% 2.3%
  • Fumbles 0.4 0.8
  • Turnovers 1.6 1.6
  • Points 41.6 29.6
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