Dec. 24, 2010
Dec. 31 / Chick-Fil-A Bowl
Florida State (9-4) vs. South Carolina (9-4), 7:30 p.m.
This game has a chance to very entertaining. Despite each team losing their respective conference title game, the winner will reach 10 wins and have something very tangible to build on for next fall.
Coach Jimbo Fisher has done a very nice job at Florida State, and whether QB Christian Ponder is ready to go or not, the `Noles need to be more balanced run-to-pass than they were in Charlotte against Virginia Tech.
The game will be decided by which team can break through in the run game. Florida State is the nation’s 25th-best team against the run, allowing 127.9 yards per game. South Carolina is ninth nationally against the run, allowing 104.3 yards per game.
FSU runs it with the combination of Chris Thompson and Ty Jones, while South Carolina pounds away with rookie sensation Marcus Lattimore.
It reduces the respective quarterbacks to simply “game managers”. For either Christian Ponder or E.J. Manuel (depending on Ponder’s elbow), you have to reduce mistakes to give your team a chance. FSU was +4 in takeaway/giveaway over their last four games.
In South Carolina’s case, Stephen Garcia has one of the premiere receivers in Alshon Jeffery has had seven games with 100+ yards or more. He is quite possibly the determining factor in the game.
— Wes Durham