USA TODAY Sports
Florida State Seminoles vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys (+18,
Florida State’s title defense begins with a stern test
Saturday, as the national champion Seminoles open against
Oklahoma State in Dallas. The Seminoles return 15 starters
from last year’s championship squad, including reigning
Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston at quarterback, but they
aren’t easing into the defense of their crown. The Cowboys
have won six straight season openers and have knocked off
four top-10 foes under coach Mike Gundy, though they’ve never
beaten a No. 1 team.
Florida State’s 16-game winning streak dating to the 2012
season is one shy of the school record set from 1999-2000.
The Seminoles’ retooled defense gets a good early test
against an Oklahoma State team that has been one of the
nation’s most prolific on offense during Gundy’s tenture.
“They are very diverse, they are very athletic, and they are
very well-coached,” Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher told
reporters. “They keep you off-balanced, and they are not
scored to do things. They are very aggressive with how they
TV: 8 p.m. ET, ABC. LINE: Florida State
LINE HISTORY: The Seminoles opened as
17.5-point road favorites and now sit at -18. The total has
held steady at 63.
INJURY REPORT: Florida State: LB Delvin
Purifoy – out for season (ankle). Oklahoma State: N//A.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Florida State (-24) –
Oklahoma State (-10.5) + home field (-3) = Oklahoma State
WHAT BOOKS SAY: “Both the opening line and
total were strong plays for this games as Florida State open
at -18 and the total is 63.5. We will have a huge decision on
the side and the total with 83 percent of cash and 86 percent
on Florida State and 95 percent of cash and 93 percent of
bets on the over 63.5.” – Mike Perry of
ABOUT FLORIDA STATE (14-0, 11-3 ATS): The Seminoles
return a number of key players from an offense that has put
up 30 or more points in 15 straight games, but the receiving
corps is thin on experience with starting receivers Kelvin
Benjamin and Kenny Shaw gone after combining for 108
receptions and 21 touchdowns a year ago. New defensive
coordinator Charles Kelly inherits a unit that returns six
starters and is especially strong against the pass, with
returners having combined for 16 interceptions in 2013. Like
they did a year ago, the Seminoles figure to have an
advantage on special teams with the return of record-breaking
kicker Roberto Aguayo and return specialist Kermit
ABOUT OKLAHOMA STATE (10-3, 8-5 ATS): The Cowboys
appear to be headed for a rebuilding year, as they’re picked
to finish fifth in the Big 12 and don’t return much star
power. Only six players on the roster have more than 10
career starts, and only one — receiver Jhajuan Seales — plays
an offensive skill position. Quarterback J.W. Walsh isn’t on
that list — he has started only eight games — but could be
poised for a breakout year after passing for 22 touchdowns
and rushing for 10 while splitting time under center the past
* Seminoles are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games
* Cowboys are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games overall.
* Over is 10-4 in the Seminoles last 14 games overall.
* Over is 7-2 in the Cowboys last nine non-conference
COVERS CONSENSUS: Just over 53 percent of the wagers
are on Oklahoma State at +18. Almost 70 percent of wagers are
on the over at 63.