The Chattanooga Mocs (8-2, 6-1), who are ranked in the top 10 of the FCS, will travel to face the Florida State Seminoles (8-2, 6-2), who are #14 in the CFP rankings and #16 in the AP poll, in non-conference action Saturday afternoon. Florida State won the only previous matchup, taking a 46-7 romp at home on September 13, 2008.
Chattanooga bounced back from a loss to Mercer as they knocked off The Citadel 31-23 at home Saturday. Florida State rebounded from their defeat to #1 Clemson as they knocked off North Carolina State 34-17 Saturday at home. Kickoff from Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Florida is scheduled for 3:00 pm ET and can be seen on ESPN3. Florida State is currently favored by 30.5 points with the over/under set at 50 points in this contest.
Chattanooga scored on the game’s first play and never looked back against The Citadel; they led 21-0 at halftime and kept the Bulldogs at bay the rest of the way. The Citadel only made the score respectable by scoring nine points in the final 3:07 to cut the deficit but the Mocs had the game under control. Chattanooga won the total yardage battle 489-389 while getting edged 22-19 in the first down battle and 31:43 to 28:17 in the time of possession battle. Each team committed one turnover in the game.
The Mocs average 173.6 yards per game through the air and 238.7 yards per game on the ground this season. Chattanooga is putting up an average of 28.6 points per game while they allow opponents only 17.8 points per contest on the year. Jacob Huesman is the team’s starter at quarterback; he’s hit 146 of 216 passes for 1,651 yards with seven touchdowns and eight interceptions while leading the team with 997 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground. Derrick Craine has 175 carries for 966 yards and 12 scores while Richardre Bagley has contributed 60 carries for 269 yards on the season. C.J. Board leads the Mocs with 33 receptions for 413 yards and a pair of scores while Xavier Borishade has hauled in 30 balls for 436 yards and three scores; James Stovall (23 receptions, 283 yards, TD) and Bagley (16 catches, 158 yards) are good secondary targets. Henrique Ribeiro has booted all 35 extra point attempts and 13 of 17 field goal attempts this season with a long of 45 yards.
Florida State was down 17-7 after one quarter against the Wolfpack but outscored North Carolina State 27-0 the rest of the way to get the victory. The Seminoles outgained the Wolfpack 479-297, won the first down battle 28-21 and took the time of possession battle 31:45 to 28:15 in the contest. Florida State committed five turnovers in the game while only forcing one takeaway but still managed to win convincingly; the Seminoles’ defense came up with key stops to prevent North Carolina State from putting up a slew of points.
The Seminoles are an above average offense as they are 38th in the nation in passing offense with an average of 253.3 yards per game; Florida State is 52nd in the nation in rushing offense by putting up 183.4 yards per game on the ground. The Seminoles are tied for 53rd in the nation in scoring average with an average of 31.3 points per game while they are tied for 10th in scoring defense by allowing 17.4 points per game. Everett Golson, the former Notre Dame quarterback, has completed 144 of 216 passes for 1,711 yards with 11 touchdowns and three interceptions; Sean Maguire (64 of 100, 816 yards, 6 TD, 2 INT) is the backup should something happen. Dalvin Cook is the team’s feature back with 170 carries for 1,369 yards plus 14 scores; Mario Pender (30 carries, 140 yards, TD) is next in line but he’s still recovering from a collapsed lung. With Pender still recovering, Jacques Patrick (46 carries, 238 yards, 3 TD) has gotten more work. Kermit Whitfield is the team’s second leading receiver with 46 catches for 599 yards and four scores; Travis Rudolph (team high 47 catches, team high 641 yards, 6 TD), Jesus Wilson (43 grabs, 512 yards, 2 TD) and Cook (18 catches out of the backfield) are other options for Golson. Aguayo has kicked all 36 extra points and 17 of 21 field goal attempts this season with a long of 43 yards.
The Seminoles may be looking past Chattanooga and that would be a dangerous thing to do: the Mocs are no pushover of a team. Florida State is still dealing with injuries as Cook is banged up, Golson was ineffective of late and the offense has sputtered at times this season. Chattanooga can hang around and giving four plus touchdowns is too much in this one. Florida State should win this game straight up but playing the line, take the Mocs.