Florida State vs Oklahoma Odds
Two college football blue bloods meet in Orlando for the Cheez-It Bowl on Thursday, as Oklahoma battles Florida State.
Things did not go according to plan in Brent Venables’ first year in Norman. The Sooners finished 6-6 after being listed as the favorite to win the Big 12.
Oklahoma has had a lot of options for this game, but the good news is that quarterback Dillon Gabriel will be playing in the game, which will give the Sooners a chance to keep up with Florida State’s high-flying offense.
Mike Norvell is starting to build Florida State back into what it was, as the Seminoles had a resurgent season. They went 9-3 and finished the regular season ranked 13th in the AP Poll.
If they win this game, it will be their first 10-win season since 2016, when Jimbo Fisher took them to the Orange Bowl.
Florida State Offense
Florida State has an electric offense that averaged 6.6 yards per play and ranked 15th in Success Rate and 14th in EPA/Play.
Led by Jordan Travis at quarterback, the Seminoles offense has been outstanding this season. Travis is averaging 8.9 yards per attempt to go along with an 86.4 PFF passing grade and 22 big-time throws compared to seven turnover-worthy plays.
Florida State also runs the ball incredibly well, averaging 5.3 yards per carry. The Seminoles rank ninth in Rushing Success Rate, 10th in rushing explosiveness and second in EPA/Rush.
The main reason for their success has been lead back Trey Benson. Benson averaged a gaudy 6.8 yards per carry this season, owns a 92.8 PFF rushing grade and leads the country by averaging 4.76 yards per carry after contact.
Florida State should be able to run the ball at will against Oklahoma’s below-average front seven.
Florida State Defense
Florida State has been pretty average on the defensive side of the ball, as it ranks 57th in Success Rate Allowed and 41st in EPA/Play Allowed.
The strength of this Florida State defense is without a doubt its secondary. The Seminoles allowed only 5.9 yards per attempt, which ranks ninth in the country. Florida State also comes in at 40th in Passing Success Rate Allowed and 16th in EPA/Pass Allowed.
It should be able to slow down Gabriel through the air.
However, Florida State has struggled to stop the run this season, as it sits 79th in Rushing Success Rate Allowed, 85th in Defensive Line Yards and 83rd in EPA/Rush Allowed.
So, Oklahoma may have a chance to establish the run with Kevontae Barnes at the helm.
Finally, the Seminoles rank 91st in Finishing Drives Allowed, so the Oklahoma offense will without a doubt be able to keep up with Florida State’s offense by putting up touchdowns instead of field goals.
In games that Gabriel started and finished, the Sooners went 6-4 with all four losses coming by one score or less.
Gabriel had a solid first season in Norman, putting up a PFF passing grade of 80.6 while averaging 8.4 yards per attempt with 24 touchdowns compared to just six interceptions.
However, the strength of Florida State’s defense comes in the secondary, which means Oklahoma is going to have to get things done on the ground.
Unfortunately for the Sooners, they will be without star running back Eric Gray, who has declared for the NFL Draft.
Barnes, a freshman, has shown himself to be a capable backup and possesses big-play ability with 11 runs of at least 10 yards on less than 90 carries this season.
Oklahoma Freshman RB Jovantae Barnes was a rare bright spot for the Sooners vs. TCU, rushing for 100-yards for the first time
A one-cut style runner who doesn’t shy away from contact, Barnes took over after Eric Gray left with an injury going 18/100/2. He could start vs. Texas👀 pic.twitter.com/GP5lmj55yv
— Eric Froton (@CFFroton) October 4, 2022
He also has a really good offensive line blocking in front of him, as Oklahoma ranks eighth in Offensive Line Yards and owns the 14th-best run-blocking grade, per PFF.
Oklahoma’s defense has been a disaster this season. The Sooners allowed 5.4 yards per carry and ranked 82nd in Success Rate Allowed and 84th in EPA/Play Allowed.
They’ve been quite bad against the run, allowing 4.4 yards per carry. The Sooners are also 91st in Rushing Success Rate Allowed, 87th in Rushing Explosiveness Allowed and 101st in EPA/Rush Allowed.
Plus one, defensive lineman Jalen Redmond has opted out after recording four sacks this season.
I don’t know how the Sooners are going to stop one of the best rushing attacks in the country.
The Sooners’ secondary has been just as bad as their run defense. Oklahoma ranks 78th in Passing Success Rate Allowed, 72nd in EPA/Pass Allowed and 84th in terms of a PFF coverage grade.
It’s going to be a long night for Brent Venables’ defense.
Florida State vs Oklahoma Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Florida State and Oklahoma match up statistically:
Oklahoma Offense vs Florida State Defense
Florida State Offense vs. Oklahoma Defense
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||32||115|
|Seconds per Play||20.7 (2)||27.0 (79)|
|Rush Rate||57.6% (37)||57.1% (39)|
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics
Florida State vs Oklahoma Prediction, Pick
The pace of this game is likely going to be fast, as Oklahoma plays at the second-fastest pace in the country, while Florida State sits around the national average.
The Florida State offense should be able to move the ball at will, while Oklahoma should find some success on the ground – even if Gabriel has a difficult time throwing the ball.
Even if the Sooners didn’t succeed on offense, they’d be going three-and-out at a rapid pace, which would give the Seminoles even more opportunities on offense.
Plus, both of these defenses are outside the top 90 in Finishing Drives Allowed, so I like the value of over 65.5 points.
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