Thursday, December 05, 2013
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Preview: Duke vs. Florida State

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[December 05, 2013]  (SportsDirect Inc.)

Duke's first appearance in the ACC championship game may be the feel-good story of the year, but a Blue Devils victory over top-ranked Florida State on Saturday in Charlotte, N.C., would rank as the upset of the decade. The Seminoles, who ascended to the No. 1 ranking after Alabama lost at Auburn last weekend, average 53.7 points per game and are one victory from playing in the BCS championship game. Quarterback Jameis Winston is a frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy, averaging a touchdown pass every 9.1 pass attempts for a Florida State offense that has scored 50 or more points seven times in 12 games.

The Seminoles also are strong defensively, allowing a national-low 11 points per contest. The No. 20 ranked Blue Devils, who have won eight in a row, were picked to finish last in the Coastal Division and are heavy underdogs Saturday, but have come from behind to win their past four contests. "Playing the No. 1 team in the country, there's no better opportunity to showcase your talents and showcase what you've been working for all your life and basically what you dreamed about," Duke quarterback Anthony Boone told reporters earlier this week.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, ABC. LINE: Florida State -29

ABOUT DUKE (10-2, 6-2 ACC): Boone passed for 274 yards and two touchdowns in last week's 27-25 victory at North Carolina, clinching the program's first 10-win season and giving Duke a chance to win the conference title for the first time since 1989. Brandon Connette ranks second in the ACC in rushing touchdowns. David Helton, Kelby Brown and Jeremy Cash are first, second and third in the conference in tackles.

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ABOUT FLORIDA STATE (12-0, 8-0): Winston, the ACC rookie of the year, has fashioned a fabulous freshman season despite sexual assault allegations that have made headlines in recent weeks. Winston has passed for 3,490 yards and 35 touchdowns, and Devonta Freeman is fourth in the conference with 852 rushing yards. The Seminoles allow 271 yards per contest, second in the ACC.


  1. Florida State has never lost to Duke in 18 previous meetings, averaging 50.1 points per contest and winning by an average of 34.6 points.

  2. Duke and Florida State played four common opponents (Pittsburgh, North Carolina State, Miami, Wake Forest); the Blue Devils went 3-1 and won by an average of 14.3 points, while the Seminoles went 4-0 and won by an average of 35.8 points.

  3. The Seminoles have won 13 ACC championships; a victory Saturday would tie Florida State with Clemson for the most ACC titles.

PREDICTION: Florida State 47, Duke 20

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