Top 15 Again

Atlanta, GA - Florida State's rise to the top of the Atlantic Coast Conference standings certainly hasn't been an easy one, but it's hoping holding onto first place will be a little less stressful in the coming weeks.

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Bobby Bowden looks to remain undefeated against Georgia Tech as his 16th-ranked Seminoles look for their 13th consecutive win over the Yellow Jackets on Saturday.

Oddsmakers from have made Georgia Tech –2.5 point spread favorites (View College Football odds) for Saturday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 60% of bets for this game have been placed on Florida State +2.5 (View College Football bet percentages).

Florida State (6-1, 3-1) will be trying to put Georgia Tech (6-2, 3-2) away early after a series of close contests. In a 30-20 win over Virginia Tech last Saturday, the Seminoles trailed 10-0 after one quarter before rallying for their fourth straight win. This came after overcoming a four-point fourth quarter deficit in the previous game against North Carolina State and squeaking out a 41-39 win over Miami on Oct. 4.

"This year we've won the close games," coach Bobby Bowden said. "Now can we keep it up? I don't know, but that's your key. We're just good enough to get ahead of you it looks like."

Bowden's team is tied with Maryland atop the ACC Atlantic Division standings, and the Seminoles face the Terrapins at home on Nov. 22.

"If we could win out, we could win our division," Bowden said. "But every game gets tougher."

The Seminoles won last Saturday despite a rare off-performance by their running game. Florida State rushed for a season-low 89 yards after coming in averaging 216 yards. Christian Ponder compensated for the lack of running game, going 11-of-19 for 159 yards and one touchdown. His pass to Taiwan Easterling in the third quarter gave Florida State the lead for good.

"We've been blessed with the plays we've been able to make," Ponder said. "When it comes down to crunch time we've been able to pull it out. But we need to fix some things ... We've been coming out a little slow and not executing as well and we need to fix that."

The Seminoles are facing Georgia Tech for the first time since a 14-13 win in Tallahassee in 2003. Bowden is 12-0 all-time versus the Yellow Jackets, winning every game since Florida State joined the ACC in 1992.

Georgia Tech, meanwhile, is one-half game behind first-place Virginia in the ACC Coastal Division. It had its four-game winning streak snapped last Saturday in a 24-17 loss to the Cavaliers, which also dropped the Yellow Jackets out of the Top 25.

Josh Nesbitt went 7-of-15 for 103 yards and one interception. He and Jonathan Dwyer both rushed for a touchdown in the first quarter, but Georgia Tech was stifled after that.

Nesbitt really struggled in the second half, losing two fumbles in the third quarter, getting sacked four times overall and his fourth-quarter interception ended a potential game-tying final drive.

Despite Nesbitt's struggles, first-year coach Paul Johnson is still confident in the sophomore running his team's spread option offense, which leads the ACC in rushing offense and is ninth nationally.

"I've coached for 29 years and the most popular guy on every football team is the backup quarterback," he said. "This is no different. Even if you are winning, that guy's the most popular quarterback."

Johnson is most focused on getting his defense back on track after it gave up a season-high 24 points and allowed 396 yards - only the second time they've allowed more than 262 yards this season.

"Virginia showed us that we have some things to work on and that we have to work in order to get better for the rest of the season," defensive back Morgan Burnett said. "We have to stop teams on third down and get our offense on the field."

Georgia Tech's last win over Florida State was a 30-0 victory in 1975 in Atlanta.

Top Betting Trends:
All games in this series since 1992
FLORIDA ST is 7-5 against the spread versus GEORGIA TECH since 1992
FLORIDA ST is 12-0 straight up against GEORGIA TECH since 1992
4 of 6 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL since 1992
Games over the last 3 seasons
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period
All games played at GEORGIA TECH since 1992
GEORGIA TECH is 3-3 against the spread versus FLORIDA ST since 1992
FLORIDA ST is 6-0 straight up against GEORGIA TECH since 1992
2 of 3 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL since 1929
Key Player Injuries
[DT] Emmanuel Dunbar is expected to miss entire season. - Back - 09/19/08
[DT] Moses McCray missed last game ~?~ - Knee - 10/19/08
[RB] Tavares Pressley is expected to miss entire season. - Knee - 08/29/08
[FB] Joe Surratt has been dismissed from the team - None - 10/12/08
[WR] Bert Reed is expected to miss. - Suspension - 10/22/08
[WR] Richard Goodman missed last game ~?~ - Knee - 10/20/08
[C] AJ Ganguzza missed last game ~?~ - Knee - 10/16/08
[OG] Will Furlong left last game, out 6-8 weeks. - Foot - 10/21/08
[OL] Evan Bellamy is expected to miss entire season. - Blood Clot - 07/17/
[LB] Dekoda Watson left last game, "?". - Hamstring - 10/20/08
[DB] Dionte Allen missed last game ~?~ - Foot - 10/19/08
[RB] Embry Peeples missed last game ~?~ - Ankle - 10/18/08
[WR] Tyler Melton injured last game, ~?~ - Knee - 10/19/08
[OL] AJ Smith left last game, ~?~ - Head - 10/19/08
[DB] Jahi Word-Daniels left last game, downgraded to expected to miss. - H
[CB] Jerrard Tarrant has been suspended from the team. - Suspension - 07/0

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Posted: 10/28/08 8:50 PM

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