Oklahoma at Florida State - 12/29/22 College Football Picks and Prediction

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The Oklahoma Sooners and the Florida State Seminoles will face off in a battle of heavyweights in the 2022 Cheez-It Bowl from Camping World Stadium in Orlando this Thursday on ESPN. The Sooners and Seminoles have faced off seven times, with OU winning the last six meetings, including the last matchup back in 2011 in Tallahassee, 23-13.

Oklahoma finished the season at 6-6 after losing to Texas Tech in Lubbock. The Sooners fought hard to avoid the .500 finish, but they blew an 18-point lead and lost in a vintage Big 12 overtime shootout, 51-48. Oklahoma scores 32.9 points per game, while passing for 255.6 yards per game (81st) and rushing for 216.6 ypg (28th). The Sooner defense allowed 29.6 points per game.

Dillon Gabriel’s first season in Norman was better than OU’s final record. The UCF transfer got off to a fast start, tossing nine scores to no picks through the first three games, before a hit in the TCU game would alter Oklahoma’s entire season. Gabriel was shaky upon returning, but he beat Oklahoma State in the Bedlam game, and he threw a career-high six touchdowns passes in the regular season finale versus TTU. Gabriel passed for 2,925 yards with 24 touchdowns to six interceptions, and rushed for 298 yards and five more scores through eleven starts this year. Senior running back Eric Gray carried the team throughout the season, finishing among Big 12 leaders with 1,366 rushing yards and eleven touchdowns. Marvin Mims surpassed the 1,000-yard mark after going for a season-high 162 receiving yards against the Red Raiders.

Florida State closed the season at 9-3 after beating Florida in the Sunshine Showdown. The Seminoles held off a fourth-quarter rally to beat the Gators for the first time in four years in a shootout, 45-38. Florida State scores 36.2 points per game, while passing for 257.8 yards per game (76th) and rushing for 217.8 ypg (27th). The Seminole defense allowed 19.7 points per game.

Jordan Travis completed his four-year stay in Tallahassee on a great note, with a career-high 396-yard performance versus GT standing out. The three-year starter also led the Noles to victories over Sunshine foes Florida and Miami for the first time since 2016. Travis finished the regular season with 2,796 passing yards with 22 touchdowns to four interceptions, while rushing for 367 yards and seven touchdowns. Trey Benson led the team in rushing with 965 yards and nine scores after surpassing the 110-yard mark in four of the final five games. Johnny Wilson led FSU in receiving with 35 receptions for 695 yards.

Oklahoma is 4-8 against the spread this season, with a 4-8 over/under record. Florida State is 8-4 ATS this season, with an 8-4 O/U record. The Sooners are 1-6 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. The Seminoles are 10-3-1 ATS in their last 14 Bowl games. The Over is 8-2 in OU/FSU's last 10 bowl games.

We’ve got a pretty high-profile matchup here in this year’s Cheez-It Bowl, as one of these schools severely underwhelmed this year. Florida State has performed really well down the stretch, and they are beyond worthy of their first ten-win season since 2016. Oklahoma was expected to take a step back with the departure of Lincoln Riley, but they’ve been disappointing this year. I believe in what Mike Norvell has done for the FSU program, and the revival in Tallahassee has been beautiful to see. Florida State football is back, and they should win this one in what may feel like a home game just down the road in Orlando. Take the over for this one, just in case OU brings some fight in what will also serve as a homecoming for former UCF QB Dillon Gabriel.

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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