The independent news organization of Duke University

Beats' picks: Can Duke football secure its first-ever win against Florida State?

Duke will need its running game to flourish if it wants any chance at taking down Florida State.
Duke will need its running game to flourish if it wants any chance at taking down Florida State.

Prior to each Duke football game, beat writers Evan Kolin, Shane Smith, Jake Piazza, Max Rego and Cam Polo will make their predictions for the contest, and we’ll track their records throughout the season. Here are their takes on the Blue Devils’ season-finale at Florida State, which pits the Seminoles as a 3.5-point favorite.

Evan Kolin: Duke 24-21

This'll be a close one, and could go right down to the wire. But in a battle of two of the worst teams in the ACC, I'll take the one shooting for its first win against the other in program history. As much of a disappointment as this season has been, it'll be a satisfying conclusion to see head coach David Cutcliffe send his seniors off in style.

Shane Smith: Florida State 38-27

The college football gods have spoken that this game must go on, so now we must endure 60 minutes of the sloppiest gridiron play possible between two ACC bottom feeders. Duke’s pass rush should have a field day, and Saturday may see senior defensive end Victor Dimukeje finally set the program’s career sack record (he sits 0.5 sacks behind the record), but ultimately Florida State still has enough elite talent left over to pull away from the turnover prone Blue Devils.

Jake Piazza: Florida State 34-17

It really is a crap shoot on picking this game. In my preseason predictions, I chose this contest as Duke’s best win of the season, but neither of these teams have performed anywhere close to the level they were expected to. I’m going to defer to history on this one and take the Seminoles, who sit 20-0 in the all-time series heading into Saturday.

Max Rego: Florida State 27-21

Neither of these teams has shown many encouraging signs this season. After nearly a month off, Florida State should be fresh, and redshirt sophomore quarterback Jordan Travis has slightly changed the outlook of the offense. Duke will need to run the ball well and limit turnovers, the latter clearly being a challenge for the Blue Devils this season.

Cam Polo: Florida State 27-20

On paper, Duke matches up well with the Seminoles. But after having the distinct pleasure of covering the game against Miami last week, I can’t tell you that the Blue Devils have a good chance to win this game. I hate to end the season as a bull, but there it is.

Overall results:

Evan Kolin: 6-4

Shane Smith: 6-4

Jake Piazza: 9-1

Max Rego: 6-4

Cam Polo: 7-3

Discussion

Share and discuss “Beats' picks: Can Duke football secure its first-ever win against Florida State?” on social media.