The #25 Virginia Cavaliers will host the Florida State Seminoles in an ACC battle Saturday night from Scott Stadium. The Seminoles came away with a 45-44 OT win against UL Monroe last week, and the Cavaliers recorded an easy 52-17 home win over William & Mary in their week two action. This marks the first meeting between these two schools since 2014 in a game Florida State won 34-20.
Seminoles Avoid Upset Loss to UL Monroe
The Florida State Seminoles avoided a disastrous start to the season by holding on for a wild 45-44 home overtime win over Louisiana Monroe last week. The Seminoles opened their season with a minor 36-31 upset home loss to Boise State. ‘Noles QB James Blackman was outstanding against Boise State where he tossed three touchdowns, and he followed with another three TD’s against two INT’s last week. The sophomore QB accrued 2230 passing yards in 2017 before losing the starting role to Deondre Francois last year.
Look for Cam Akers to play a factor in this game against a tough defense. The junior RB has posted a terrific start to the season, logging 309 rushing yards on an average of 6.1 yards per carry in two games after rushing for 706 yards in 2018. Akers won ACC running back of the week after his outstanding performance last week.
The Nole Insiders are live with their thoughts from Monday’s Willie Taggart press conference. https://t.co/9ONMk5nW20
— FSU Football (@FSUFootball) September 9, 2019
Head coach Willie Taggart expects a breakout season from Tamorrion Terry. The talented sophomore WR leads FSU with 10 catches for 156 receiving yards in two games. The FSU offense struggled in their disastrous 2018 season, but I expect them to improve in all areas this year.
The Seminoles defense was a lingering issue in 2018, and it appears this season will yield similar results after surrendering 36 and 44 points in their two games. The pass defense is especially an issue as they already stand down at 119th in the FBS against the pas. FSU’s offense has been fine through the first two games, scoring 31 and 45 points respectively. The Seminoles have defense will need to turn it around quickly.
Update (9/13/19): On Thursday, Taggart announced that he’s brought on Jim Leavitt, a 40-year coaching veteran, to the support staff. Leavitt was Taggart’s defensive coordinator at Oregon in 2017 and is officially the senior defensive analyst.
Taggart called Leavitt “a great addition to our football staff, our football team” and said, “I think it’s a plus for our football team.” “And I think it’s something that will help our football team.”
At this point, Leavitt can’t call plays but should assist in meetings and practices. In one year at Oregon, he led the Ducks defense to improve its total defensive rankings from 115th to 32nd.
Virginia Rolls Into AP Top 25
The Virginia Cavaliers have been rewarded for their 2-0 start by sliding into the AP Top rankings at #25. The Cavaliers came through with a convincing 30-14 road win in Pittsburgh in their season opener, followed by an easy 52-17 rout of William & Mary of the FCS last week. Cavs’ QB Bryce Perkins has posted a solid start to the season, racking up 373 passing yards with a 4:2 TD to INT ratio. The dual-threat senior QB has also accrued 112 rushing yards, and he is one of the top QB’s in the ACC Coastal.
The Cavaliers running game won’t be as potent as last season. So far they have split the duties between Mike Hollins (78 yards), and Wayne Taulapapa (66 yards). Virginia’s receiving core is a strength. Watch for Joe Reed in this one as he has made his presence felt in both games this season, bringing in a total of 11 receptions for 92 yards after recording 465 receiving yards in 2018. Hasise Dubois (95 receiving yards) is also a threat.
— Virginia Football (@UVAFootball) September 9, 2019
The Virginia defense was a strength last year, and so far this year it appears their defense will again be tough to solve. They limited Pittsburgh of the ACC to 185 passing yards along with only 78 rushing yards in their week one win, and they stand 15th in the FBS against the run.
The Cavaliers are averaging 41 points through two games, ranking them 30th overall. The Virginia defense has conceded an average of 15.5 points, placing them 32nd in the FBS.
The Florida State Seminoles are:
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games.
- 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
- 3-11-2 ATS in their last 16 conference games.
The Virginia Cavaliers are:
- 7-1 ATS in their last 8 September games.
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- 7-2 ATS in their last 9 home games.