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NoleGameday

Florida State at No. 25 Virginia Game Preview

Game Introduction:

A win is a win, right? If you were to ask any FSU fan that right now, I don’t think they’d give you the nicest answer. FSU heads into week 3 after one disappointing loss and an even more disappointing win. But FSU has a chance to right the wrongs now. FSU will travel to Charlottesville, VA on Saturday night to take on the #25 ranked Cavaliers. In my opinion, and the AP voters, UVA is the 2nd best team in the ACC. Last year was the school’s best season since 2011, as HC Bronco Mendenhall has this program on the rise. Now FSU has to prove to people that they’re not on a straight decline. FSU and UVA will kickoff at 7:30 PM on ACC Network.



Headlines:

FSU heading to Charlottesville for the first time since 2010

The ‘Noles will play at UVA for the first time in 9 years and only the 9th time ever on Sunday. In 8 trips to Charlottesville, FSU has won 6 times and won the most recent trip to UVA, 34-14. It’s a rarity that these two teams matchup on the schedule, as they’ve only matched up 3 times in the last 10 years. This is a matchup that I circled on my calendar at the start of the year. This will be the biggest ACC game of the season besides Clemson. With Bryce Perkins leading the offense and a corner like Bryce Hall locking down WR’s, this team can be electric on both sides of the ball. I’d expect a sold-out and electric crowd in Scott Stadium Saturday night.

Cam Akers enters week 3 as the nation’s 4th leading rusher

There haven’t been many bright spots on this FSU team through 2 weeks, but Cam Akers has been a shining star. Cam enters week 3 as the 4th leading rusher in the nation with 309 yards on 51 attempts. I think a lot of the credit should go to OL coach Randy Clements, as Cam already has more yards before contact then he did last year, but you can also see a difference in Cam’s game. There’s much more patience there now, waiting for a hole to open up and hit it. Not only has he been great running the ball, but also blocking for his QB and catching the ball out of the backfield. So far this season, Akers has 58 touches for 376 yards and 4 TDs. Give this guy the ball as much as possible and you’ll have a chance to win.

Burning Questions:

How will FSU combat Dual-threat QB Bryce Perkins?

For years it seems, FSU has struggled to contain dual-threat QB’s. Now they’ll get one of the more lethal dual-threats in the nation in Bryce Perkins. Last season, Perkins threw for over 2,600 yards and ran for over 900 yards. UVA will draw up a lot of designed runs for Bryce but he also has the natural ability to make a play out of nothing with his legs. So how will FSU combat that? The Seminoles have to sell out on the run all night, there’s no way around it. They have to make Perkins throw the ball, which he has struggled with a bit so far this season. Through 2 games against Pitt and William & Mary, Perkins has a 60% completion percentage and 373 yards passing, averaging just 6.2 yards per completion. Get the right guys in the game to stop the run and load the box, don’t let Perkins outside the pocket.

Can FSU overcome recent road woes?

Last season, Florida State was just 1-4 on the road, with their only road win coming at 2-10 Louisville. Often on the road last year, FSU just looked simply overmatched and out of place. So how does FSU respond to that this year? Scott Stadium will be rocking for a Saturday night game and it will be likely the 3rd loudest stadium the ‘Noles play in this year. If you want to be a good team and program, you have to win on the road, there’s no other way around it. FSU has to start blocking out the noise, literally and figuratively. The temperature will only be in the mid-70’s at kickoff, so maybe a trip away from the Tallahassee heat will help the Seminoles play a full 60 minutes.

Forecast:

There’s a pretty good chance this game could get ugly, but I don’t think it will be as bad as a lot of people expect. FSU’s offense is very good and Cam Akers is a great football player, and he will keep FSU in the game. FSU is going to put points on the board, and guys like Hamsah Nasrilldean will make plays on defense to get the Cavaliers off the field early in the game. But this game will depend on the ability of the defense to stop the run game, and that’s why the ‘Noles will likely lose. We’ve already seen how bad this rush defense is, allowing 392 yards on the ground through 2 games. I really hope I’m wrong and an entirely different FSU defense comes out there and gets Perkins to throw the ball, but I can’t see that big of a difference happening in 7 days. I’ll take UVA to cover the spread with a 41-31 win.


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