The Seminoles host the Virginia Tech Hokies this Saturday at 3:30 on ABC.
Virginia Tech is 2-3 with wins against Old Dominion and Pittsburgh and loses to Purdue, Rutgers and Marshall.
FSU is 23-13-1 all-time versus the Hokies. The last time these teams played was in 2018, a 24-3 victory for VT. The last time FSU prevailed was in 2012, the ‘Noles won 28-22.
Observations from the game
Finally! The streak is over!
A hobbled Jordan Travis gutted it out to help lead his team to victory while going against one of the best defenses in the country. The ground game was almost nonexistent, but the passing game was just enough.
Special teams were the difference in the game (Kalen DeLoach’s touchdown helped too). Punter Ryan Mastromanno and punt coverage team were able to flip the field several times.
The key adjustment at half time was the decision to blitz more. FSU blitzed 10% of the time in the first half compared to 40% in the second. The ‘Noles scored 7 on defense in the second half and only gave up 7.
Florida State offense versus Virginia Tech defense
Virginia Tech is 5th in the FBS in yards per game given up through the air. However, they have struggled against the run with 4.8 opponents yards per play (99th in the FBS). I think the Hokies will sit back to play the pass until the ‘Noles can prove they can run it effectively.
A healthier Travis should make it easier to get it done on the ground by giving the defense something else to think about. The trio of backs, Trey Benson, Lawrence Toafili and Rodney Hill, need to be more patient when carrying the ball and eventually VT’s defense will wear down and give up a big run.
Players to watch on the Hokie defense are defensive ends Antwaun Powell-Ryland and Pheldarius Payne (3 sacks apiece).
Florida State defense versus Virginia Tech offense
After struggling on offense against Purdue, the Hokies replaced quarterback Grant Wells with Kyron Drones. The very athletic Drones had some growing pains in the first couple games, but he played great against Pittsburgh (5 touchdowns). Drones is a boom or bust player as he had 19 yards per completion last game but has taken 9 sacks. His running ability is going to test the FSU defense.
The defense will better be equipped to slow him down due the linebackers being healthy and safety Kevin Knowles learning from his mistakes against Boston College. I’m interested to see how often defensive coordinator Adam Fuller decides to blitz given the QB’s big play ability and the fact that this is only his 4th start.
Advantage: Florida State
The FSU offense is the healthiest it has been this season and VA Tech hasn’t seen the talent and experience they are going to see Saturday so the Seminoles will score enough to get the victory. Florida State 42 Virginia Tech 20.