This weekend the 24th ranked Seminoles will host conference rival Virginia. While in recent years the Cavaliers have not been a threat to Florida State, this Virginia team is playing at a much higher level. In fact, they hold their own destiny and can play in the ACCCG if they pull out wins against the Seminoles and Virginia Tech the following week.
Virginia is currently 7-3 with losses to North Carolina, Southern Miss, and NC State. In each of those losses the Cavaliers had 3 or more turnovers, yet still ran for over 120 yards. In fact, Virginia is 3rd in the ACC in rushing yards, averaging over 180 yards per game.
Lead by Perry Jones and Kevin Jones, the Cavaliers have one of the best rushing attacks around, and they will look to challenge the nation's 4th ranked rushing defense. Virginia averages just over 200 rushing ypg in wins, and just under 150 ypg in losses, while the Seminoles are only giving up an impressive 85 ypg on the ground.
Offensively, the Seminoles will have to be on the top of their game, as this may arguably be the best conference defense Florida State faces this year. In their three losses, the Cavaliers struggled to stop either a heavy dosage of the run or pass game. I fully expect FSU to come out and use all facets of the run game to their advantage, either handing the ball off, using screens, throwing swing passes, and running the option to attack a Virginia defense with a very talented pass rush group.
Teams that have had success against Virginia this year have had offensive balance, which is why I believe Devonta Freeman must have a very solid game Saturday in order for the Seminoles to have the type of success needed to defeat Virginia. The versatility he brings with his power, speed, balance, and receiving ability out of the backfield will all be needed in order to move the ball effectively and consistently against the Cavaliers on Saturday.
With the Cavaliers still in the hunt for an ACC Championship, expect the very well coached Cavaliers to arrive in Tallahassee ready to play Saturday night. The Seminoles must stay focused and prepared to face a talented and dangerous Virginia team.
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