The Daily Nole

What to Know: Virginia Tech at FSU

Jeremy Esbrandt/D'Vel Photography/FSU athletics

The long-awaited regular season is finally here for Florida State as the Seminoles will wrap up Week 1 in college football against the Virginia Tech Hokies on Monday night. The contest will signify the beginning of the Willie Taggart era in Tallahassee after a disappointing 7-6 finish in 2017.

The Hokies are led by third-year head coach Justin Funete. Fuente already has an ACC Coastal division title to his name and led Virginia Tech to a 9-4 record and top-25 finish a season ago. FSU and Virginia Tech are meeting for the first time since 2012 and the first time in Tallahassee since 2008.

The Match-Up

Who: No. 20 Virginia Tech Hokies at No. 19 Florida State Seminoles
Where: Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Florida
When: 8 p.m. EST
Network: ESPN
Spread: Florida State -7; Over/Under 49**

Key Players*

For Virginia Tech
Josh Jackson, QB (RS-So.):
60% comp., 2,991 yards passing, 324 yards rushing, 26 total TD
Deshawn McClease, RB (Rs.-So.): 530 yards rushing, 4.9 ypc, 3 rush TD
Reggie Floyd, S (Jr.): 72 total tackles, 2 TFL, 3 INT, 2 FF

For Florida State
Cam Akers, RB (So.):
1,024 yards rushing, 5.3 ypc, 8 total TD
Brian Burns, DE (Jr.): 48 total tackles, 13.5 TFL, 4.5 sacks, 3 FF
Levonta Taylor, CB (Jr.): 18 total tackles, TFL, 2 INT, TD

Series History

All-Time Series: Florida State leads 23-12-1
Last Meeting: Florida State won at Virginia Tech, 28-22 (Nov. 8, 2012)
Last Meeting in Tallahassee: Florida State won, 30-20 (Oct. 25, 2008)
First Meeting: Virginia Tech won at Florida State, 24-20 (Oct. 8, 1955)

Notable Contests

Florida State defeated Virginia Tech, 46-29, in the 2000 Sugar Bowl for the 1999 national championship. After letting a 21-point lead evaporate, FSU outscored the Hokies 18-0 in the fourth quarter. FSU’s Peter Warrick finished with 163 yards receiving and three total touchdowns.

FSU defeated Virginia Tech 27-22 in the inaugural ACC Championship in Jacksonville in 2005. An 83-yard punt return for a touchdown by Willie Reid broke a 3-3 tie and ignited a streak of 24 straight Florida State points.

The lone ACC Championship loss for Florida State came to Virginia Tech in 2010. Tyrod Taylor accounted for 287 total yards and four touchdowns for the Hokies in a 44-33 victory.

What’s at Stake

For Virginia Tech: A victory would give Virginia Tech a 1-0 start in what is expected to be its toughest road contest this season. The Hokies would likely remain in the polls with a victory. The Hokies have not won in Tallahassee since 1974.

For Florida State: Florida State will look to avoid losing its third straight ACC opener. That has happened just once: from 2007-09. A loss could also move the Seminoles out of the top 25. FSU looks to avoid losing consecutive openers for the first time since 1988 and 1989.

Fun Fact

Virginia Tech’s Justin Fuente is 3-0 as a head coach against FSU’s Willie Taggart. All three meetings came when Fuente was at Memphis and Taggart at South Florida. Memphis won 23-10 in 2013 and 24-17 in 2015 in Tampa and 31-20 in Memphis in 2014.

*Statistics from 2017
**According to Bovada

Mike Ferguson is the editor of The Daily Nole. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson

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