The Daily Nole

What to Watch For Wednesday: FSU Football Opens ACC Play, Volleyball Plays Home Opener

Damon Herota/FSU athletics

We’re nearly three weeks into the new athletic year and five Florida State programs have already begun play. That number will move to six within the next week.

As usual, we’ll spend this “hump day”, previewing what’s ahead across the FSU sports spectrum. Here’s what to watch for over the next week.

1. FSU football opens ACC play
After a disappointing first couple of weeks, Florida State will open ACC play on Saturday on the road against a ranked opponent. The Seminoles will travel to Charlottesville to take on No. 25 Virginia. The Cavaliers are off to a 2-0 start with a nice win at Pittsburgh to open the season and then a blowout of William & Mary.

Offensively, the player to watch for Virginia is senior quarterback Bryce Perkins. Perkins is the Cavaliers’ leading passer and rusher and has five total touchdowns to his name this season. Safety Joey Blount, cornerback Nick Grant and linebacker Jordan Mack are among the players to watch for a Virginia defense that ranks second in the ACC in total defense and third in scoring defense.

For FSU, quarterback James Blackman is averaging more than 300 yards per game passing and has thrown at least three touchdowns in his last four starts dating back to 2017. Junior running back Cam Akers currently leads the ACC with 309 yards rushing and four total touchdowns. Junior safety Hamsah Nasirildeen has been the leading tackle for FSU in each of the first two games. Saturday’s contest in Charlottesville begins at 7:30 p.m. EST and airs on ACC Network.

2. FSU volleyball plays home opener
After splitting a pair of matches with top-5 teams in Chapel Hill to open the season and going 2-1 in Fort Worth over the weekend, Florida State volleyball fans will the chance to finally see the Seminoles at Tully Gymnasium. The No. 25 Seminoles will play their home opener on Friday against Stony Brook. That will begin a 3-match homestand as FSU hosts both St. John’s and Florida A&M on Saturday.

3. FSU volleyball visits Florida
After three straight home matches, FSU volleyball will head to Gainesville to take on rival Florida on Tuesday. Since FSU ended Florida’s 2016 season, the Gators have won three straight in the series, including a 3-0 victory last season to kick off the NCAA Tournament. Reigning ACC Player of the Year, Payton Caffrey, leads FSU with 56 kills and 60 digs so far this season. Sophomore outside hitter Thayer Hall leads No. 11 Florida with a four kills per set average. The Gators are 2-2 on the season. Tuesday’s contest begins at 6 p.m. EST and airs on SEC Network.

4. FSU soccer wraps up non-conference play
The ACC slate is just around the corner for reigning national champion Florida State soccer. The Seminoles will round out the non-conference schedule with a home matche against Colorado on Thursday and a trip to Philadelphia to face Villanova on Sunday.

No. 6 FSU is coming off consecutive wins over Florida and Samford. Deyna Castellanos leads FSU with 10 total points. Castellanos and Jaelin Howell have each scored three goals this season. Thursday’s contest with Colorado begins at 7 p.m. EST and airs on ACC Network. FSU is 4-2 so far this season with all four wins coming at home.

5. FSU men’s golf opens season
After the Florida State women played their first tournament earlier in the week, FSU men’s golf will hit the links for the first time this academic year. The Seminoles will be in Scottsdale for the Maui Jim Invitational, which lasts from Friday through Sunday. Headlining the FSU roster is reigning ACC champion John Pak. FSU will have to replace Bennett Baker and Corey Carlson. Other key players to watch are juniors Jamie Li and Greyson Porter.

Mike Ferguson is the editor of The Daily Nole. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson. Like The Daily Nole on Facebook. To pitch an idea, author a post or to learn more about The Daily Nole, email Mike Ferguson at

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