The Daily Nole

What to Watch For Wednesday: FSU Football Looks to Get Over .500, Volleyball Begins ACC Play

Jeremy Esbrandt/D'Vel Photography/FSU athletics

By the end of the weekend, the athletic year for Florida State will be more than a month old. The midway point in the season is approaching for a number of FSU programs as contests begin to take on greater importance.

A number of different FSU programs will be in action this week. We tell you what to watch for over the next week:

1. FSU football aims to get over .500
By the time Saturday night wraps up, Florida State will hope to have a winning record — both overall and in the ACC. The Seminoles are coming off a hard-fought 35-24 win over Louisville and will host NC State on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. EST on ACC Network. Odds are that Alex Hornibrook will be making his first career start for FSU after playing well in relief of the injured James Blackman. Hornibrook has a talented slew of skill players around him, headlined by junior running back Cam Akers.

Akers leads the ACC in rushing with 499 yards and in scoring with six total touchdowns. Tamorrion Terry is the guy to watch out wide with 307 yards receiving on more than 19 yards per catch and two touchdowns, including the 60-yard game-winner last week against Louisville. Defensively, FSU has shown significant improvement in each of the last two weeks. Defensive tackles Marvin Wilson and Cory Durden have combined for 6.5 sacks and eight stops for loss this season.

NC State is 3-1 and coming off a win over Ball State. Quarterback Matthew McKay has seven total touchdowns this season with four of those coming on the ground. Running back Zonovan Knight has 269 yards rushing on 5.7 yards per carry and three touchdowns. In the secondary, Tanner Ingle leads the team with 31 tackles while cornerback Chris Ingram has two interceptions. NC State won last season in Raleigh, 47-28, and has taken the last two in the series. The Wolfpack have never won three straight over the Seminoles.

2. FSU volleyball opens ACC play
After posting a 6-3 record against a strong non-conference slate, FSU volleyball will open ACC play in North Carolina. The Seminoles will visit Duke on Friday before traveling to face Wake Forest on Sunday. Reigning ACC Player of the Year, Payton Caffrey leads FSU in kills and digs. Friday’s contest will feature the ACC’s top two blockers in Duke’s Lily Cooper and FSU’s Taryn Knuth. The Blue Devils are 7-6 on the season while Wake Forest is 10-1.

3. FSU women’s golf to participate in Schooner Fall Classic
Florida State’s women’s golf will be in Norman this weekend for one of the more prominent in-season tournaments in women’s golf. From Friday through Sunday, FSU will take part in the Schooner Fall Classic. The Seminoles underwhelmed in the Cougar Classic in South Carolina earlier this month. Frida Kinhult, Amanda Doherty and Beatrice Wallin headline a lineup that finished 12th at the NCAA Championships last season.

4. FSU soccer hits the road
After opening ACC play with a high-scoring 5-4 home victory over Boston College, reigning national champion FSU soccer will hit the road for the first time in conference. The Seminoles will play at Clemson on Thursday and Syracuse on Sunday. Thursday’s match begins at 7 p.m. EST and airs on Raycom Sports Network.

Clemson’s Renee Guion leads the ACC with eight assists — one more than FSU points leader Deyna Castellanos. Castellanos ranks fifth in the ACC with 17 total points. For the year, the Tigers are 7-0-1 on the season and ranked in the top 10. Syracuse is 2-4-2 and on a 6-match winless streak.

5. FSU women’s cross country returns to action
Florida State’s women’s cross country team did not run in Blacksburg last week, but will be in action on Saturday in Huntsville as part of the UAH Chargers Open. The Seminoles opened the season with a first-place finish at the Covered Bridge Open in North Carolina. The Seminoles were unable to take the individual title, but Lauren Ryan, Maudie Skyring, Eleanor Wallace and Megan Mooney all finished in the top five.

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 Mike@TheDailyNole.com.

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