The Daily Nole

What to Watch For Wednesday: FSU Football Visits No. 2 Clemson

Bill Pearce/FSU athletics

A big week is upcoming for Florida State as two FSU athletic programs set set to take on top-2 teams.

The Seminoles are nationally ranked in four of five fall sports. Many of those programs will put their national ranking on the line over the next week.

Here’s what to watch for in FSU athletics over the next week:

1. FSU football visits No. 2 Clemson
The odds will be stacked against Florida State as the Seminoles come in as nearly a 4-touchdown underdog to reigning national champion and No. 2 Clemson. Redshirt sophomore James Blackman has been named the starting quarterback after missing the 31-13 win over NC State two weeks ago. Running back Cam Akers ranks 13th nationally with 582 yards rushing and leads the ACC with nine total touchdowns. Tamorrion Terry, a redshirt sophomore wide receiver, ranks in the top 10 in the ACC in receiving yards, yards per catch and touchdown grabs.

Defensively, FSU has played much better of late and will need to be at the top of its game on Saturday to slow down Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne and the high-powered Clemson offense. The Tigers average an ACC-best 38 points per game and handed FSU its worst ACC loss ever last season in Tallahassee, thrashing the Seminoles, 59-10.

Clemson leads the ACC in total and scoring defense as well. Isaiah Simmons has been the top player defensively this season for the Tigers. The strength for FSU is on the defensive front with tackles Marvin Wilson and Cory Durden having combined for 6.5 sacks and eight tackles for loss. Saturday’s contest at “Death Valley” begins at 3:30 p.m. EST and airs on ABC.

2. FSU soccer visits No. 20 Virginia Tech, hosts top-ranked Virginia
No. 5 Florida State soccer will put its national ranking on the line as the defending champions face a pair of ranked teams over the next week. That stretch begins on Thursday in Blacksburg as the reigning national champions face No. 20 Virginia Tech. The Hokies are 9-2-1 on the season, but just 1-2-1 in ACC play with both losses coming to top 10 teams. Sophomore Emily Gray and redshirt freshman Nicole Kozlova each have 10 points for Virginia Tech this season. The contest takes place at 7:30 p.m. EST and airs on Raycom Sports.

The big one will take Sunday as the Seminoles host top-ranked Virginia. The Cavaliers are 10-0-2 and led by the ACC’s scoring leader Diana Ordonez. Ordonez leads the conference with 26 points and nine goals, including four game-winners. The Cavaliers played Duke and Wake Forest to draws. The contest begins at 1 p.m. EST and airs on ACC Network. FSU is led by Deyna Castellanos, who ranks in the top 5 in the ACC in goals, assists and points. The Seminoles have won eight straight matches and are one of just two teams still perfect in conference.

3. FSU volleyball heads to North Carolina for two
After a hard-fought 3-1 home loss to Pittsburgh on Sunday, Florida State volleyball will hit the road again for two games in the state of North Carolina. FSU will face NC State on Friday night before visiting North Carolina on Sunday. Both teams have losing records overall. The Wolfpack are just 6-10 overall and 1-3 in ACC play, but Kaylee Frazier does lead the ACC in digs per set. The match begins at 7 p.m. EST on Friday night and airs on ACC Network Extra.

The Tar Heels are 5-9 overall and 2-2 in conference. The teams meet at noon EST on Raycom Sports on Sunday. The Seminoles are led by senior Payton Caffrey, who ranks second in the ACC in kills per set. Taryn Knuth, a junior, leads the nation with nearly 1.7 blocks per set. FSU is 9-4 overall and 3-1 in ACC matches.

4. FSU cross country hosts FSU Invitational
Florida State’s cross country teams are rolling as they get set to host the FSU Invitational on Friday. The FSU men are ranked for the first time since 2015 at No. 30 in the USTFCCCA Poll. The FSU women are the highest ranked team in the South Region and No. 11 nationally in the poll. The FSU women finished third at Notre Dame last week while the men placed 10th. Kasey Knevelbaard (men) and Erin Phelps (women) each have meet victories for FSU this year. Things are scheduled to get underway at 7:40 a.m. on Friday.

5. FSU swimming and diving competes in home opener vs. Duke
After opening the season with losses at Notre Dame, Florida State will be in its home pool and on its home board for the first time this athletic year on Saturday as it hosts Duke. The FSU men are ranked 17th in the CSCAA and the women are 24th. The Duke women are ranked 22nd. The Parents Weekend meet gets underway at 10 a.m. EST.

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

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply