The Daily Nole

What to Watch For Wednesday: FSU Football Hosts Miami, Noles Prepare for ACC Cross Country Championships

Mitch White/FSU athletics

The calendar will turn from October to November in a couple days as seasons for a number of Florida State athletic programs are winding down.

A number of seasons are entering a critical point while others are just beginning. Here’s what to watch for over the next week in FSU athletics:

1. FSU football hosts Miami
If Florida State is to get back to a bowl game, Saturday’s home contest with Miami will be vital. The Seminoles and Hurricanes both come in with records of 4-4. Under second-year head coach Willie Taggart, the FSU offense is headlined by running back Cam Akers. With 15 total touchdowns to his name, Akers is the ACC’s leading scorer and enters Saturday needing just 83 yards to hit the 1,000-yard mark.

Graduate transfer quarterback Alex Hornibrook has a win as a starter in his career against Miami during his time at Wisconsin. Tamorrion Terry is the top receiver for the Seminoles. Defensively, FSU ranks just 13th in the ACC in total and scoring defense, but is allowing just 18 points per game in ACC home games. Defensive tackle Marvin Wilson and safety Hamsah Nasirildeen are the players to watch for the FSU defense.

Defense is the strength for Miami as the Hurricanes rank second in the conference in scoring defense and third in total defense. Defensive end Greg Rousseau is tied for the ACC lead with seven sacks and leads Miami with nine tackles for loss. The Hurricanes are very experienced at linebacker with Shaquille Quarterman and Michael Pinckney both being 4-year starters.

Jarren Williams will be the starting quarterback for Miami after leading a late comeback at Pittsburgh last week. Running back DeeJay Dallas and tight end Brevin Jordan are the playmakers for the Hurricanes on offense. The Miami offensive line has allowed 29 sacks this season. The Hurricanes have won two straight in the series after losing the previous seven. Saturday’s contest at Doak Campbell Stadium begins at 3:30 p.m. EST and airs on ABC.

2. FSU cross country participates in ACC Championships
Florida State will go for its first ACC title of the athletic year as the men’s and women’s cross country teams participate in the ACC Championships on Friday morning in Blacksburg. The FSU women are ranked 10th nationally and first in the South Region. The men are ranked No. 21 nationally and third in the South Region. Grad transfer Kasey Knevelbaard is the guy to watch for the Seminoles. On the women’s side, watch for FSU sophomores Erin Phelps and Elizabeth Funderburk. The FSU women finished fourth at last season’s ACC Championships while the men finished seventh.

3. FSU soccer wraps up regular season
Florida State soccer will wrap up the regular season with a Senior Day match against Duke on Thursday night. The No. 5 Seminoles will host the first round of the ACC Tournament, but hopes to secure the No. 2 seed with a win and a Virginia loss. The No. 9 Blue Devils are 3-0-6 in ACC play this season and 8-1-7 overall. FSU is 13-4 and 7-2 in conference play. Deyna Castellanos leads the Seminoles with nine goals and eight assists. Duke’s Ella Stevens and Mackenzie Pluck both rank in the top 10 in the ACC in scoring. FSU defeated Duke in Durham in last season’s ACC Tournament, 1-0. Thursday’s match begins at 8 p.m. EST and airs on ACC Network.

4. FSU women’s hoops opens season
With a No. 12 preseason ranking, Florida State women’s basketball will tip off its 2019-20 season on Tuesday at home against Charleston Southern. Fresh off a 24-9 season and a trip to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, the Seminoles didn’t graduate a single senior and will be headlined by star forward Kiah Gillespie. Gillespie averaged 16.2 points and 9.3 rebounds per game last season to lead FSU. Guards Nikki Ekhomu and Nausia Woolfolk both averaged in double-figures last season. Tuesday’s contest with the Buccaneers begins at 7 p.m. EST and airs on ACC Network Extra.

5. FSU men’s basketball plays final exhibition
Before the FSU women kick off the 2019-20 campaign, the men’s squad will play its final exhibition game. The Seminoles will host Columbus State on Friday in a contest that begins at 6 p.m. EST. Columbus State is a Division II school located in Columbus, Georgia that finished 13-16 last season. In the first exhibition contest — a 95-66 win over Barry — senior guard Trent Forrest led seven FSU players in double-figures with 19 points and five assists. Forrest, junior guard M.J. Walker and redshirt junior forward Harrison Prieto were named team captains earlier this week.

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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