The Daily Nole

What to Watch For Wednesday: FSU Soccer Continues ACC Tournament, Noles Seek Next Football Coach

Phil Kelly/FSU athletics

Florida State’s athletic department has made headlines over the last couple days and not for the reasons many had hoped. While the Seminoles have parted ways with head football coach Willie Taggart, that’s not the only thing going on with FSU athletics.

As usual, we use this “hump day” to go over the big, upcoming events to watch for over the next week in Florida State sports:

1. FSU soccer continues ACC Tournament
For the second straight season, Florida State soccer and Virginia will meet in the ACC Tournament semifinals on Friday. The second-seeded Seminoles started the ACC Tournament with a 2-1 win over Clemson. No. 3 seed Virginia defeated Duke, 1-0. FSU scored three second-half goals last season to top Virginia, 3-1, en route to its sixth ACC title in eight years. The Cavaliers won in overtime in Tallahassee earlier this season, 1-0, in the most recent meeting.

Virginia’s Meghan McCool and Diana Ordonez are the top two goal scorers in the ACC. For FSU, senior Deyna Castellanos ranks second all-time at Florida State in total points and is in third place in the ACC this season in that category with 31 points. Castellanos had a goal and an assist in Sunday’s win over Clemson. Freshman Jenna Nighswonger and sophomore Yujie Zhao each have five goals for FSU this season. Friday’s contest begins at 2:30 p.m. EST and airs on ACC Network. No. 1 seed North Carolina and NC State will play in the other semifinal with the winners to advance to Sunday’s ACC Championship.

2. FSU football searches for a new head coach
On Sunday, Florida State football announced that it was parting ways with head coach Willie Taggart after 21 games. FSU hopes to replace Taggart quickly and has hired a firm to assist with the search. Rumors have already been flying and most of them surround former Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops. Odell Haggins will serve as the interim until FSU names a replacement.

3. FSU football visits Boston College
Odell Haggins was 2-0 as interim head coach in 2017 and his first test this season will come on Saturday as FSU heads to Chestnut Hill to take on Boston College. The Seminoles are 4-5 on the season and may need to win if they hope to avoid missing a bowl game for a second straight season. The contest will feature two of the ACC’s best running backs in FSU’s Cam Akers and Boston College’s A.J. Dillon. Dillon leads the ACC and ranks second nationally with 1,286 yards rushing and 13 rushing touchdowns. Akers ranks third in the ACC with 983 yards rushing and is the conference’s leading scorer with 16 total touchdowns.

Both defenses have been atrocious this season. The Eagles rank last in the ACC in yards per game allowed and only Louisville has allowed more points. The Seminoles rank just 11th in the conference in total defense and 10th in scoring defense. In ACC play however, the Seminoles are allowing just 3.6 yards per rush. FSU beat Boston College last season in Tallahassee 22-21 on a late touchdown pass from Deondre Francois to Tamorrion Terry. The Eagles, who come in with a record of 5-4, beat FSU in the last meeting in Chestnut Hill two years ago, 35-3. Saturday’s contest begins at noon and airs on ACC Network.

4. FSU hoops opens season with two road contests
After getting past the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament in consecutive seasons, Florida State opens its 2019-20 campaign with road games on Wednesday and Sunday. The Seminoles begin the year with an ACC game at Pittsburgh on Wednesday night before playing at rival Florida on Sunday. Senior guard Trent Forrest is the returning leader for FSU in points, rebounds, assists and steals. M.J. Walker and Devin Vassell are also expected to be key players.

Pittsburgh defeated FSU last season and has won the last three at home over the Seminoles. The Panthers return leading scorer Xavier Johnson, who averaged nearly 16 points per game last season. Sophomore guard Trey McGowans scored a game-high 30 points in last season’s 75-62 victory over FSU. Florida is ranked No. 6 in the country and coming off a 74-59 win over North Florida. Virginia Tech transfer Kerry Blackshear led Florida with 20 points and 10 rebounds in the opener. Scottie Lewis is expected to be one of the nation’s top freshman. FSU has won five straight in the series. Wednesday night’s contest begins at 8 p.m. EST and airs on ESPNU. The rivalry contest on Sunday starts at 1 p.m. EST and will air on ESPN.

5. FSU women’s hoops faces first true test
Florida State felt little resistance in its 88-36 win over Charleston Southern on Tuesday night, but the Seminoles are expected to face some as they play at LSU on Saturday. The Tigers came to Tallahassee last season and knocked off FSU, 58-45. LSU is unranked as it gets set to host the 12th-ranked Seminoles. Senior guard Nicki Ekhomu led FSU with 18 points on 7-for-12 shooting in the opener while Kiah Gillespie added 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Tiara Young led LSU with 19 points in an 83-49 win over New Orleans to open the year while Ayana Mitchell added 15 points and 13 rebounds. Mitchell had a double-double in last season’s win over FSU. FSU was led by Nausia Woolfolk’s 14 points in last season’s loss. The teams will play at 2 p.m. EST on Saturday on SEC Network+.

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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