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2010 Virginia Tech Football: ACC Championship vs. Florida State Game Guide

Virginia Tech Hokies (10-2, 8-0) vs. Florida State Seminoles (9-3, 6-2)

Time: 7:45 p.m. EST
Date: Saturday, Dec. 4, 2010
Place: Bank of America Stadium (73,778), Charlotte, NC

Florida State: The Seminoles are coming off a dominating performance in their 31-7 win over Florida that gave them their first win over the Gators since 2003 ... in the game, Christian Ponder completed two-thirds of his passes at over nine yards per attempt with three touchdowns and no interceptions ... the FSU defense forced four turnovers and sacked Florida QBs twice ... the one negative for the Noles was they averaged a mere 2.7 yards on their 42 rushing attempts ... after his awful day against Oklahoma, Ponder has thrown 16 touchdowns in his last nine games and hasn't had his completion percentage drop below 57.1 ... on defense, the Noles have allowed fewer than 5.0 yards per play in seven of their last 10 games.

Trends: The Hokies have won 10 games in a row after losing their first two games of the season ... FSU has won its last three games ... the Hokies have won four of their last five postseason games (ACCCG and Bowl games) ... they have won their last two ACCCGs ... Virginia Tech is 0-1 in Bank of America Stadium ... it lost its season opener to East Carolina there in 2008 ... Florida State has won five of its last six neutral site games.

History Lesson: FSU is the only team in the ACC that can claim to have Virginia Tech's number (BC won three consecutive regular season games at one point, but the Hokies have won four of the last five meetings) ... the Hokies are 11-22-1 all-time against the Noles, 0-4 against them on neutral sites, 1-8 against them under Frank Beamer and 1-2 against them since joining the ACC ... they met the Seminoles in the 2005 ACC Championship Game in Jacksonville and lost, 27-22 despite being ranked No. 5 and the Seminoles being unranked and on a three-game losing streak ... the Hokies' lone win over the Noles came in Lane Stadium in 2007 when the Hokies knocked out Drew Weatherford and Ponder saw some of his first significant snaps at FSU ... Tech trailed 21-20 entering the 4th quarter of that game, but a Tyrod Taylor TD run and an interception returned for touchdown helped it prevail 40-21 ... the Hokies lost the next year in Tallahassee when Taylor was injured on the game's first play and the Hokies were outscored 20-7 in the second half.

What to Expect

  • Expect a tight, evenly matched game. Both teams are peaking at the right time and it should be an entertaining ball game.
  • Expect Ponder and Taylor to play dueling banjos. Both QBs are facing quality secondaries, but I think both will have great games and will be the reason their team won.
  • Expect the Hokies to have trouble running the ball. Florida State doesn't give up much on the ground (3.5 ypc in ACC games) and have allowed two rushing TDs in its last four games.
  • Expect the Hokies to need perfect special teams play. Whenever we get beat by Florida State, there's always a bonehead special teams play by us that gives FSU momentum. We can't afford to give them any hidden yards.
Hokies Win If: Tyrod Taylor has a great game and they win the turnover battle.

Seminoles Win If: They run the ball against the Hokies like they did against Miami and win the turnover battle.

Dot-dot-dots: The Hokies' 10-game winning streak is their longest since they won 12 consecutive games from the end of the 1998 season through their first 11 games of the 1999 season ... that streak was broken by Florida State in the 2000 Sugar Bowl ... the Hokies are the first ACC team to start the conference season 8-0 since Florida State went 8-0 in conference in 2000 ... Tyrod Taylor become Virginia Tech's all-time leading passer against UVa, passing Bryan Randall ... since missing his first career attempt, Virginia Tech kicker Chris Hazley has made a school-record 19 consecutive field goal attempts.