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2012 Virginia Tech Football: Florida State Game Guide

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Streeter Lecka

Virginia Tech Hokies (4-4, 2-2) vs. Florida State Seminoles (8-1, 5-1)

Time: 7:30 p.m. EDT
Date: Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012
Place: Blacksburg, Va.
Lane Stadium/Worsham Field
(Cap: 65,632, Open: 1965, Field: Bermuda)
Radio: VT IMG, XM 85, Sirius 85
Spread: Virginia Tech +12
Weather: High of 51, 20% Chance of Rain

Florida State: The Seminoles are coming off of a bye week. Their last game was a 48-7 curb-stomping of the Duke Blue Devils on Oct. 27 at Doak Walker Campbell Stadium. The Seminoles scored early and often, running up a 31-0 advantage before the Blue Devils ever got on the board. E.J. Manuel threw a 71-yard touchdown pass to Rashad Greene less than four minutes into the game to give the Seminoles the lead. Seven minutes later Tyler Hunter housed a punt return to make it 14-0 in favor of the Seminoles, and ultimately provide them the margin they needed for the win. Before the end of the first, the Seminoles added a Dustin Hopkins field goal to extend their lead to 17-0. A minute into the second, James Wilder Jr. added score on a 1-yard run to make it 24-0 'Noles. Devonta Freeman added a 9-yard rushing score just over two minutes later to put the 'Noles up 31-0. Just four minutes before the half however, Duke finally found pay dirt in the form of a 3-yard Jela Duncan score, making the score 31-7 at the break. In the second half, the Seminoles added another Freeman score, this one from 14-yards, a 35-yard pass from Manuel to Kelvin Benjamin and another Hopkins field goal to end it 48-7. In the win, E.J. Manuel threw for 282 yards on 8-of-16 passing and 2 touchdowns. Devonta Freeman also rushed for over 100 yards and 2 touchdowns. The 'Noles defense only allowed Duke 232 total yards, while the Florida State offense racked up 560.

Trends: The Hokies beat the Seminoles in their last meeting, the 2010 ACC Championship Game by the score of 44-33. Despite an early back-and-forth battle that saw Florida State take a 3-0 lead on their first possession, the Hokies pulled away early in the third quarter when Tyrod Taylor hit Danny Coale for 45 yards to give the Hokies an 11-point lead at 28-17, from which they would never look back. That's not to say there weren't some tenuous moments, like when Nigel Bradham returned a blocked Chris Hazley PAT for a score to make it a two possession game early in the fourth instead of three, or when the 'Noles marched the ball down the field in garbage time adding a late score (even though the chances of the 'Noles coming back at the start of that drive were mathematically irrelevant, Tech fans had to feel an element of Boston College watching E.J. Manuel march the 'Noles down the field for that last score). After they gained the 28-17 lead, the Hokies padded it with a 21-yard pass from Taylor to David Wilson before Ty Jones added a 1-yard score to bring it back to an 11-point game. But several minutes into the fourth quarter, Tyrod Taylor put the stamp on the game with a dazzling 5-yard run in which he made several defenders miss before he walked into the end zone. The Hokies added a Chris Hazley field goal before the FSU touchdown with seven seconds remaining to make the final tally 44-33.

History Lesson: The following information is all provided via Virginia Tech has played Florida State a total of 35 times, 10 times under Frank Beamer. Beamer holds a 2-8 record against the Seminoles and a 1-0 record against third-year Semionle head coach Jimbo Fisher. The Seminoles have the advantage in the series by the count of 22-12-1. The series began in 1955, when the Hokies beat the Seminoles 24-20 in Tallahassee. Tech has hosted Florida State 12 times, going 6-5-1 in those games. Under Beamer, the Hokies are 1-1 at home against the Seminoles. Beamer's first win against Bobby Bowden came in 2008 after losing in his previous seven attempts. Tech is 3-11 against Florida State when the Seminoles are ranked.

What to Expect

  • Offensively, the Seminoles run multiple offensive formations, mostly Shotgun, I-formation and Pistol looks.
  • On defense, Florida State runs a 4-3 scheme.
  • Florida State ranks No. 7 nationally in total offense with just under 525 yards per game.
  • The Seminoles rank No. 26 in the nation in passing offense with 290 yards per game.
  • The Seminoles are No. 14 nationally in rushing offense, with just under 235 yards per game.
  • The Seminoles rank No. 1 nationally in total defense, giving up just over 227 yards per game. They are also No. 3 in the nation in scoring defense, giving up 12 points per game to their opponents. Both of those rankings are the highest for a team the Hokies will face this year.
  • The Seminoles also rank No. 3 nationally in rushing defense, giving up just under 73 yards per game on the ground, and No. 4 nationally in passing defense, giving up just 154 yards per game.
  • Florida State is led by their outstanding senior quarterback E.J. Manuel, who has thrown for 2,315 yards and 16 touchdowns to only 4 interceptions while completing 70 percent of his passes.
  • The Seminoles like to spread the ball around in the passing game, as six receivers on their roster have at least 235 yards.
  • Hokies Win If:, does Frank Beamer know any magic?

    Seminoles Win If: They play anywhere near the level of football they've played to date this season.

    Dot-dot-dots: With a win Thursday, Frank Beamer would move into sole possession of seventh place all-time in wins among FBS coaches with 256, passing former Nebraska head man Tom Osborne. The average score in the series is a 24-19 Florida State advantage. The Hokies have been shutout in the series (in 1958), but the Hurricanes' lowest point total is 7 in 1965. The Hokies faced the Seminoles in Virginia Tech's only national championship appearance to date, a 46-29 win for the Seminoles. The Hokies and Seminoles also faced off two years later in the Gator Bowl, a 30-17 Florida State win. The programs have also met twice in the ACC Championship game, splitting a game apiece.