Florida State (@3.6) vs Virginia (@1.3)
14-09-2019

Our Prediction:

Virginia will win

Florida State – Virginia Match Prediction | 14-09-2019 19:30

Both teams enter the ACC matchup with question marks, but for different reasons. The Seminoles are beginning a new era under head coach Willie Taggart, who previously coached at Oregon and USF. According to ESPNs Phil Steele, the Hokies are only projected to have five returning defensive starters this season. In addition to a new offensive system, quarterback Deondre Francois will make his first start in a year after suffering a season-ending knee injury in their 2017 opener.

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This is truly a fantastic opportunity for the Hokies to start their run for the Coastal division crown off on the right foot, especially given Miamis stinker of a performance last night. Unfortunately, I just see the away environment and the rocky uncertainty of how the inexperienced will perform as a deck stacked slightly too tall for the Hokies to overcome. I would take the points, though (for you gamblers out there).

No one can tell what the Seminole offense will look like. And frankly thats what we are doing is offering up Semi-educated WAGs. This is like predicting a bowl game where neither team has faced the other with any regularity and worse because there isnt even a season of consistent performance to back the guess. But, with Francois being athletic enough, but coming off of a serious knee repair, AND never being a running QB, does Taggart reshape his offense to lessen the burden on Francois and use the running backs more? They have talent, but does the talent match the new offensive style when played against a live opponent. Again with the guesses! If run correctly it does have some really big possibilities if Bud Foster hasnt fixed his running QB problem. Both teams are serious sleepers, here.

Bowl Projections

Virginia is 22-1 overall, 11-0 in the ACC and 15-4-1 against the spread. The Cavs are 8-1-1 against the spread in their last 10 games. Virginia continued its dominant run lately, picking up a 59-44 win at Syracuse last weekend. UVA is putting up just 68.7 points per game on offense, but holding opponents to only 52.3 per game. Kyle Guy is leading Virginia with 15.5 points per game while Devon Hall is adding 12.1 points and 4.2 rebounds per contest.

Virginia had no trouble picking up Tony Bennetts 300th career win and the Cavaliers cruised to victory in the 2nd half after taking a 50-25 halftime lead. Virginia shot 53.2% from the field and outrebounded Marshall by a 45-23 margin in the victory. The 4th ranked Virginia Cavaliers stayed perfect on the season, improving to 12-0 (0-0 ACC) on the season after defeating the Marshall Thundering Herd, 100-64, this past Monday. Leading the way for the Cavaliers was Kyle Guy who had 30 points & 8 rebounds.

Even with some good backs in place running behind this line, the Hokies have to prove they can consistently crank out yards they have to get to at least four yards per carry, and thats not a given. Its a decent Hokie line, but its not a killer, and it has to prove it can be dominant at times for the ground game.

That said, I can't see this wildly inexperienced Hokies secondary holding up against Francois. He led the Seminoles to victories over vicious Florida and Michigan defenses to finish the 2016 season, suggesting he should have no trouble at all against this Virginia Tech group. This spread isn't nearly as tantalizing as it was at FSU -5.5 a couple of months ago, but I'll still take Florida State to cover 7.5 against some very green Tech defenders.

Jawhar Ali

While the young players could end up playing above their experience level, this is not a great matchup for so many players to be getting their first start. It is Florida States first game with Taggarts offense, but I expect to see the unit clicking with Francois back under center. Normally, we go into a college football season raving about Virginia Techs defense, but that is not the case for 2018.

The Hokies open their season on the road in Florida State, and with all the inexperience on the field, it is truly anyones guess who shows up and performs for Virginia Tech. The defense is bound to go through some rough stretches during this game given the new pieces and talent on the other sideline, despite Bud Fosters brilliance. If Jackson can keep the offense on schedule and be efficient in the red zone, Tech has a chance to ride those ups-and-downs over the course of 60 minutes. However, the Hokies would be ecstatic if a different Josh Jackson shows up in game one in Tallahassee.

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