The Florida State Seminoles will host the Virginia Tech Hokies on Monday night for a heavyweight clash in the opening weekend of the college football season. Virginia Tech comes into the season as the 20th ranked team in the AP Preseason poll. The Florida State Seminoles were one spot ahead of the Hokies in the preseason rankings at number 19.
Florida State is looking for a bounce-back season after going just 7-5 in 2017. The Seminoles finished just 3-5 in the ACC and fired head coach Jimbo Fisher in the process. Virginia Tech finished the 2017 season with a 9-4 record in Justin Fuente’s first year as head coach of the Hokies. Florida State is -7 in their matchup with the Hokies on Monday night.
Virginia Tech Defense A Question Mark
The Virginia Tech football program had a difficult offseason that included the dismissal of two defensive starters. Starting linebacker Mook Reynolds was dismissed due to drug-related issues, and starting cornerback Adonis Alexander was dismissed after being ruled academically ineligible. Virginia Tech also lost six other starters to graduation, leaving just three returning starters for this season.
On the offensive side of the ball, Josh Jackson is back as quarterback for the Hokies. Jackson is a dual-threat quarterback who accounted for 26 touchdowns last season. He completed 59.6% of his passes in 2017 while throwing just nine interceptions. The Hokies should feature a strong offensive attack this season.
Deondre Francois Wins Quarterback Job
Head coach Willie Taggart announced that Deondre Francois will resume his role as starting quarterback for the Seminoles. Francois tore his patellar tendon last season in the season-opening loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide. Francois beat out James Blackman to win the starting job. Francois is extremely talented but will be facing his first live game action in over a year. If the offensive line can provide protection for Francois he should have a big game in the season opener.
Willie Taggart wants his Florida State defense to play fast, physical, and aggressive this season. The Seminoles featured a top 30 defense last season, allowing a little over 21 points per game. Just four defensive starters return from last year’s team, but the Seminoles brought in another talented recruiting class. Look for the Florida State defense to create some turnovers in this one.
Seminoles Cover At Home
Both teams enter this game with hopes of challenging Clemson for the ACC title. Each team is led by a dual-threat quarterback, but Josh Jackson has much more experience than Francois. Jackson is capable of leading his team to a road victory at Florida State, but will need some help from the defense in this game.
The Seminoles are hoping that Deondre Francois can live up to his hype and potential this season, and get off to a great start in this game. Florida State gets the huge advantage of playing at home at Doak Campbell Stadium. Look for the Seminoles to get off to a hot start and beat the Hokies by double-digits. Bet Florida State -7.0 in this game.