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    Wednesday, November 07, 2007

    Three And Out: FSU-Virginia Tech

    This week's "Three And Out" is provided by Darryl Slater of the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Darryl has been at the paper since May; before that, he worked at the Daily Press in Newport News, Va., and covered the University of Virginia. Darryl graduated from Syracuse University in 2004. Thanks to Darryl for his answers.

    1. In the past, FSU seems to have had Virginia Tech's number. What is different about this Hokie team that says they will defeat the Noles?

    The biggest difference is that both teams are, well, different, if that makes sense. To wit: Yes, Florida State has won 12 straight games against Virginia Tech, but those games have nothing to do with Saturday. The teams are completely different. Florida State is a little weaker than it has been in past games with Tech, while the Hokies are probably more capable of sticking with the Seminoles.

    Take away the past three meetings -- 2005 ACC title game, 2001 Gator Bowl, 1999 national title game -- when the teams were evenly matched, and in most cases, Florida State simply had more talent than the Hokies. At the risk of getting wordy, consider the final records of both teams in the other games during FSU's 12-game winning streak ...

    91 ... FSU 11-2, Tech 5-6

    90 ... FSU 10-2, Tech 6-5

    89 ... FSU 10-2, Tech 6-4-1

    88 ... FSU 11-1, Tech 3-8

    80 ... FSU 10-2, Tech 8-4

    79 ... FSU 11-1, Tech 5-6

    78 ... FSU 8-3, Tech 4-7

    77 ... FSU 10-2, Tech 3-7-1

    76 ... FSU 5-6, Tech 6-5

    Despite last week's win over Boston College, the Seminoles are down a bit, at least by their standards. It's rare in FSU-Tech games over the past 30 years for a strong Tech team to play a strong, or slightly weakened, FSU team. Then again, Tech was expected to win the 2005 ACC title game against a struggling FSU team, and we all know how that turned out.

    2. How do you think Virginia Tech's defense stacks up against the Nole offense?

    I think Tech's defense vs. Florida State's offense will be a compelling matchup. Drew Weatherford has been absolutely stunning the past two games, but Tech has one of the nation's best cornerbacks in junior Brandon Flowers. Will be interesting to see if Flowers goes up against Preston Parker, his old buddy from Delray Beach.

    3. In your opinion, which Virginia Tech quarterback has the best skills against FSU?

    Sean Glennon. He has played so well over the past three games -- the most recent two, Boston College and Georgia Tech, against strong defenses -- that you absolutely have to give him the nod. From what Tech's coaches were saying, Florida State likes to play a lot of man-to-man defense, which Tech hopes its receivers can exploit. Glennon is a better pocket passer than true freshman Tyrod Taylor -- and probably better at exploiting such one-on-one match-ups. Unfortunately for the Hokies, they might be without receiver Eddie Royal (strained left calf). He's third on the team in receiving yards.

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