Five Things: Virginia gets ready for Florida State
What happened to FSU?
Florida State is 20-26 since winning the 2016 Orange Bowl, through three coaching regimes – the final year of Jimbo Fisher, who obviously saw what was coming, then Willie Taggart, and now Year 1 of Mike Norvell.
FSU had gone 59-9 over the previous five years, winning the national title in 2014, losing in the CFP semifinals in 2015, finishing in the Top 10 four of those years.
It’s hard to fathom that something like this could happen in Tallahassee, where that 10-3 finish in 2016 felt like a down year.
The ‘Noles are 2-6 coming into this one.
‘Hoos favored on the road
The line opened at UVA -10. The betting public has moved it down a nudge: the books have it anywhere from eight and a half to nine and a half.
The over/under is at 58.5, suggesting a final score in the range of 34-25, which is an odd final score, but anyway.
UVA banged up on D
Word in the press box last week was that safety Joey Blount, who has missed the last five games, should be back this week.
Blount was on the sidelines with a headset on for last weekend’s game with Abilene Christian, making you think he was getting his head in game mode, taking in the calls and getting mental reps.
Senior linebacker Charles Snowden is, as you know, done for the season, after breaking his right ankle on the first drive of the game last weekend.
The D is also without the services of nose tackle Jowon Briggs, who after leaving the program last week for the transfer portal confirmed this week that he will be heading back home to play at Cincinnati.
Back on the ACC Network
Last weekend’s game was broadcast on MASN, which at least meant we didn’t get the endless loops of “Packer and Durham” promos and in-house ACC promo fillers, with the occasional spot promoting magic sunglasses and an electric razor that you can use under water.
We’re back home, baby, and in prime time, which means a late night for your friendly cyberneighborhood sportswriter friends, for whom the work begins when the game is over, circa 11:15 p.m. or so, give or take yet another replay review.
That is, if we play
I’m not buying the story that Dabo Swinney is peddling that FSU used COVID as an excuse to get out of playing last week.
That game still ostensibly gets played, next month, now, and now Clemson is mad – onside kick up 58-7 in the fourth quarter mad.
UVA has had a pretty good track record of late with its COVID protocols, so if it was the case that Florida State just doesn’t want to play anymore, they might have to find a different excuse.
Story by Chris Graham