Florida State has put the loss to N.C. State in the rear-view mirror with three consecutive victories, including a 48-7 stomping of Duke.
Virginia Tech, after winning the ACC championship in 2010, has gone 4-5 this season, including 2-3 in the ACC.
After getting outclassed by Clemson and Miami (Fla.) the past two weeks, the Hokies are hoping dual-threat quarterback Logan Thomas can reverse the trend in Blacksburg on Thursday.
Where: Lane Stadium, Blacksburg, Va.
When: Thursday, Nov. 8 at 7:30 p.m. ET
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Betting Line: Florida State -14 (via ScoresAndOdds.com)
What's at Stake?
While Virginia Tech has quite the hole to crawl out of in the ACC Coastal division, Florida State is currently leading the Atlantic division with a 8-1 record (its 49-37 victory over Clemson in Week 4 being the tie-breaker).
Florida State hasn't won the ACC since the 2005 season. Clemson won the conference last season.
Injury Report (via USA Today)
WR Josh Gehres - Hamstring - Questionable
OL Trey Pettis - Head - Questionable
DB Justin Bright - Head - Questionable
OT Garrett Faircloth - Hip - Questionable
LB Ukeme Eligwe - Hand - Questionable
DT Moses McCray - Concussion - Questionable
DT Derrick Mitchell - Back - Questionable
C Andrew Miller - Ankle - OUT indefinitely
WR Joshua Stanford - Knee - OUT indefinitely
What They're Saying
Rumors are circulating that Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops could be a hot commodity among several programs at the end of their seasons, according to ESPN.
Stoops and the Seminoles have held opponents to 12.0 points per game this season, third in the country. That's after limiting opponents to 15.1 points per game last season (fourth in the nation).
Stoops has been coach at Florida State since the 2009 campaign.
In Virginia, there's been a bit of buzz about Florida State quarterback E.J. Manuel returning home.
That's right, Manuel is from Virginia Beach. He got scholarship offers from Virginia Tech and Virginia in 2008, but he decided to go to Florida State. The main reason, he said, was that Tyrod Taylor committed to Virginia Tech that year, per FoxSportsFlorida.com.
Manuel said, via the Fox Sports Florida report, “They’re not going to like me very much, but that’s fine. We just have to go out there and play.”
Manuel has never beaten Virginia Tech or Virginia. The Seminoles lost to Virginia Tech, 44-33, in the 2010 ACC Championship Game when Christian Ponder went down with an injury. They also lost to Virginia last year in a 14-13 upset.
Florida State Player to Watch: E.J. Manuel, QB
If it weren't for the 17-16 loss to N.C. State, E.J. Manuel would be a Heisman contender this season.
The senior has completed 70 percent of his passes for 10.1 yards per attempt (tied for first in the country with Heisman favorite Collin Klein). He's also tossed 16 touchdowns to four interceptions while rushing for 224 yards and a touchdown.
Virginia Tech has allowed 6.7 yards per pass attempt (tied for 41st in the nation) and 12 passing touchdowns (nine interceptions) this season, via CFBStats.com.
Virginia Tech Player to Watch: Logan Thomas, QB
Logan Thomas has had problems with interceptions this season (12 picks in nine games), but he has also notched 13 passing touchdowns while rushing for 422 yards and six touchdowns.
He's a game-changer, but that goes both ways.
The Hokies have lost every game in which Thomas has thrown more than one interception this season.
Key Matchup: Virginia Tech Passing Game vs. Florida State Pass Defense
For better or worse, Virginia Tech's success largely lies on Logan Thomas' shoulders.
That being said, Florida State has allowed just 4.4 yards per pass attempt this season (first in the nation) while ceding 2.45 yards per carry (third).
Virginia Tech just gave up a combined 68 points to Clemson and Miami (FL). Florida State is averaging 44.8 points per game, third in the nation. Thomas has to have a career day for the Hokies to pull this off.
Prediction: Florida State 35, Virginia Tech 17
This could be a nightmare game for Virginia Tech. Not only do the Hokies have a turnover-prone quarterback going up against an elite pass defense, they have looked terrible on defense lately.
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