Florida State needs to continue dominating in the redzone to hold off a Virginia upset

Stop Virginia’s run game. The Cavaliers aren’t a very good team, but the Seminoles can’t overlook them. With next week’s game against Miami on mind, it’s easy to forget about this Virginia team. The Cavaliers passing game has mightily struggled this season. They have 13 interceptions, which is good for sixth-worst in the country. So expect to see the Cavs pound the rock a lot. Cavaliers senior running back Keith Parks has racked up 3,000 yards on the ground in his career. Stopping him will be great preparation for upcoming games against run-heavy offenses Miami and Boston College.

Continue developing the run game. The Noles currently rank 102nd in the nation in rush offense and are coming off of their best performance of the season against Louisville. FSU ran for 173 yards, freshman Dalvin Cook had his best game yet, and the team had two rushing touchdowns. The Noles also get Mario Pender back for Saturday’s game. He’s been sidelined with an ankle injury. If the Noles can continue to develop a running game, this team will only continue to get more explosive. And they’ll have a good test against the Cavaliers, as Virginia ranks 19th in rush defense.

Continue dominating the red zone. One of the key reasons why Florida State has been so successful this season is its ability to score when it gets inside the 20-yard line. FSU ranks fourth in the nation when it comes to redzone conversions. FSU has scored 34-of-36 times this season, with 24 of those scores resulting in seven points. It also helps to have a FG kicker who is almost automatic in Roberto Aguayo. Compared to Virginia, the Cavs have only scored 31-of-37 times with less than half of those scores resulting in touchdowns. FSU has a clear advantage here and its success needs to continue moving forward.

(All stats come from

Florida State and Virginia kick off at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday. You’ll be able to watch the game on ESPN.

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