Focus Shifts

Following a sloppy, uninspired performance at Syracuse, Florida State turns its attention to sixth-ranked Virginia. The Seminoles promise they won't have a problem focusing on the talented Cavaliers, who enjoying their highest listing since being ranked No. 1 on Oct. 30, 1990. UVa leads the Atlantic Coast Conference in scoring (42.4), rushing, (275.0), passing (218.2) and total offense (493.2). Click here for the details.

Florida State coach Bobby Bowden believes the solid recruiting of Virginia coach Al Groh is starting to pay dividends for the undefeated and sixth-ranked Cavaliers.

"I think now we're seeing that," Bowden said of Groh, in his fourth season at UVa.

"He's put two or three classes back to back and now we're seeing it. When I saw them last week against Clemson, they looked as good as anybody I've seen. I think that's what is happening in the ACC now. Everybody is upgrading their program. Virginia just looks doggone good."

FSU and UVa tangle on Saturday at Doak Campbell Stadium. The Seminoles lead the all-time series 11-1-0 and have won eight straight games.

FSU is unbeaten at home in six meetings (6-0-0). Virginia's only win in the series came in Charlottevilles back in 1995, a 33-28 victory.

However, the Cavaliers and Seminoles are ranked in the Top 10 nationally for the first time in 13 meetings.

Upset following his team's performance at Syracuse, Bowden felt better about the victory after looking at Saturday's upsets. He also says it's a good feeling knowing his team hasn't played its best but continues to win.

"I think you're exactly right," Bowden said.

"And it's a good sign. We're 4-1 and we haven't put it together yet. When you put it together, you've got a chance to be pretty good. I don't think anyone puts it together every week. Just look at your scores (Saturday).

"What happened to N.C. State? What happened to Georgia? What happened to Maryland? What happened to Ohio State? Well, they didn't put it together. What you're saying, I think, is correct. But I think it's a good sign because we've gotten this far without being there and we'll continue to strive to getting there."

Here are some fast facts on both teams:

Virginia running back Alvin Pearman tallied a season-high 104 yards on the ground including a pair of touchdown runs as the Cavaliers registered 239 rushing yards while holding Clemson to just 45 last week. UVa leads the ACC in rushing offense averaging 275 yards per game.

FSU's Leon Washington rushed for a career- high 164 yards on 21 carries including two touchdowns in the Seminoles' win over Syracuse. Washington is averaging a league-best 7.8 yards a carry and is second in the ACC with 108.2 yards a game.

Virginia leads the ACC in all five offensive categories and is ranked in the top ten nationally in four including scoring offense (3rd), total (5th) and rushing offense (5th) and pass efficiency (7th).

FSU sits atop the conference and is third in the nation in rushing defense allowing only 65.6 yards a game. Virginia ranked second in the ACC and 11th nationally are giving up 85.4 yards a game on the ground.

FSU's Craphonso Thorpe (4.4) and Chauncey Stovall (3.8) are two and three, respectively in the ACC in receptions per game.

UVa's Marques Hagans is fourth nationally in passing efficiency (171.2) and directs an offense that is averaging 7.03 yards per play. Over the last three games, UVa has allowed only 183 yards per game and now ranks sixth nationally in total defense (248.6) - the lowest per game average since a 235.8 per game mark in 1969.


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