Defensive Pressure

Saturday's Virginia-Florida State game will mark the 14th meeting between a pair of Top 10 teams in Doak Campbell Stadium and the Seminoles have a 9-3-1 record in those games. The Virginia game also will mark only the second time a Top 10-ranked Florida State team will host a Top 10-ranked ACC team. The only other time was when No. 1-ranked FSU defeated No. 10 Georgia Tech 41-35 on Sept. 11, 1999.

Florida State's showdown versus Virginia on Saturday is delightfully different in terms of national rankings. The Cavs enter ranked sixth nationally, while the Seminoles are a notch behind at No. 7.

FSU is 23-18-1 (.560 winning percentage) in games when both teams are ranked in the nation's Top 10, including 2-1 in Atlantic Coast Conference games:

No. 3 FSU defeated No. 5 North Carolina, 20-3, Nov. 8, 1997 in Chapel Hill, N.C.

• No. 1 FSU defeated No. 10 Georgia Tech, 41-35, Sept. 11, 1999 in Tallahassee

• No. 5 Miami defeated No. 4 FSU 16-10 (OT) Sept. 10, 2004 in Miami

FSU, of course, is nearly unbeatable in home ACC games -- how's 49-1 grab you?

The Seminoles won their first 38 conference games in Doak Campbell Stadium before falling to NC State, 34-20, Nov. 10, 2001.

Since that game, Florida State has won 11 straight ACC home games.

While Virginia is known for its consistent physical play, FSU linebacker Ernie Sims says the Seminoles are not concerned.

"I don't really worry about how physical they are or how mean they are," Sims said.

"Our defense is not having that, we have one of the best defenses in the country and I feel that you are going to see a lot of tenacity out there with our defense. Especially me, I don't take anything from anyone."

Since 1992 (when FSU joined the ACC), no team has scored more non-offensive touchdowns in the ACC than FSU.

The Seminoles have scored 58 non-offensive touchdowns during that span, including two this season. Antonio Cromartie returned a fumble for a TD versus Miami and Leroy Smith scored on an interception return versus Clemson.

FSU's defense is also expected to be tested by UVa tight end Heath Miller.

"Going into this game we are hearing all this hype about how good he is," Sims said.

"We are going to go out there and try to slow him down. Ray (Piquion) and I are going to go out there and try to dominate him on the line of scrimmage. It's a great chance for us to go out there and play against a player of his caliber and show people what we are all about."


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