Virginia’s Bryce Perkins finds a way every game to remind those watching just how explosive he is when he decides to run. He also looks much more decisive as a passer in year two in the system and is completing 60 percent of his passes. Florida State’s James Blackman has more impressive passing numbers (609 yards, 6 TDs), but he’s nowhere near the threat Perkins is with his legs. Edge, Virginia.
Cam Akers is the reigning ACC running back of the week, and he has already carried the ball 51 times and is averaging 6.1 yards per carry. Virginia freshman Mike Hollins looked impressive in his debut last week, but no running back on the Cavaliers’ roster has emerged yet to claim the job. Perkins leads UVa with 25 carries for 112 yards. Edge, Florida State.
Tamorrion Terry might be the most complete receiver Virginia’s secondary faces all season. He has the size (6-4, 203) and athleticism to go up and fight for passes, and when Blackman wants to go deep, Terry is his first look nine times out of 10. Virginia is led by speedy senior Joe Reed and physical fourth-year Hasise Dubois (6-3, 215), but the Cavaliers’ real strength lies in their depth. Graduate transfer Terrell Chatman has made an immediate impact and slot receivers Billy Kemp and Tavares Kelly are scary fast. Edge, Virginia.
Florida State’s offensive line was bad last season, and it returns just one starter, left tackle Jauan Williams. The Seminoles have a freshman in Dontae Lucas starting at right guard and redshirt sophomore Brady Scott at left. Virginia’s offensive line isn’t full of blue-chip prospects, but there’s experience and versatility, and the Cavaliers have given up just three sacks through the first two weeks. Edge, Virginia.
Sophomore Corey Durden has stepped in at end in Florida State’s 3-4 scheme opposite Marvin Wilson and the duo knows how to eat space and get to the quarterback. Virginia is basking in its defensive line depth, especially with freshman Jowon Briggs seeing meaningful snaps at nose tackle. Aaron Faumui has been disruptive, while Eli Hanback, Mandy Alonso and Richard Burney are a nice rotation of veterans. Edge, Virginia.
Virginia’s Jordan Mack, Zane Zandier and Robert Snyder have been flying to the quarterback, while 6-foot-7 outside linebacker Charles Snowden simply flies all over the field. Florida State’s Dontavious Jackson is one of the best linebackers in the ACC and Jaiden Lars-Woodbey is a converted safety who is scary athletic. But as is becoming the theme, the Seminoles don’t have the Cavaliers’ depth. Edge, Virginia.
Bryce Hall is one of the best cornerbacks in the country, safety Joey Blount shows impressive instincts and tackling ability and corner Nick Grant has emerged opposite Hall. Florida State doesn’t have any slouches in the secondary, either. Stanford Samuels was a consensus top-five cornerback prospect in the country coming out of high school and is in his third year as a starter. Corner Asante Samuel Jr. has NFL bloodlines and the athleticism to prove it, and safety Hamsah Nasirildeen leads the team in tackles. Edge, push.
Florida State kicker Ricky Aguayo has hit both field goals he has attempted and the Seminoles have a pair of explosive returners in DJ Matthews, who is averaging 18 yards per punt return, and Keyshawn Helton, who is putting up 25.3 yards per kick return. Virginia’s Joe Reed showed how explosive he is last week with a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and Billy Kemp looked good returning punts. Kicker Brian Delaney is 4-of-6 on field goals with a long of 45 yards. Edge, push.