#20 Virginia Tech (0-0, 0-0) vs. #19 Florida State (0-0, 0-0)
Sept. 3, 2018 • 8 PM • Tallahassee, Fla. • Doak Campbell Stadium (79,560) • ESPN
Play-by-Play — Chris Fowler
Analyst — Kirk Herbstreit
Sideline — Maria Taylor
National Radio: Westwood One
Play-by-Play — Brandon Gaudin
Analyst — Ross Tucker
Satellite Radio: Sirius XM Channel 81
Local Radio: Virginia Tech IMG Sports
Play-by-Play — Jon Laaser
Analyst — Mike Burnop
Sideline — Andrew Allegretta
Flagship — 105.3 FM
HOKIES OPEN 2018 CAMPAIGN AT FSU
• Virginia Tech enters its third season under Justin Fuente in 2018, while Willie Taggart makes his debut at Florida State as the Hokies visit Tallahassee to open the season on Labor Day evening (9/3).
• The two squads are meeting for the first since 2012 and haven’t played in Tallahassee since 2008.
• Frank Beamer (VT) and Bobby Bowden (FSU) guided their respective squads to the 1999 National Championship Game in the Sugar Bowl. Both iconic coaches will serve as honorary captains in this contest.
• Tech is 2-0 in its previous openers under Fuente and begin the season with an ACC foe for the first time since Frank Beamer led VT to a 20-17 OT win vs. GT (9/3/12).
• The Hokies are 2-0 in season openers against ACC foes, also boasting a 20-16 win at NC State (9/4/05).
• Tech concluded the 2017 season with a 9-4 mark, finishing the year No. 24 in the AP Top 25 and No. 25 in the Amway USA Today Coaches Poll.
• FSU went 7-6 in 2017, finishing the year with a four-game victory streak.
• The Hokies are seeking to extend their streak of consecutive bowl appearances to 26 straight seasons, the longest active streak recognized by the NCAA and a mark that would give Tech the third-longest string in NCAA history.
INSIDE THE SERIES: VIRGINIA TECH VS. FLORIDA STATE
• Next Monday will mark the 37th all-time meeting between the Hokies and the Seminoles in a series that began in 1955.
• This will only be the fourth regular season ACC contest between the two conference foes. Florida State is 2-1 in those games.
• Florida State and Virginia Tech met two other times previously in the ACC Championship games in 2005 and 2010.
• Tech is 5-13 all-time against Florida State in Tallahassee and last beat the Seminoles at Doak Campbell Stadium on Nov. 16, 1974, a 56-21 victory.
• After that loss, FSU won the next 12 games in the series against the Hokies.
• This will be the first game in the all-time series between the Hokies and the Seminoles to be played on a Monday.
• Monday’s game will also feature two coaches that rank as the longest and second-longest active tenured assistants in college football. Bud Foster (32) and Florida State’s Odell Haggins (25) combine to have 57 years of coaching experience.
•The Labor Day night matchup with be the first time that Virginia Tech will open a season against a ranked conference opponent.
• After defeating No. 20 West Virginia in the 2017 season opener, this season marks the first time a ranked Virginia Tech squad will open with a ranked opponent in back-to-back seasons since 2009-10, when seventh-ranked Virginia Tech faced fifth-ranked Alabama in 2009 and when No. 10 Virginia Tech played No. 3 Boise State in 2010.
FUENTE, TAGGART CLASH ONCE AGAIN
• The season opener will be the fifth time that Justin Fuente and Willie Taggart will go head-to-head on the gridiron – once previously as opposing quarterbacks and three times as head coaches – with Fuente holding a 4-0 record.
• The first meeting came on Sept. 12, 1998 in Murray, Kentucky when a Western Kentucky squad led by Taggart at quarterback traveled across the state to face their in-state rival Murray State, featuring Fuente under center.
• Behind Fuente’s 358 yards in the air on 33 of 51 passing, two TD passes and one rushing score, the Racers got by the Hilltoppers, 36-31.
• Taggart finished with 104 passing yards and 101 yards on the ground with two rushing touchdowns.
• The two would meet again 15 years later as opposing head coaches with Fuente at Memphis and Taggart at South Florida.
• Memphis and USF would go up against one another for three consecutive seasons between 2013-15. Fuente and Memphis won all three matchups.