Published October 25, 2012
Duke (6-2, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) at No. 11 Florida St (7-1, 4-1), 3:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
Line: Florida State by 28.
Series record: Florida State leads 17-0.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
Florida State can't slip again and keep its hopes of winning the ACC's Atlantic Division since North Carolina State, which plays at North Carolina on Saturday, controls its destiny in the division. Duke sits atop the Coastal Division of the ACC and must keep winning to stay ahead of a jumbled field in that battle for a spot in the league's title game in December. The Blue Devils, who have never defeated Florida State, still have Clemson, Georgia Tech and Miami remaining.
Florida State's league-leading defense led by pass rushers Bjoern Werner and Cornellius Carradine against Duke's pass-first offense that averages 289.4 yards a game in the air, led by QB Mike Renfree. The Seminole defense, which leads the ACC in all major defensive categories, has allowed 157.4 yards passing a game.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Duke: WR Conner Vernon, who needs 94 receiving yards to break former Seminole Peter Warrick's ACC record of 3,517 yards. Vernon is already the ACC's career leader with 249 catches. Vernon has caught at least one pass in 43 straight games. Vernon and sophomore Jamison Crowder each have 51 catches and five touchdowns this season for Duke.
Florida State: FB Lonnie Pryor, recruited out of high school as a running back, has spent most of his career blocking for quarterback EJ Manuel and other running backs but could become a bigger part of the Seminoles offense with Chris Thompson out for the year with a knee injury. In limited carries this season, the 220-pound Pryor averages 6.8 yards and is also a reliable receiver out of the backfield.
FACTS & FIGURES
Duke came into the 1994 game at Tallahassee undefeated and ranked 13th nationally but couldn't handle Florida State's offense that racked up 653 yards in a 59-20 victory ... That game played on Oct. 29 was almost exactly 18 years ago ... it's also been 18 years since Duke played in a bowl while Florida State is bowl eligible for the 31st consecutive year ... Seminoles K Dustin Hopkins keeps extending his school and ACC scoring mark (417 points) and is now on the verge of breaking former Maryland kicker Nick Novak's league mark of 80 field goals ... Hopkins has 79 career field goals as he moves closer to the NCAA marks in both made field goals and total kicking points.