Cavaliers Defense Looking to Slow Down FSU's Cam Akers
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The 25th-ranked Virginia football team is a seven-point favorite for Saturday's game against Florida State.
The Seminoles have surrendered eighty points in their first two games this year, but the FSU offense is potent, led by running back Cam Akers.
The junior carried the ball a program-record 36-times last week against Louisiana-Monroe.
Akers rushed for two touchdowns and almost 200 yards in the overtime victory.
"He's big and he's fast," says UVa defensive coordinator Kelly Poppinga. "When you have a combination like that, with a guy who is big and fast, those guys are hard to bring down. It's going to take not one or two guys to bring him down, it's going to take a team of guys to bring him down at the point of contact. We have to be firm tacklers, wrap him up, make sure he does not get any yards past contact. That's one of the main emphasis that we've made. We call them 'Stop Tackles.' At the point of contact, we are stopping his momentum."
Akers is averaging over six-yards per carry in Florida State's first two games.
UVa head coach Bronco Mendenhall compared Akers to an an NFL running back, while Poppinga says he presents a lot of challenges.
"For us, every yard, every inch matters," says Poppinga. "Gang-tackle that guy, and when he does get out into space, we have to make sure we're great open field tacklers. Make sure we keep our leverage, and get him down at the point of contact."
Virginia and Florida State kickoff on Saturday at 7:30 PM at Scott Stadium.