TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -Florida State's Bobby Bowden loves elusive quarterbacks - as long as they're on his side.
The 78-year-old Bowden has been distracted during this week's film study by Virginia Tech's sophomore Tyrod Taylor, who ranks among the Atlantic Coast Conference's leading rushers going into Saturday's game here.
``He's our biggest concern,'' Bowden said. ``He's got danger written all over.''
His 24th-ranked Seminoles (5-1, 2-1 ACC) face the Hokies (5-2, 2-1) with both schools needing wins in a wide-open race for spots in the league's title game in December.
Bowden got a firsthand look in last year's meeting, when Taylor came off the bench to lead the Hokies to a 40-21 victory.
r the Seminoles.
``Elusive,'' said Bowden, who captured his first national title 15 years ago with his an escape artist of his own, former Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Charlie Ward.
Such is the power of a dual-threat quarterback, Florida State offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher sacrificed Drew Weatherford's three years starting experience in favor of sophomore Christian Ponder.
``The young athletic guy is making up for some deficiencies in other areas of your football team,'' Fisher said. ``It's the fit of people around him.''
Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer made the same decision after a loss to East Carolina in the opening game, benching veteran Sean Glennon, who like Weatherford is a 23-year-old fifth year senior.
``I thought Tyrod matched our football team better for what he could give us ... what we needed for our football team,'' said Beamer, whose 214 coaching wins have him ranked fourth among active major college coaches.
Taylor's 448 yards rushing rank him fifth in the ACC. He's ninth in passing, having completed 56.7 percent of his attempts for 585 yards and one touchdown.
Ponder has improved game-by-game since a dismal showing Sept. 20 in a 12-3 loss to Wake Forest and ranks second in the ACC in total offense. He's completed 53.1 percent of his passes for 960 yards and eight touchdowns while running for another 291 yards.
kers Saturday. Freshman Bert Reed was suspended for the game for violating the school's class attendance policy. Reed is second on the team in all-purpose yardage and has caught three TD passes.
The Seminoles may also be without the services of junior linebacker Dekoda Watson, who is dealing with elbow and hamstring injuries. True freshman David Spurlock will move in at right guard in place of Will Furlong, who is out for the rest of the season after surgery on his left foot.
Both teams need a win to keep pace in this year's ACC, where seven schools have just one conference loss heading into Saturday.
The Hokies have a leg up in the Coastal Division because they're unbeaten within that grouping while Florida State needs help to win the Atlantic Division.
The Seminoles must keep winning and hope Wake Forest loses again to have a shot at the Dec. 6 championship game in Tampa. Florida State also plays Boston College and Maryland next month, two schools also contending for the Atlantic division crown.
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