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Florida State HC Link Jarrett Calls Game Versus Tennessee The ‘Clash Of The Titans’

Photo via Florida State Athletics

Top-seeded Tennessee opens up play at the College World Series on Friday night when they face eight-seed Florida State. The Vols don’t have any recent history with Florida State but second-year Seminoles coach Link Jarrett knows Tennessee well from his time at Notre Dame.

Jarrett was the head coach of the Fighting Irish team that upset Tennessee in the super regionals in 2022 and he’s prepared for another difficult task on Friday night.

“I know how good they are,” Jarrett said on Thursday. “They’re unbelievable, unbelievably talented. This is a little bit of Clash of the Titans. I think our team, emotional team. This is an emotional group. Sometimes that emotion, we’ve seen it spill over a little bit where the guys hit a home run, the excitement, the punch-out. What you’re going to see, I don’t think we’ve ever seen it before. This Clash of the Titans, it’s going to be exciting. … I know the Tennessee crowd is thrilled. I’ve seen how passionate they are. I think we have the best fans in the world, the pitch-by-pitch engagement. This is top-of-the-food-chain stuff.”

Florida State is in the College World Series for the first time since 2019. They boast a talented offense with six players hitting over .300 and five players with double-digit home runs. The Seminoles rank ninth nationally in batting average and seventh in home runs this season.

More From RTI: Everything Tony Vitello Said In Omaha On Thursday Afternoon

But Tennessee isn’t too shabby at the plate either. The Vols have 10 players with double digit home runs this season and rank first nationally with 173 home runs this season. Tony Vitello’s seventh Tennessee squad also ranks 20th nationally in batting average.

The 2024 Tennessee team recently passed its 2022 team for the single-season home run record and Jarrett sees an offense that’s just as dangerous as the one his Notre Dame team faced two seasons ago.

“It’s probably not far off, is it? It’s not,” Jarrett said of the 2022 offense compared to 2024. “Damaging, threatening, physical, intense, balanced. Just pick whatever you want, man. I mean, I know what we’re walking into, and I know what we walked into in 2022.”

Winning the first game of the College World Series is always integral to a team’s chances of winning the entire tournament. Tennessee lost its College World Series opener in each of its first two trips to Omaha under Tony Vitello and are looking to buck the trend against the Seminoles.

First pitch Tennessee and Florida State at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha is at 7 p.m. ET on Friday night.

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