Our friend Bill (NoleCC) of ScalpEm.com has taken time away from his busy baking schedule to answer some questions about Saturday's game. He knows his FSU football and we suggest following him on Twitter @ScalpEmOfficial. You can read my answers to his questions here.
1. If you were in charge of developing the game plan to beat Florida State what would your main areas of focus be?
My main point would be, "Be Flexible." UNC aired it out and hammered the Noles defense. N.C. State ran like mad. Oklahoma did whatever they felt like. I'd try some thing against the FSU defense in the 1st quarter, see what works and attack the weakest link of that particular day.
On the flip side, if I'm holding off the offense, I'd want to test out Christian Ponder's arm on long throws. That means take away the middle and see if his elbow can handle the outs and deep balls. Plus, the Noles are down to 1 totally healthy running back in Chris Thompson. Take away the pass well enough and VT should be able to stop FSU's running game with the DL and an LB or two.
2. Last Saturday (like you don't know) the 'Noles absolutely dominated Florida, their first win against the Gators since 2003. Do you have any concern that the team could be overly confident going into Saturday's game? Going forward will the Sunshine State's rays be beaming brighter on Tallahassee, or were you fortunate to catch Florida on a cloudy year?
It doesn't feel like this team is overconfident about much. Oklahoma shut that up quickly. The big "problem" is that the Noles play to their competition when it's not Miami or Florida (big rivals - easy to get "up" for) instead of always putting out their best effort. Thankfully for the Noles, the Hokies are a great team which means I think we'll see FSU put out a great effort and a great game plan.
Regarding UF / Tallahassee. The casual fan didn't understand the amount of things that needed to change in the FSU program that was a decade behind in technique, training and nutrition. That's all changed, which immediate puts the program (not the talent yet) on the same level as those reptiles down in Gainesville. FSU is no longer an easy target for rivals recruiting against the Noles. The threat of Bowden's age went out the door with him. On top of that, I fully accept that UF had a great run with Tim Tebow at the helm. Tebow was a collegiate football freak (his parents bred him to play at UF) at QB and a winner for the Gators. Thankfully, there's only one. What I'm very curious to find out is whether or not Urban Meyer can return to the high level of success we saw, but without Tebow or a core of Ron Zook's players.
3. The 2010 'Nole offense (177.4 rushing yards per game, 213.3 passing yards per game, 31.67 points per game) while less productive by yards is far more balanced and successful by points than the 2009 version (149.5 rushing yards per game, 271.8 passing yards per game, 30.08 points per game). Can you talk about how the offensive game plan has evolved from last year?
More than anything else, Jimbo Fisher finds himself free to do whatever he wants. Fisher was very respectful of the relationship with Bobby Bowden and didn't make or even ask to make certain changes because it wasn't yet his program to run. I think this year, the Noles do a better job of taking what the other team is giving them. The passing game has been hampered by having such a youthful group at WR and a banged up Ponder. Over the last couple of weeks it's come together a bit. It'll be interesting to see what VT goes after. Do you stop the run know it's banged up and see if the WRs can catch two weeks in a row? Do you assume the run is weak because of the injuries and throw a bunch of DBs out there?
4. If you could have any Hokie suit up in the garnet and gold instead of the orange and maroon (or white if the rumors are true) who do you got and why?
It would be super easy to pick Tyrod Taylor because he's just talented and fun to watch or someone from Bud Foster's defense, but I'll surprise you with another. I'd be happy to take David Wilson off of your hands because he seems so versatile. FSU could definitely use him in the kick return game paired up with Greg Reid. He has great hands as a receiver and can run the ball well. I like that versatility a lot and it's one more weapons that the Hokies would have to defend.
5. Briefly, what's Mark Stoops doing differently Mickey Andrews?
Everything. Mickey's defense relied on the Noles being stronger and faster than everyone else. Those strengths led to a lot of man coverage, which is dominating when you can get away with it, but 85 scholarship parity evened things out over the years. Mark Stoops runs a lot of zone. It's a lot of bend and don't break. It's nice to watch because there always seems to be "help" for the guys when they understand their assignments. Going forward, as Stoops gets his recruits in I think it'll be even better.
6. From the coffee cake of doom to homemade ice cream, most of our back and forth banter on The Twitter revolves around food and not football. Tell me, what's on the menu for Saturday and how delicious is it going to be?
I'm not totally sure yet. Mrs. NoleCC makes this really fantastic 5 Layer Mexican Dip when I ask for it nicely. I might luck out with that. Otherwise, the temps in Tallahassee are supposed to cool off so I might go with my Slow Cooker Chili that I absolutely love. It's savory and not too hot (my personal preference in chili) and has three different meats in it. Plus it makes the house smell great. For something sweet, I might bake up a batch of Peanut Butter Caramel Swirl Brownies (basically Bobby Flay's recipe) or if I'm lazy I might just go with some cookies.
And I wonder why I need to lose weight?
Either way, I won't be in Charlotte this weekend for the ACCCG so the Hokies avoid the dreaded and undefeated Coffee Cake of Doom. The Coffee Cake of Doom either only works for home games (fully tested / I didn't make one for UNC the only home loss) OR it only works when I'm actually at the game (I didn't go to any road games so there's no way to know). So if you guys could go ahead and wear the white helmets of surrender that would be great.
A big thank you to Bill everybody!