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The Nolecast previews Virginia Tech at Florida State

What are the keys to victory for FSU over Virginia Tech?

NCAA Football: Florida State at Miami Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Bud Elliott and Ingram Smith return with the 43rd Nolecast episode of 2018. The Nolecast is the No. 1 Florida State Seminoles podcast.

Listen in the player below this article, or on Apple Podcasts (iTunes), Stitcher, or Google Play Music

Show notes are as follows, roughly in order

Here is what we believe will happen, and what we are looking to find out.



VT defense lost a ton in the back seven.


  • Ricky Walker is special at DT.
  • Limited depth, tempo could hurt. DT Mihota likely will not play much.
  • Best DE… will he be available? Not available on media day. Virginia tech people are unsure if the DE will play
  • VT likes to stemm their DL presnap to draw penalties.


  • VT is talented at LB, but they are pretty young and inexperienced. Worry for them will be backers getting out of gaps.
  • Make them show they can tackle FSU’s backs.


  • Not that big, and not a strength of the team due to youth, which is odd for VT
  • Rover Floyd is someone FSU will want to isolate in coverage.
  • Safety Deablo has a ton of ability.


  • Francois needs to hold up in the run game. VT will make sure to hit him.
  • VT will definitely try to get an extra man in the box and will force Francois to keep to show he is healthy.
  • Expect VT to shoot gaps often to get FSU behind chains.
  • FSU will need to use man beaters and crossers to get VT out of man coverage.
  • Wide alignments of WRs should help to reduce chance for interceptions. Allows FSU to isolate certain defenders in space, and also cannot play invert coverages.
  • Run some quads and run QB away from it.
  • Formation to isolate defenders away from help.
  • Utilize formations with multiple backs to put pressure on VT’s backers.
  • Need to hit some shots to the outside to loosen things up. VT will make FSU prove it.

FSU D. v. VT O


VT O should improve this year.


  • Josh Jackson is good not great.
  • Lots of RPO and single reads where Jackson will have an influence route to get an underneath guy to clear and then will throw a skinny post behind him.


  • Fine, but not special.


  • Young, but talented in spots. Burns could be a nightmare.
  • VT Hbacks can block well. Should chip burns.


  • VT has big, but unproven receivers on the outside. Will try to win jump balls. FSU will give them fades all day, but they are so low percentage, can they hit?
  • VT’s slots are pretty solid and this is a concern for FSU.
  • VT will look to exploit middle of the field with RPO game, and slots on backers.

Scheme Keys

  • A lot of misdirection.
  • VT will stay in 21 and 12 to keep FSU’s linebackers on the field. No advantage to making FSU play 6 DBs.
  • Run blitz a decent bit. Shoot gaps. Get into the backfield to get VT off schedule.
  • Brian Burns needs to have a big game against single blocking, or if doubled, others need to beat 1v1 blocking.


Who makes fewer mistakes? Will FSU’s talent advantage and new scheme outweigh the multiple years in the system that Virignia Tech will have?