FLORIDA STATE — Coming off of a bye week against what should be a tooth and nail bout against the Clemson Tigers, the Florida State Seminoles will face Georgia Tech for a second time in head coach Mike Norvell’s tenure at FSU.
The last time the two teams met it was a game filled with offensive struggles, worn-out defenses, penalties, and a Florida State team that just couldn’t find its rhythm despite the final score being a close 16-13. The ‘Noles will look to right that ship in 2022 when the Yellow Jackets travel down from Atlanta in October.
Opponent: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Date: October 29, 2022 (Doak Campbell)
Last matchup: Georgia Tech 16, Florida State 13
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets: Team Preview
2021 record: 3-9 (2-6 ACC)
Names to Know
A name you may remember is Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke who is now Tech’s new quarterback's coach, brought in following a massive overhaul by Geoff Collins after a third straight three-win season.
Here are some other names to know:
Quarterback Jeff Sims
A lackluster 2021 has put questions on the longevity of the former FSU commit’s status at the Yellow Jackets starter.
From our Georgia Tech sister site, From the Rumble Seat:
The Yellow Jackets added two transfer quarterbacks: former Akron QB Zach Gibson and former Clemson QB Taisun Phommachanh. In addition to those two, the Yellow Jackets also added Zach Pyron in their recruiting class, and he has received good reports thus far.
Going into the Summer, it seems all signs are pointing toward Jeff Sims being the starting quarterback come Labor Day. But I would be willing to bet money that he will not be the only quarterback to start this year.
We know that the potential is there for Sims to take hold of the job and be successful. He’s got the arm talent and is dynamic on the ground. What it comes down to, though, is his decision-making skills. Sims has an incredible knack for making you just cock your head and say, “Huh?”
Running back Jahmyr Gibbs
Transferring to Alabama leaves a question mark on who will take that star role at running back. That position being filled will be a crucial one if the Jackets want to break their losing streak moving forward. The top name to potentially do that? Georgia Tech’s lone returning running back, Dontae Smith.
Defensive end Keon White
Coming back from an injury in 2021, White will be one to look out for and should be a major contributor throughout their season.
Via From the Rumble Seat:
He’s a 6’4” 267 pound EDGE with a hard to find blend of athleticism and power. In his last full season of action in 2019, he piled up 62 tackles, but the most significant thing to know is that 19 were for a loss. Every single player on Georgia Tech’s defensive line combined for 27 tackles for a loss last season. If you’re looking for somewhere that an impact player is needed, this is a pretty good place to start. Especially with the losses of Jared Ivey and Jordan Domineck, having a proven disrupter already on the roster ready to contribute is a massive coup for this GT front.
Defensive lineman Kyle Kennard
Be on the lookout for him as the season progresses. Not to say that he’s a game-changer but one to watch out for. If he gets into a rhythm that is one more thing you have to worry about.
Listed at 6’5”, 235 pounds, Kennard’s size, speed, and strength make him a force on the edge. In run defense, he can create matchup issues on the interior, but Coaches Thacker and Tillman will surely be using him more frequently in pass rush as he’s shown an ability to hurry quarterbacks in past performances. His length and wingspan also give him the ability to create separation at the point of attack, allowing him to effectively get off blocks. He’s shown discipline in the past, as well, with an ability to set the edge, contain mobile quarterbacks, and limit offensive damage.
Florida State Seminoles vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Prediction
2022 will be year four under Geoff Collins and they have yet to break three wins in a season during his time in Atlanta. Best case scenario would see both sides of the trenches injury-free (or at least serviceable after a bye week) for the Seminoles.
Seeing wideout Winston Wright coming into full form, if not before week nine, will add to the tools already in place for QB Jordan Travis. A strong rushing attack led by Trey Benson and Treshaun Ward with mixed looks; moving Douglas and Toafili out into the slot should make it easier to get the ball down the field.
Contain Sims, bring pressure off the edge, and let your secondary and linebackers do the work. FSU is still thin at the linebacker position but improvements in coverage are evident. The middle of the field shouldn't be such a weakness this year.
Best case: A healthy team spells victory.
Realistically, Travis might be banged up, and like every other game on the schedule, if he’s down then who knows how FSU will respond? Rodemaker has some game experience and Duffy is still learning the ropes. This might be better suited for the “worst-case” category but in that situation, scheming around your run game will take precedence, and utilizing Rodemaker’s long-shot/tuck and run capability will still give you a chance. I’d still take the ‘Noles for the W sans an absolute meltdown. There are too many offensive weapons to pick from in this matchup.
A worst-case scenario would be an offensive line blunder that allows Georgia Tech to badger the quarterback into making bad throws. A teeter-totter effect will follow and the Seminoles won't be able to get anything going as the Tech defense makes the play calls seem obvious. A few turnovers later and you're relying on your kicker to win the game.