Welcome to the Line of Scrimmage, the latest show on the Tomahawk Nation podcast network.
Ahead of each game this football season, we’re giving you insight into Florida State’s opponents from those in the know.
This week, we welcome Brad Everett, who covers sports at all levels as a reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The Seminoles open the season against the Duquesne Dukes, who have found a relative standard of success in the Northeast Conference on the FCS level.
You can read some of his answers below, or find the full interview below.
- Duquesne is coming off of a 7-3 season that included their first win over an FBS opponent. The Dukes are preseason second in the Northeast Conference, can you speak to the overall success of the program under head coach Jerry Schmidt? Is there a particular area that Schmidt has excelled in during his tenure?
Brad Everett: They’ve just been consistent, ever since he’s been there. This is a program that I’m sure not a lot of your readers or listeners are very familiar with. But I mean, up until, up until 1993, this was the division three program. They weren’t even at the division two level. They’ve only had two coaches since 1993. Jerry Schmidt’s been at Duquesne for 18 years, he’s actually longer tenured than Mike Tomlin is here in Pittsburgh.
- On offense, the Dukes enter the season with the always favorite quarterback competition. Do you have a pulse on how this completion shakes out and also some background on Joe Mischler and Darius Perrantes?
Brad Everett: Yeah, they’re in a unique situation. And some schools are still trying to figure out how to have one decent quarterback but, Duquesne has not only two decent ones, but two good ones. Both of those guys have good arms can move. Not your traditional, like dual-threat guys, like, they’re not gonna, you know, be doing these 20 - 30 yards runs that Jordan Travis might be pulling off or something, but they can both play and they both have experience under their belt.
- As far as the rest of the offense, gone is all-everything wide receiver Cyrus Holder. What can FSU expect from the Dukes’ skill players? And is there a particular base offense Duquesne runs?
Brad Everett: They can expect some explosiveness, they still have some really talented guys back. They could have a backfield that actually played with one another in high school because Joe Mischler went to one of the better programs in the high school level in this part of the state, and Billy Lucas was the running back and Billy Lucas is the starting running back now at Duquesne. He’s a shifty guy, you know, six foot 210-pound kid that can really move. He was an all-conference kid last year. And you know, big things are expected of him this year. And another skill guy who actually has a brother that plays in the NFL, would be Joey Isabella, whose brother Andy Isabella was a big-time receiver at UMass and now plays for the Arizona Cardinals.
- Switching to defense, the name that sticks out islinebacker Todd Hill. If you could give some details to the listeners on him and also the base defensive formation that Duquesne runs?
Brad Everett: This is a team that’s been strong defensively in recent years. They went out and they got a new defensive coordinator this year. They went out and got a guy named Mike Craig, who was previously defensive coordinator at IUP up here in the area, a really strong division two program and so he’s bringing that three, four defense over there.
Todd Hill, he played at a local high school, Still Valley High School, was the day one starter there his freshman year and was just a kid that just produced and produced and produced throughout his career, just made plays every time you saw him. And it’s like, man, like this dude is good enough to play, he can go anywhere,, but there’s the size issue, he’s not very tall. And that’s what you’ll get a lot of these FCS schools, guys that if they were three or four inches taller, they’d be playing on ACC teams. He’s going to be playing more of an edge position this year, and they’re going to try to deploy him in a lot of different ways. They’re gonna try to keep offensive coordinators guessing as far as where he’s gonna line up at on defense, but they expect him to have a really, really big year.
- Last year, FSU dropped a game we’d all like to forget against Jacksonville State. Do you see any chance that the Dukes can repeat this type of upset?
Brad Everett: I think Duquesne is coming down to shock the world.
I’m just kidding. I mean, that’s their goal. But of course, it’s going to be a long shot. Duquesne is going to be a giant massive underdog in that game, but any chance that they have to win a game, you don’t want it to be in this situation where Florida State is a year removed from losing to a team like this. It’s not like they’re going to catch Florida State sleeping. That said, there’s the belief that they could be a team at that level. A lot of these guys played down at TCU last year going to Fort Worth so they know what it’s like to play in n a major college stadium in front of a ton of fans. I don’t think a lot of these guys will be shell-shocked there. If Florida State at least brings their B or C game then you know, this probably shouldn’t be close, but if they take their take their foot off the gas a little bit or if really turn the ball over, or have a lot of problems, there’s always that possibility you just never know. That’s why they played the game, right?
Everything Florida State Seminoles, all the time.
The Tomahawk Nation podcast channel, presented by SB Nation, features insider Seminoles recruiting, football, basketball, baseball, softball, and soccer analysis and commentary, featuring shows hosted by staff writers Tim Alumbaugh, Matt Minnick, Michael Rogner, Brian Pellerin, and Ben Meyerson, featuring contributions by Joshua Pick, David Stout, Jon Marchant, Max Escarpio and the entire Tomahawk Nation staff, produced by managing editor Perry Kostidakis.