Jerry Scott of Tomahawk Nation, the SB Nation Florida State University Seminoles blog, has kindly consented to do a five-question swap for the Music City Bowl. In case you are wondering, I deliberately stayed away from the sanctions question, because believe it or not this swap happened before the extent of the sanctions were even known. I didn't want to waste a question about something nobody had an answer for at the time.
So without further gilding the lily and with no more ado, I give you -- Jerry Scott of Tomahawk Nation.
- Florida State's running game has been fairly anemic this year, but you have a multipurpose wide receiver/tailback in Preston Parker who showed up strong moving from WR to the backfield against Maryland. Kentucky's run defense is ranked 92nd against the run and 21's against the pass. Where will Parker spend most of his time in this game, and why?
Tomahawk Nation: I think you'll see Parker line-up as a wide out during this game more than you'll see him at tailback. I think strictly because Antone Smith was banged up for the Maryland and UF games and will look to regain his starter status against your Cats. I think the fan base would rather see Preston back there (me included), but you really can't close the book on Antone Smith yet.
- Florida State has more football tradition in their little finger than UK has in it's entire team -- 28 straight bowl appearances for FSU, 38 overall versus Kentucky's 2 straight and 11 overall -- but the Music City Bowl can't be the destination FSU had in mind at the beginning of the season. How much of an impact will the disappointment of this season affect the 'Noles in Nashville, and why?
Tomahawk Nation: It obviously has more of an affect on the Fan base than it does the players and coaches, but I don't see the seasons disappointing turnout as having an affect on the play in this bowl game. We entered our Bowl Game last season against the UCLA Bruins with the same lackluster performance and the team found a way to beat that club. Our team seems to get up for Bowl Games (just don't tell Gator Fans that) regardless of the competition and Bowl Destination.
- Florida State's secondary has given up a lot of yards per game this year through the air, and is 1-1 against powerful passing offenses, winning at BC and losing at Florida. Despite giving up over 400 yards through the air to BC, the Seminoles ended their BCS hopes. Florida was just the opposite story. Which team shows up against Kentucky, and why?
Tomahawk Nation: At this point in the Jimbo Fisher era I really can't say which team I think will show up. I would hope the team that had the enthusiasm and will to beat Boston College on the road will show up, but after that piss poor performance against the Gators, I'm really unsure of which team we will see. That's been the story of our entire season. The players will play really well in some games and in others they wont even try and have admitted publicly as much.
- Kentucky's OC Joker Phillips loves to tell André Woodson to go deep,and UK has numerous big-play deep threats on the outside and an all-conference tight end. Do you think Mickey Andrews sends a lot of blitzes at UK, or will they try to rely on their superior DL to pressure Woodson in order to keep UK from going vertical, and why?
Tomahawk Nation: I think in the first half, Mickey will send the hounds as to see how easy they can get to the QB. If Woodson finds success early on, I expect Mickey to adjust and allow the front four to work their magic. A lot of times this season, Florida State has hurt themselves by over pursing the opposition, basically being to quick to the ball, if that's even possible. Over pursuit sets them up for giving up the big plays by having defenders out of position. Hopefully that doesn't occur too often next Monday.
The fact that you have an All-Conference Tight-End scares the begesus out of me. We have struggled mightily to prevent pass catching Tight Ends from having any success against us. The Alge Crumpler's, Jeff King's, and Kellen Winslow's of the world can attest to that. Its an offensive weapon that Mickey Andrew's has never put to much emphasis on and that can/has really hurt us.
- How much has the Xavier Lee/Drew Weatherford situation at quarterback affected FSU's season, and how do you see the Music City Bowl turning out?
Tomahawk Nation: To be honest, I think it has affected the players on the field with the QB's more than the QB's themselves. We've got Wide Receivers who had lost all hope with Weatherford out there on the field and had even begun to quit on plays. Jimbo Fisher also didn't help things by muffing the QB situation himself. He let Xavier start, then put in Weatherford and preceded to let Weatherford have one series. You can't do that to a QB (Lee) who's trying to build confidence. Once Xavier Lee shot himself in the foot (missing classes and forgetting formations on the field), I think the receivers have finally come to grips with Drew as their QB and they have played a lot better for him through the last bit of the season.
As for how the Music City Bowl will turn out. I hate doing this, but I think Kentucky will win in convincing fashion. I don't see our offense being able to match the points your team has become accustomed to putting up. We've only gone over 30 points once this season, in a nail biter against UAB, heh. By the way, it's excruciating to give KENTUCKY FOOTBALL respect, it really is. Your fan base has come a long way so you've definitely earned it, it's just really hard to stomach. Good Luck on New Year's Eve!
Thanks Jerry, and best of luck to the Seminoles.
Be sure to check out my responses to Jerry's questions over at Tomahawk Nation.