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Five Good Minutes: Talking FSU Football With Tomahawk Nation

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We talk with the good guys over at Tomahawk Nation, SB Nation's Florida State blog

Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

To prepare for BC's opponents, BCI reaches out an olive branch to find out about the Seminoles. DK from VA, from Tomahawk Nation to talk BC/FSU. Check out Tomahawk Nation for all your Seminoles news and opinion.

BC Interruption: When you have a program that produces NFL talent like FSU you have to be used to turnover on the roster. What youngsters have jumped in and made a splash so far for the Seminoles?

Tomahawk Nation: After a record number of players drafted over the last three years, this year's FSU team is extremely young. Everett Golson is the only scholarship senior on offense for the ‘Noles, and its defense will lose almost no one of consequence after this season other than junior Jalen Ramsey, who will leave early. Thankfully, the Seminoles have recruited very well and there's plenty of inexperienced talent on the roster. On offense, the ‘Noles replaced four of five starting offensive linemen this season, and the lone returner started as a true freshman. Redshirt freshman Corey Martinez is starting at center, and redshirt freshman Brock Ruble will start at right tackle. Another RS freshman starts at tight end in Ryan Izzo. Sophomore Travis Rudolph joins junior Bobo Wilson at starting wideout, and sophomore Ermon Lane will see significant time as well. Dalvin Cook is a sophomore, which is hard to believe when one watches him play.

On defense, the front seven is more experienced, although it has featured significant reps from former #1 overall recruit and true freshman Josh Sweat, who has recovered remarkably quickly from a nasty knee injury a year ago. Marquez White, while a junior, has been a nice surprise at the corner position opposite all-everything Jalen Ramsey. You'll likely some of sophomore Trey Marshall, a physical safety. The biggest athletic freak on FSU's team is probably true freshman safety Derwin James, who has yet to crack the rotation for a lot of meaningful snaps, but will likely play some against BC. While writing this I'm struck by just how well FSU has recruited that it doesn't have to rely on true freshmen at this stage after everything it lost, but also at its youth, with so many RS freshmen and sophomores relied on to carry this year's team. If things break well this is a team that can compete for another ACC title, but it's hard not to look to 2016 for real excitement.

BC Interruption: Speaking of change, Jameis Winston is gone, and in comes Everett Golson. BC fans remember him from his days at Notre Dame. How is he fitting in to Jimbo's offense?

Tomahawk Nation: As you'll know from facing him in the past, there are days featuring good Everett Golson, and there are other days featuring bad Everett Golson. Texas State (while an awful defense) was probably one of the former, while last Saturday was one of the latter. Golson was 1-9 at one point in that game, and the one completion was a screen. He missed throws on easy base plays, as well as checks and reads in the run game. This was not encouraging, but not altogether unexpected after hearing from camp that he wasn't picking up the offense as quickly as we may have hoped. His athleticism is what sets him apart from incumbent backup Sean Maguire. Golson has thus far has not presented a running threat, which certainly may be intentional on Jimbo Fisher's part. When replacing as many linemen as FSU has, the ability to make plays with his legs made him the best choice for the team's starting quarterback. If Golson is unwilling or unable to present such a run threat and is continually making basic mistakes, then Sean Maguire will be the best choice. So far, though, it's just too early to tell. To his credit, Golson's bad game last week didn't feature a turnover, and the ‘Noles have yet to turn it over this season. This will need to continue in what looks to be a much closer game against BC, and I hope to see Fisher utilize his mobility in this one.


BC Interruption: Dalvin Cook could easily be the best running back in the country. BC has one of the best running defenses in the country. What makes Cook such a dynamic runner, and why should BC fans be worried about him?

Tomahawk Nation: Cook has everything you look for in a prototypical back and has improved significantly since his high school recruitment, which is remarkable considering that he was a five-star player. He has good size at 5'11" 200 pounds, great speed, and you won't be able to arm tackle him. For me, what sets him apart are the intangible aspects that are hard to describe. He just has that feel and vision as a runner. He's very fluid and able to change the course of his run with a single step. I think he's the most complete runner I've ever seen at FSU, which isn't to say he's the most accomplished, but still. BC fans should worry about him because of how talented he is, but also because of who he's running behind on the left side of the offensive line. Rod Johnson, a true sophomore at left tackle, is likely to be a high draft pick if he continues to improve. Kareem Are is a JUCO transfer starting at left guard, who also looks to be an NFL type. That said, the Eagles present a great challenge for this unit on the defensive line. Connor Wujciak and friends will stage a great strength-on-strength battle with the Seminole rush offense that I'm really looking forward to. The center position and right side of the FSU offensive line has been unimpressive to date, and Boston College is certainly capable of making it a long night up front for the Seminoles on offense. Another thing to note is that Fisher gave Dalvin Cook 30 carries against USF, which was a point of discontent for us on a short week, as we know just how much the ‘Noles will need him on Friday, but into the future as well.


BC Interruption: It always seems like FSU produces wide receivers that are a nightmare for BC's secondary. Who are some of the weapons that Golson will be throwing to this year?

Tomahawk Nation: There's plenty of talent out wide of the ‘Noles, but this passing game is of a different character than those that BC has seen from FSU teams of the past. Jimbo Fisher has always been a quarterback-centric guy, and as head coach he's shown a great desire to run his offense through the position. He'll frequently throw on early downs to set up the run, and usually is 55%-60% pass overall. This year's team just isn't a great fit for that plan. Its strength is its run game, and we had (and still have, to a degree) real concerns over whether Jimbo would tailor his game plan to it. So far he has, and part of the reason for it is the inexperience and, therefore, inconsistency of the wideouts. Sophomore Travis Rudolph is the #1 receiver, and junior Bobo Wilson will see plenty of targets as well. Neither are big game breakers in terms of speed, but they are the most consistent route runners. They have also been run blocking very well, which has been the key to getting on the field, in my opinion. Ermon Lane is a big target with a lot of talent, and Ja'Vonn "Pigg" Harrison will see time as well. I think the kind of guy you're concerned about here is Kermit Whitfield. You'll remember him as the true freshman track star who returned the kickoff for TD that put the ‘Noles ahead of Auburn for the first time in the 2013 BCS title game. He was unfortunately out of shape and had a disappointing sophomore slump a year ago, but appears to have gotten it together for his junior campaign. FSU will try to get him some touches on offense, but look out for him on kick return duty as well. True freshman George Campbell is also a five-star freak, and I'd like to see him get some touches.


BC Interruption: Defensively this game may be a slug fest. BC hasn't shown what their offense may look like against an FBS squad. Where does FSU's defensive strengths lie? How about weaknesses?

Tomahawk Nation: Florida State's strengths on defense are its defensive line depth and secondary depth. The ‘Noles will be able to rotate a bunch of bodies in up front, which should help them stay fresh against a BC offense that will look to pound the ball on the ground. Tackles Nile Lawrence-Stample and Derrick Nnadi will need to play well, as will end DeMarcus Walker. You'll see backups like Ricky Leonard, Derrick Mitchell, Demarcus Christmas, and Giorgio Newberry get significant burn as well. The secondary will need to play well against the run, too. Corner Jalen Ramsey is a bad man, and I'd advise not throwing at him. Marquez White has been very good across from him, and safeties Lamarcus Brutus and Nate Andrews (playing with a club on his hand) have been fine, if a bit unproven so far. The question for me is whether BC will be able to force the ‘Noles out of their preferred 4-2-5 personnel package, and I think they will. This will pose a challenge for FSU's defense, as linebacker depth is its clear weakness. Starters Terrance Smith and Reggie Northrup are quality players when healthy, but things get a bit scary in a 3-4/5-2 personnel situation. Jacob Pugh will need to be really good against the run, something backup phenom Josh Sweat has not been as a true freshman. Lorenzo Phillips and Ro'Derrick Hoskins will be called upon as well. FSU fans hope that its defensive line talent and depth will be able to neutralize an overhauled Boston College offensive line. If not, the ‘Noles may struggle against the Eagles' run-heavy attack, making it a long night in Chestnut Hill.


BC Interruption: Finally, FSU/BC, Friday night football. Who you got?

Tomahawk Nation: This one is just all sorts of uncomfortable for FSU fans. It's Friday night at underdog BC with a spread around a touchdown, as of now. It's Red Bandana Night (which is fantastic) and it will be a charged up crowd. 45% of Florida State's roster has never played in a road game! The ‘Noles could certainly lose this one. For me, the key is FSU's Roberto Aguayo, who will go down as one of the most accurate kickers in college football history. If the Seminoles can move the ball enough to utilize him, then they'll have a major leg up (sorry) in this game. I do think that BC's new and largely untested (although Maine's defense is better than they get credit for being) offensive line will struggle with what the ‘Noles will throw at them on the line of scrimmage. I also think the Eagles will give FSU problems up front as well. It will be an aesthetically difficult game to watch, and a cheap defensive, special teams, or busted play touchdown could very well be the difference. I'll take the ‘Noles 19-13 largely on the leg of #19.

Thanks again to DK from VA for spending the time to talk FSU with us, and make sure to check out Tomahawk Nation for more FSU news.