Georgia Tech Football: ACC Championship Q&A Session With Chop Chat


The ACC Championship is here and against all odds, literally, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are playing for the ACC crown against the Florida St. Seminoles who have won 28 straight games dating back last season.

The Seminoles are a 4-point favorite going into this game and oh by the way are the reigning National Champions.

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We thought it would be cool to “chop” it up with David Visser who is the editor of which is a Florida State Athletics website on the Fansided Network.

Here are the questions we asked and his responses:

Q. Jameis Winston truly is one of the most mentally tough players in the country. Given all the controversy that surrounds him, he seems like he is simply Teflon and it does not phase him. Where does that come from?

 A.  If I had to attribute this to anything, it would be Winston’s competitiveness. To wit: everyday at practice, Jalen Ramsey and he race during calisthenics, and neither one of them wants to lose. Later, when the team heads outside following stretching, Winston races all the other quarterbacks to the area where they warm up. And, again, it’s not playful racing; he wants to win. I’ve seen Winston hit the deck after colliding with other players he was trying to weave around.

For all the negative attention he’s garnered this year – rightfully deserved or not – Winston is also extremely intelligent (he made the 2013 All-ACC Academic Team, after all). Jimbo Fisher’s pro-style offense is incredibly complex, and Winston has nevertheless flourished therein. He gets in trouble when he tries to do too much, which, perhaps due to the carping of critics and FSU’s steady drop in the polls, is more and more of a temptation.

Q. FSU has made it out of its last three games by the skin of its teeth; is there a fear that the clock is about to strike 12 on its 28-win streak?

A.  That fear has been a near constant presence during the 2014 season, given the way Florida State has won. I think there are two opposing sentiments about this year’s Seminoles squad. One is that FSU has gotten lucky, and would have lost to more stout competition, and that the other shoe is going to drop any day now.

There’s also the feeling that the ‘Noles have shown flashes, and sooner or later, they’re bound to put it all together and play a complete game. After falling behind 9-0 to Florida last week, Florida State reeled off 21 straight, got the ball back shortly before halftime, and looked to be on its way to blowing out its rival. Instead, the drive stalled, FSU flubbed a punt, and the Gators scored before half to completely shift momentum and force another tight finish. That exchange has served as a microcosm of the season for the ‘Noles.

Q. What problems will Tech present for FSU and in particular its run defense that seems to be having lapses of late?

A.  The run-stopping issues were much more noticeable – and prevalent – early in the season. There were also a great deal of linebacker injuries in the middle of the season. The good news for FSU is that its LBs are mostly healthy (except position leader Terrance Smith) and the DL is coming off its best performance of the year against the Gators.

Health will be the main concern, given Georgia Tech’s cut blocking. When the ‘Noles faced The Citadel, another option team, earlier in the year, a number of defensive linemen came out due to lower-leg injuries.

Q. What is the one weakness you see for Florida St. offensively that concerns you going into this game?

A.  Many might say the running game, since starting halfback Karlos Williams is out with a concussion. Frankly, though, true freshman Dalvin Cook is a superior back with better instincts, vision, moves, and speed, and I think he’ll have a big game. As the reigning Mr. Football in the state of Florida, his is already a household name in the Sunshine State, and after Saturday night, it’ll be known nationally (the previous two Mr. Football winners: Derrick Henry in 2012 and Duke Johnson in 2011).

So are you ready for this? My biggest concern is Jameis Winston. He’s coming off four picks against the Gators, a career high. The ‘Noles won that one, of course, but Winston continues to play a big part in the early deficits FSU is facing. Tech will want to limit FSU’s possessions, so when the Seminoles do have the ball, Winston can’t give it back to Tech. At least not four times. 

Q. We already know that you believe FSU is going to come out of this as the ACC Champion; what are the keys to victory for the Seminoles?

A.  I wouldn’t have felt as good as I do about FSU’s chances had the DL not played the game it did against Florida—I was not expecting them to shutdown the run that well. It bodes well for the ‘Noles, as does the fact that Seminole defensive coordinator Charles Kelly used to coach at GT. Another bonus is that, while most teams have less than a week to prepare for the option, suddenly, scheduling The Citadel doesn’t seem so ridiculous, because the ‘Noles have faced it before.

That being said, Tech will get its points and play tough in this one. The Jackets are riding high after the way they beat UGA, whereas winning has become more of a chore for the Seminoles. I’ve developed a familiar refrain in making these picks when it’s very fashionable to pick the upset, as, once again, it is this week: until he shows he’s capable of losing a college football game, I will not pick against Jameis Winston. To do so ignores history and his 25-0 record. I’ve got the ‘Noles winning their third-straight ACC title by a score of 33-24.  

We here at would like to thank David Visser for taking the time to answer our questions.

The ACC Championship can be seen at 8PM EST on ABC.