We’re just one day away from the first Georgia Tech game day of the 2020 season and for the first time this season, we get to talk with those who cover the opposition. This week, we were able to talk to Kelvin Hunt, the Florida State expert at ChopChat.com.
Believe it or not, Georgia Tech football is nearly upon as after what felt like the longest offseason possible. With that, we turned to our friends over at ChopChat.com to learn more about the Jackets opponent on Saturday, the Florida State Seminoles.
YJU: Georgia Tech beat the Noles in their last matchup as betting underdogs. What’s the overall feeling from those around the program and fans? Are they confident/optimistic going into the game considering the circumstances of the unknown with FSU having a new coaching staff?
Chop Chat: I think most FSU fans are in wait and see mode, while also being cautiously optimistic about the message Mike Norvell has been verbalizing. I think most fans expect an improvement over the last few seasons, and in a lot of ways, I’m not sure there couldn’t be an improvement from an organizational standpoint. Overall, this fan base is thirsty for success after being mediocre the past three seasons.
YJU: James Blackman returns as the Seminoles starting quarterback and is coming off a decent but not great season in 2019. What are the expectations for Blackman this season?
Chop Chat: I think Blackman has talent and has gotten a bad rap with what he’s had to endure from starting as a true freshman that didn’t early enroll, to dealing with incompetent coaching, and three different offensive coordinators before this season. I expect an improvement under Mike Norvell and FSU OC Kenny Dillingham. Norvell hasn’t had the best talent, but has made those QB’s productive, not to mention the weapons the Noles have at wide receiver. The biggest thing will be if the offensive line can keep him upright, Blackman not holding the ball forever, and not turning the ball over.
YJU: Who are two under the radar players that Georgia Tech fans should know about going into Saturday’s game?
Chop Chat: I think Warren Thompson and Travis Jay are two names Georgia Tech fans will be familiar with by the time the game ends Saturday. Thompson’s probably one of the most athletic wide receivers in the country and could have a big game if too much attention is devoted to Tamorrion Terry. Travis Jay is a redshirt freshman that will be all over the field on defense and could make an impact on special teams as punt returner. Neither played last year, but I expect them to be key players in 2020.
YJU: What do you think it would take for Georgia Tech to pull off the upset?
Chop Chat: Well, I think it’ll take a lot of FSU beating itself in the game. It’ll probably take two turnovers and costly penalties, two things that FSU has had a knack for doing the past few seasons. Georgia Tech scoring first would be interesting, regarding seeing how FSU would react. FSU is the more talented team, but it’s still a team learning to change its mentality.
YJU: What is your prediction for the game?
Chop Chat: I think FSU wins the game. I do think Georgia Tech will be an improved team, but I think FSU would have beaten Georgia Tech last year…and this team will be a much improved product under Mike Norvell from what I’m seeing. It’s hard to predict a score because the teams missed so much practice time due to COVID-19. I’m going to go 28-13.