College Football Preview: The 2015 Florida State Seminoles
Florida State Seminoles Preview
2014 Record: 13-1 (1st in ACC) Lost Rose Bowl to Oregon 59-20
Odds to Win National Championship: +1800 See the Latest Odds
Overview: It’s fair to say that the Florida State Seminoles are back on top of the college football world, as this program has gone 39-3 the last three seasons which includes a national championship victory. Jimbo Fisher has shut those critics up, huh? Florida State as also reached a bowl game every season since 1982. Needless to say, it’s good to be an FSU fan right about now.
Offense: After losing Jameis Winston, Rashad Greene and a slew of other talented players, it looked like FSU’s offense was in trouble. An Everett Golson transfer kind of fixed things. I expect Golson to be the starter over Sean Maguire due to an experience factor and his ability to make plays. While Golson isn’t perfect and still makes boneheaded plays, he certainly is good enough to keep the wheels turning on the offensive side. Travis Rudolph should become the No. 1 option at receiver and Jesus Wilson has shown explosive ability as well. FSU had one of the better backs in the country in Dalvin Cook, but off-the-field issues leave his season in jeopardy. Good news is that Mario Pender averaged five yards per carry and can make plays when needed. FSU’s offensive line is replacing four starters, which has to be the biggest concern of all.
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Defense: Like the offense, FSU took a nice hit on the defensive side thanks to the NFL draft. Mario Edwards, Jr. and Eddie Goldman are the biggest losses to a defense that relies so much on pressure up front. Even then, Jalen Ramsey is one of the better defensive backs in the ACC, while Nate Andrews and Tyler Hunter should help give FSU a much better pass defense than last season. DeMarcus Walker should thrive with a larger workload and Chris Casher is still due for that breakout season after three years with the program. Linebacker doesn’t look great on paper, but Terrance Smith is good enough to help hold down the fort until others step up. Oh, and it also doesn’t hurt that defensive lineman Nile Lawrence-Stample is returning from injury. Like any great program, FSU recruits too well to completely fall off on the defensive side no matter how many guys bolt for the next level.
Special Teams: Roberto Aguayo returns at kicker after making 90 percent of 30 field goal attempts. Cason Beatty returns at punter after averaging nearly 41 yards per kick on 48 attempts.
Overall: Some would say the Florida State Seminoles look too much on both sides of the ball to be considered a possible playoff team. I think the addition of Golson saved this club, as he has the goods to keep this team in games on the offensive end. If anything, FSU’s youth on defense could be the area that holds this team back. Still, you would be a fool to count this program out.