2012 Florida State Seminoles Football Preview
2011 Record: 9-4 (5-3 ACC)
Head Coach: Jimbo Fisher, third season (19-8 all at Florida State)
Projected Returning Starters: 15
Spring Game: April 14th (Garnet 35 Gold 20)
Notes: After producing two national championships, in 1993 and 1999, Bobby Bowden retired after the 2009 season – a career spanning 44 years, including 34 at Florida State. That doesn’t mean Bowden wasn’t without his critics, though, as Florida State only managed more than seven wins once in his last four seasons. Even after coach-in-waiting Jimbo Fisher replaced the legendary coach, Bowden still seemed to hold some resentment towards President T.K. Wetherell. Wetherell forced out Bowden at the end of the 2009 season. Since then, Coach Fisher has produced some of the best recruiting classes, but has failed to make the ACC Title in each of his first two seasons. The pressure is on this year, as Florida State has a very veteran quarterback running the offense.
BVTSB Take: Florida State’s bread and butter under Bowden was the run game. Under Fisher, the Seminoles have developed an aerial attack. Many remembered the days where the kicking game would cost FSU games, now the Seminoles have one of the better kickers in the country, with senior Dustin Hopkins (44-44 extra points, 22-27 on field goals in 2011, including 21/24 inside of 50 yards). Quarterback EJ Manuel returns for his second full season as a starter. Manuel threw for 2666 yards and 18 touchdowns last year – expect those numbers to improve with a veteran receiving corps and experience. Running back Devonta Freeman also returns – he rushed for over 500 yards as a freshman with eight touchdowns. The numbers weren’t great in 2011 for Freeman, so they should definitely improve this year. The run game will have the benefit of three returning starters on the offensive line – C Bryan Stork (10 starts in 2011, out with injury in the other games), LG Jacob Fahrenkrug (12 starts in 2011), and RT Bobby Hart (9 starts, 11 games played in 2011). RG Garrett Faircloth (6 starts and 11 games played last year) and LT Daniel Glauser fill out the rest of the line. All three starting receivers from last year also return – Christian Green (450 yards), Rodney Smith (561 yards and 4 touchdowns), and Rashad Green (596 yards and 7 touchdowns). Expect continued improvement from the receiving corps. Because of West Virginia’s entry in the Big 12, and their desire to not play a murderer’s row schedule, Florida State had to schedule two FCS opponents – Murray State and Savannah State. The Seminoles also face South Florida and Florida in non-conference play. For the most part, the schedule isn’t too terribly tough – home games against Wake Forest, Boston College, and Duke should be wins, while road games against Miami (FL) and Maryland shouldn’t present much of a test. Games against Clemson, North Carolina State, and Virginia Tech could lead to a few losses. Clemson and Florida State are the favorites to win the division, and the ‘Noles have the home game.
2012 Early Projection: 10-2
To see the 2012 ACC composite schedule, click here.
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