2008 Florida State Seminoles Football Preview
Florida State 2007 Record: (7-6, 4-4 ACC)
2007 Bowl: Music City Bowl vs. Kentucky (L 28-35)
Florida State Head Coach: Bobby Bowden (300-87-4 at Florida State, 373-119-4 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Jimbo Fisher
Defensive Coordinator: Mickey Andrews
Returning Leaders for the Seminoles:
Other Key Returnees: CB Tony Carter, FB Seddrick Holloway, OT Rodney Hudson, C Ryan McMahon, S Myron Rolle, DT Budd Thacker, LB Dekoda Watson
Key Losses: DE Alex Boston, K Gary Cismesia, WR De’Cody Fagg, DT Andre Fluellen, DT Letroy Guion, LB Geno Hayes, QB Xavier Lee, OT Daron Rose S Roger Williams
A large numbers of players will miss the first three games of the season for Florida State as a result of the academic scandal that emerged late last year. Against Western Carolina and Chattanooga it will not be a big deal and it might even be a blessing in disguise as players who would otherwise be a ways down the bench get a chance to gain valuable experience.
Florida State's Strengths:
With or without all their key players, it is the Seminoles defense that will keep the team moving along. The secondary returns cornerbacks Patrick Robinson and Tony Carter, who combined for ten interceptions last season. Add Myron Rolle, who has started 23 consecutive games heading into the season, and FSU has plenty of experience in the secondary. Middle linebacker Derek Nicholson led the team in tackles last year and will lead the strong group of linebackers. Dekoda Watson returns to the strongside, but Geno Hayes, who left early for the NFL, needs to be replaced on the weakside. Marcus Ball would have filled in nicely, but he was released from his scholarship in May. However, there are a plethora of experienced players or talented youngsters ready to fill in when necessary.
Florida State's Weaknesses:
The front four of the defense is where questions begin to arise. Benjamin Lampkin was a linebacker until the Music City Bowl and now will likely start at one end. Everette Brown had a strong season as a part-time player and needs to show that he can do it on every down. In the middle Florida State lost Andre Fluellen and Letroy Guion. Guion heading to the NFL early was a surprise and that leaves a lot of pressure on Budd Thacker and Paul Griffin to step up. As it seems every year, the offense is where the big trouble starts. Quarterback Drew Weatherford is now a senior, but has yet to live up to lofty expectations. In years past it was Xavier Lee battling for snaps, but Weatherford is not out the woods even though Lee has run out of eligibility. Christian Ponder and D’Vontrey Richardson will be the new fan favorites in Tallahassee any time Weatherford struggles.
The Bottom Line for the Seminoles:
After consecutive 7-6 seasons, Florida State needs something good to happen in 2008. The record cannot be much worse than that because of the schedule, but FSU better start showing signs of their past glory days and that means the offense better start doing something. They have the tools to be explosive. Running back Antone Smith has his moments and receivers Greg Carr and Preston Parker are exciting playmakers, although Parker is likely to miss at least some playing time stemming from off-field issues. If the unit comes together under second-year offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher, this will be a tough team to beat.
2007 Florida State Seminoles Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 127.46 (91st in nation, 8th in conference)
Passing Offense: 241.77 (47, 4)
Total Offense: 369.23 (80, 4)
Scoring Offense: 23.31 (90, 8)
Rushing Defense: 116.62 (22, 6)
Pass Defense: 245.38 (85, 11)
Total Defense: 362.00 (42, 10)
Scoring Defense: 22.92 (34, 8)
Turnover Margin: .46 (29, 5)
Sacks: 2.31 (41, 7)
Sacks Allowed: 1.69 (41, 2)
By Joel Welser
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