Story by Yousaf Khan
Looking a little deeper at state power FSU, this season will be tough on Coach Jimbo Fisher as the Seminoles have a very tough schedule. FSU opens the season vs Number 1 Alabama at a neutral site, in the new Falcons stadium in Atlanta, in the middle of SEC country. In conference play they have tough trio of Miami, Louisville and Clemson and then close out the season against rival Florida. Offensively QB Deondre Francois returns after a solid freshman campaign and will need to take a bigger role in the offense now that stud RB Dalvin Cook is gone. Some new playmakers need to step for FSU and potential candidates include WR Nyqwan Murray and highly touted freshman RB Cam Akers. Other than proven playmakers, another area for concern on offense is the offensive line. In 2016 the line somewhat struggled as Francois was hit and sacked on many occasions and will need to improve in 2017.
On the defensive side, FSU should boast a strong unit especially the defensive backfield. Safety Derwin James returns from injury along with cornerback Tarvarus McFadden who led the nation in interceptions in 2016 with 8. James has the potential to be national defense player of the year candidate and will make opposing offensive coordinators stay late up at night, Josh Sweat and Brian Burns are two names to remember as they both could reach double digit sacks at the defensive end position. Overall, I think FSU has a very talented team and predicting them to go 10-2, with potential losses vs Alabama and one ACC game, most likely Clemson. With some help they could possibly still sneak into the College Football Playoffs if the right cards fall for them. On the other hand FSU does open up with Alabama and Miami in weeks 1 and 3, a record of 1-2 to start the season could prove costly to any playoff chances.