#12 Florida State Football 2012 Preview

Florida State Seminoles

Overall Rank: #12
#2 ACC
Florida State College Football 2012 Team Preview
Florida State Team Page


Florida State was the overwhelming favorite to win the ACC in 2011.  Perhaps that was a premature expectation. The Seminoles started 2-3 before finally getting a win streak going.  It was almost like Jimbo Fisher and his team were still working out the kinks of a regime change in Tallahassee.  Entering his third season as head coach, Fisher can now truly set his sights on an ACC crown.  He has recruited masterfully like the Florida State of old had done for decades.  He also returns the best defense in the conference and possibly one of the best in the country.  The Seminoles have an opportunity, they just cannot squander chances to win close games.

2011 Record: (9-4)
2011 Bowl:  Champs Sports Bowl vs Notre Dame (W 18-14)
Coach: Jimbo Fisher (19-8)
Offensive Coordinator: James Coley
Defensive Coordinator:  Mark Stoops

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Devonta Freeman, RB, 579 yards
Passing: E.J. Manuel, QB, 2,666 yards
Receiving: Rashad Greene, WR, 596 yards
Tackles: Owen Harris, DB, 58
Sacks: Brandon Jenkins, DE, 8
Interceptions: LaMarcus Joyner, DB, 4

Other Key Returnees: DE Bjorn Werner, LB Vince Williams, WR Rodney Smith, LT Cameron Erving, LB Christian Jones, PK Dustin Hopkins

Key Losses: LB Nigel Bradham, CB/KR Greg Reid

Florida State led the ACC in every major defensive statistical category.  Their defense held teams to 82 rushing yards per game and only 275 yards per game overall.  Opponents scored a measly 15 points against them each week.  They ranked top-5 nationally in those categories as well.  As dominating as they were in yardage statistics, the Seminoles made their impact by pressuring the quarterback.  They were tied for eighth nationally in sacks at a little over three per game.  The destructive pair of Brandon Jenkins and Bjorn Werner return to come off the edge to wreak havoc in the backfield.  Their sack totals may be even higher in 2012, which is scary for opponents to think about.  They also had the best special teams unit in the conference.  However, their return game will take a hit with the dismissal of Greg Reid for multiple team violations.

Florida State’s offense was not completely dismal, but it could stand to see some improvements in the run game.  They were 10th in the ACC in rushing.  Devonta Freeman appears to be a solid running back.  He will need to get his legs under him in order to lead the rushing attack.  E.J. Manuel, a highly-touted prospect coming out of high school, is in his second full year leading the offense and his improvement is vital.  Overall, he played well, but he only led the team to 369 yards of total offense.  Worse, he was sacked more than any other quarterback in the conference.  For as athletic as he is, he seemed to hit the dirt a lot.  Florida State’s offensive line has historically been big and strong.  Manuel needs to be more conscious of the pressure around him.

The Bottom Line:
Florida State may finally have a team in 2012 that will bring it back to the top of the ACC like it was for years when it entered the conference.  Despite all the backlash the program took for forcing out coaching legend Bobby Bowden, Jimbo Fisher seems like the right man for the job.  Their defense will be able to take them far in a league that really only has one or two teams that can challenge for the top spot.  Especially in 2012, the Seminoles only real competition is Virginia Tech.  That is, if they do not beat themselves.  Not many teams should be able to challenge them.  Their last game of the season is against Florida.  That result could be the difference between a BCS bowl and the Chick-fil-A Bowl.  This is an intriguing team and double-digit wins is likely for the Seminoles.

Projected Bowl: Chick-fil-A Bowl

2011 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 112.15 (104th in nation, 10th in conference)
Passing Offense:  257.00 (33, 3)
Total Offense: 369.15 (77, 8)
Scoring Offense: 30.62 (39, 3)
Rushing Defense: 82.69 (2, 1)
Pass Defense: 192.31 (20, 1)
Total Defense: 275.00 (4, 1)
Scoring Defense: 15.08 (4, 1)
Turnover Margin: .31 (37, 5)
Sacks: 3.08 (T8, 1)
Sacks Allowed: 3.15 (110, 12)

Madness 2013 NFL Draft Rankings:
#14 Xavier Rhodes
#29 Brandon Jenkins
#53 Greg Reid
#79 E.J. Manuel
#90 Cornelius Carradine
#94 Bjoern Werner

Madness 2012 Football Recruit Rankings:
#2 Mario Edwards
#9 Jameis Winston
#15 Eddie Goldman
#21 Chris Casher
#23 Ronald Darby
#38 Mario Pender
#68 Ukeme Eligwe
#126 P.J. Williams
#147 Marvin Bracy
#154 Justin Shanks
#205 Colin Blake
#213 Christo Kourtzidis