The annual Garnet and Gold Game is set for this afternoon, as the 'Noles will scrimmage at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, due to ongoing renovations at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee. As is usually the case, questions abound for the culminating event of spring ball.
And not surprisingly, they begin at the quarterback position. With fifth-year senior Sean Maguire out for spring, redshirt-freshman Deondre Francois took over the first QB snaps about a week into spring practice. Redshirt-sophomore J.J. Cosentino should be eager to restate his case in front of the Seminole faithful after an underwhelming Peach Bowl. And the game will serve as an introduction of sorts for highly touted freshman Malik Henry.
The signal callers will play behind an offensive line group returning everybody but hampered by injury. Out wide, Travis Rudolph has really separated himself from the rest of the receivers-- it'll be interesting to see if anyone else steps up and impresses today.
The running back position will feature an intriguing battle of depth. The starting job is locked down by Dalvin Cook, but he's out months after having shoulder surgery. Behind him, however, Jacques Patrick and Ryan Green have each seen time in the two spot (I've already written about Patrick's progress).
Expectations are sky high for the defense, and fans will surely feast on the opportunity to see a number of new faces. Sophomore corners Tarvarus McFadden and Marcus Lewis will garner plenty of attention, as will a linebacking corps that was riddled with depth issues last year. That unit features one of the more enigmatic Seminoles of late, Matthew Thomas, along with heralded newcomer Josh Brown. DeMarcus Walker returns to lead a 'Nole front four that looks to put even more pressure on opposing QBs this year.
And of course, for the first time in years, the Seminoles will trot out both a new field goal kicker and punter in 2016. Fans will get their first look at some of the candidates later today.
The game will air on ESPN3 at 3 pm today. Make sure to check back at 9 am, as we'll have a more detailed dissection of the Spring Game rosters-- along with a bit of a precaution for FSU fans heading into today's scrimmage.