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The 2016 FSU defense’s start ties for worst in program history

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Florida State v Louisville
FSU DB Marquez White
Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images

To say that this year’s Florida State defense has had a rough start to the season is quite the understatement. But as it turns out, it’s not just bad; it’s historic.

It’s been well publicized that Louisville’s 63 points were the most ever scored on the ‘Noles. But that’s just one part of a sluggish defensive start for FSU that equals the worst in Seminole history, with regard to points allowed. In its first three games of the 2016 season, Florida State has surrendered 105 points (a 35-point-per-game average). By means of comparison, the Seminoles didn’t allow that many total points in 2015 until their seventh game, at Georgia Tech, on October 24.

The ‘Noles have only started one season allowing as many points. In 1983, FSU also allowed a combined 105 points through three contests against East Carolina, at LSU, and at Tulane.

As far as more modern three-game spans go, only one other three-game stretch during Jimbo Fisher’s tenure has seen the ‘Noles concede more points: to conclude 2014, FSU allowed a total of 113 points to Florida, Georgia Tech, and Oregon. Of course, two of those were postseason showdowns. On the one hand, they came against good teams that’d scored enough to make it that far— on the other hand, Florida State had nearly a month to prepare for the Ducks.

As far as the last regular-season three-game stretch in which the Seminoles have allowed 105 or more points, you’ve got to go back to the pre-Fisher era. Specifically, it was in 2009, when Georgia Tech, North Carolina, and NC State hung 118 on FSU.

Of course, for as poorly as the FSU defense has started 2016, it didn’t exactly finish 2015 with a flourish, giving up 38 points in a Peach Bowl loss to Houston. So if we bridge last season with this one, the ‘Noles have allowed 143 points over their last four games. You have to add a 40-point concession to Clemson to the end of that aforementioned 2009 span to find the last four-game total higher than the Seminoles’ present run. Florida State went 2-2 in that stretch, just as it has over the current streak.

But it’s early, and things could certainly still change. They did for that ‘83 squad that gave up just as many point in its first three games, after all. After allowing a single-game low of 34 points in that first trio of contests, those ‘Noles surrendered more than that just once more over the rest of the season. After beginning 2-1 — just like this year’s team — they finished with a record of 8-4.

So the question now becomes: will history be repeated— or vanquished?