0-1. It seems like a forgettable start for Florida State football’s 2017 campaign. But nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, these Seminoles have already etched their names into the annals of program history, in more ways than one.
And it began before Logan Tyler ever hit the opening kickoff against the Crimson Tide in Atlanta— which was also probably the least catastrophic special teams play of that well-heralded game. That opener, of course, featured the highest ranked teams to ever commence a college football season, as the No. 1 Tide squared off with the No. 3 ’Noles.
During that game, starting FSU quarterback Deondre Francois went down with a knee injury, prompting the debut of true-freshman quarterback James Blackman on a national stage. The last true-frosh QB to get a snap for the Seminoles? Drew Weatherford. The last to toss a pass in that role? Adrian McPherson. But the last to start in his first year on campus? You have to go back to Chip Ferguson, who did so against Miami in 1985. Taking a look at the national scene, however, you don’t have to go back too far to find a true-freshman signal-caller who brought his team to the national championship game; Alabama’s Jalen Hurts did just that last year.
But after injury sidelined Francois, adjustments to Hurricane Irma affected the Seminole squad as well, in the form of scheduling. The home opener against Louisiana-Monroe was cancelled, while the annual grudge-match against Miami was rescheduled. The result? A nearly unprecedented 21-day break between regular-season games, a lapse which has not occurred for the ’Noles since 1980, when Florida State beat Virginia Tech on November 8 and didn’t play again until it topped UF on December 6. Before that? 1947— between the first and second games in the history of FSU football.
That year, Florida State dropped its opener in Tallahassee against Stetson on October 18 and did not play again until suffering a road defeat at Cumberland on November 14. They were the first two defeats of what would wind up being a brief 0-5 maiden campaign under Ed Williamson in his lone year as the Head Coach of the Seminoles. The following year, Don Veller took the helm and led the ’Noles to a 7-1 season.
All of this prompts the question: what other history will be made in the 2017 FSU football season?