Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NCAA. Throughout the year we ask questions of the most plugged-in Florida State Seminoles fans and fans across the country.
It’s a major year for Florida State Seminoles football.
FSU hasn’t finished a season with a winning record since 2017 — and even that was a 7-6 record. In that time span, it has replaced two head coaches in Jimbo Fisher and Willie Taggart, with current head coach Mike Norvell having gone 8-13 in two years as he’s attempted to rebuild the program.
After showing some signs of progress in 2021, Norvell and his squad have a chance to take a major leap forward in 2022. While the Seminoles lost a major piece in defensive end Jermaine Johnson to the NFL Draft, FSU returns the bulk of its production on both sides of the ball. Alongside that experience, FSU’s staff hit the portal hard in the offseason, bringing in an infusion of talent, namely in the wide receiver room.
While defense, obviously, will always be crucial, Florida State taking the next step as a team and a program will require the offense to take a step forward as well — so ahead of the season we want to know, what do you think is in store for the Seminoles?
Quarterback Jordan Travis, after battling for snaps over the last two seasons, heads into the year as the unquestioned starter. Though he’s solidified himself as one of the most dangerous athletes in the conference when the ball is in his hands and been at the helm for the bulk of FSU’s wins over the last few years, Travis hasn’t had a chance to elevate his game as a passer, hampered by a combination of lack of snaps, unavailability and wide receiver miscues. With a bolstered offensive line and a revamped rotation of pass catchers, the tools are there for him to take that next step.
On the offense, the deepest position group may be the running backs. The loss of Jashaun Corbin to the NFL leaves an opportunity for someone in that veteran room to step up and become the next star although expect a heavy rotation with an equal amount of reps to go around. Named to the Doak Walker Award watch list, Treshaun Ward possesses a unique running style and frame that some compare to running back Devonta Freeman. He finished the 2021 season with a PFF.com overall grade of 84.5 and ranked first in the ACC in yards per carry at 6.36. As for Oregon transfer Trey Benson, the back offers an explosive element to FSU’s offense possibly not seen since now Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers. There were some concerns about a season-ending injury he endured in 2020, but a strong showing in the FSU spring game and throughout camp has let everyone see that the injury was in his rearview mirror. That’s before even getting to Lawrance Toafili, who in two years has showcased his own penchant for explosive plays, becoming the fifth player in FSU history with a receiving and rushing touchdown of at least 70 yards.
Over/Under 6.5 - Florida State’s wins this season
Over — Though there’s a tough schedule slated for the Seminoles, a bowl game is a major requirement for this to be a successful season and FSU has built a squad capable of reaching that benchmark.
What is the biggest game of the season for Florida State this year?
LSU — Rivalry games will always be huge, and getting over the Louisville hump will be crucial, but facing off against LSU in New Orleans will set the tone for the entire season.
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Will FSU beat a rival (Clemson Tigers, Miami Hurricanes, Florida Gators) in 2022?
Yes — FSU came close to snagging a win vs. all 3 last season, and while the trio should improve off their 2021 campaigns, the Seminoles have shown a penchant for showing up in big games under Mike Norvell.
Will Jordan Travis throw for over 2000 yards?
Yes — As he’s gotten more snaps and more acclimated as a passer, Travis’ growth has been apparent. The talented returners combined with new receivers will help Travis achieve this goal barring compounding injuries on the offense.
Will FSU have a 1000-yard rusher?
No — But just barely. That’s not a knock on the talent available in the running back stable, rather, a testament to it. In a Norvell offense, running backs are going to eat, but there are only so many servings per game to give out.
How confident are you in Florida State’s success this season?
Somewhat confident — So far in the preseason, the Seminoles have looked like a different team. It isn’t a 360-overhaul in the shape of contending for championships, but for a team that last year was in a position to win the majority of its games, the potential is there for FSU to get over the hump. The main areas of concern — will the offense actually look different with a new receiving corps, and will the Seminoles be able to replicate the backfield terror of now-New York Jet Johnson? They’ll have to learn quickly — after a Week 0 matchup vs. Duquesne, FSU will have to be on its A-game in matchups vs. LSU, Louisville and Boston College. A 3-1 start sets up the Seminoles for a decent October, but 2-2 or 1-3 will result in a march larger hill to climb to reach the goal of a step-forward season.
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