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2022 FSU season survey: Results, predictions

Here are some thoughts and predictions about the team after the dust settles.

NCAA Football: Louisville at Florida State Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

Florida State 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.

With the 2022 season inching closer by the day, we asked fans a few questions about their outlook moving forward and how they think the Seminoles’ season will unfold.

Here are your answers paired with insight from some of our own at Tomahawk Nation.

Will FSU beat a rival (Clemson Tigers, Miami Hurricanes, Florida Gators) in 2022?

85 percent of fans think that, out of Florida, Clemson and Miami, the Seminoles will snag at least one win vs. a rival in 2022. Last year was the first season that FSU won a game vs. the trio (beating Miami 31-28) since 2017 — only twice in the last 10 years (2013, 2014) have the Seminoles beaten all three in a season. FSU snapped a four-game losing streak to Miami in 2021, has lost to Florida three straight times and hasn’t beaten Clemson since 2014.

From the comments section:

MissouriNole — “In my opinion, all 3 are probably worse this year than last, if for no other reason than coaching changes. Clemson lost Venables and I expect their defense to play worse. Plus, DJ hasn’t proved his value as a QB yet and may in fact be bad. Miami has Cristobal who’s a great recruiter, but also a TERRIBLE game day coach. His play calling revolves around running the ball. He made a top prospect QB in Justin Herbert look like a middle of the pack guy. Finally, I think Florida will get beat up on most of the season and by the time they come to Tallahassee, they’re going to be ready to quit. I think Napier is in over his head. But, to be fair, it is Florida tradition to replace your head coach at least every 4 years.”

GolferNole456 — “I think we can squeak one out against UM or UF. Possibly both. But the UM game kinda scares me because they’ll be out for blood. Curious to see how Clemson looks after last season. Feel like they’re on the decline now that Vegetables left. Feels like Dabo has lost his touch.”

Our answers

Tommy: I'm going to say Miami will most likely go down and the matchup will be fantastic. All the bragging rights have been with the Noles holding that 4th and 14 card in their back pocket. It is an away game but that's the one I'm circling.

NoleThruandThru: All three games should be fairly close, and FSU will beat the Florida Gators this season.

Evan: I think UF might be riper for the picking than some think. A new coach that has tried to tamp down expectations and FSU will be facing his former team a week before the Florida game sets ups nicely for the ‘Noles. Injuries could hurt FSU more than UF though at this point in the season.

Frank: Yes, FSU will win 3 out of those 3 games. FSU will beat both Miami and Clemson, and then close out the regular season by beating UF.

Perry: 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. I’ll say that after coming up just short last year, FSU breaks its losing streak vs. Florida with a dub in the Friday night season finale.

Will Jordan Travis throw for over 2000 yards?

71 percent of you said that the entrenched starter will pass the 2000-yard mark in 2022. Travis upped his production from 1056 to 1539 yards from 2020 to 2021, and that’s with having shared snaps between multiple quarterbacks (though partly due to his unavailability). At Memphis, Mike Norvell’s offenses put up prolific numbers through the air — no quarterback during his tenure (2016-2019) finished with less than 3000 yards, twice seeing his gunslingers produce 4000-yard seasons.

From the comments section:

csfsuu — “The trend (2020: 1056 yds; 2022: 1539 yds) is encouraging, but I’ll remain skeptical of our receiving corps until we see something very different from what we’ve been watching the last I-don’t-know-how-many years. I am hopeful that Atkins has brought the offensive line far enough along that at least JT will have a shot at it (fingers crossed).”

bluenole — “If JT doesn’t have 2000 yards passing I’d be shocked. At 12 games that’s only about 180 ypg or so. Even with moderate improvement he should easily hit that number.”

Our answers

Tommy: Splitting reps with McKenzie Milton, Jordan Travis threw for just a hair over 1500 yards in 10 games. Unless a serious amount of injuries occur, the revamped wide receiver room and Travis having the starter position sealed should allow him to surpass that mark.

NoleThruandThru: Yes. FSU may not have a 1000-yard receiver but at the same time, it may not need one. Travis will surpass the 2000-yard mark and I believe three WRs will surpass the 500-yard mark this season: Malik McClain, Johnny Wilson, and Mycah Pittman.

Evan: I think so? I wouldn’t put money down on this either way. FSU looks to have a good receiving core......but do they? After all, they’re pretty much all transfers or somewhat unproven players. The wild card might be an improved offensive line. Does that mean that FSU runs the ball more giving Travis fewer throws or does it mean they are able to run the ball better and not have to throw in obvious passing downs? Definitely a tough question.

Frank: Without a doubt. He may break 3000, but that will depend on how long Norvell decides to keep him in games where we are blowing out our opponents.

Perry: I know Frank is joking, but I think there’s a chance he’s closer to 3000 than 2000 when it’s all said and done. As he’s gotten more snaps and more acclimated as a passer, Travis’ growth has been apparent in each stage of his career. The talented returners combined with new receivers will help Travis achieve that 1k goal barring compounding injuries on the offense.

Will FSU have a 1000-yard rusher?

Just 45 percent of those asked said that FSU will have its first 1000-yard rusher since 2019, when current Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers put up 1144 — the sixth-most in school history. For perspective, if an FSU back were to hit the 1k mark this season, it would place them at least No. 14 all-time at FSU.

From the comments section:

Topnole — “It would be very surprising to have a 1000 yard rusher with the rotation we will likely play. We’ve had many great years where we didn’t have a 1000 yard RB so obviously this isn’t a concern and instead probably highlight a potential strength (talented depth). And realistically that is an old metric that is less meaning full since teams play more games in a season (that is true for all metrics).”

DocRJP — “I’m not limiting a player’s output to just his net yards rushing (NYR) because of how Mike uses passes to RB’s as extensions of the run game. Even so, Corbin had 887 NYR last year (out of 919 gained) but his only real competition was Ward (515 NYR) and Toafili (163 NYR).

While Benson may be Corbin 2.0, he’ll have more competition for the rock with Hill and Campbell joining Ward and Toafili vying for playing time. For these reasons, I prefer to project total yards from scrimmage and on that stat, Benson will have collected 1,500 yards by the end of our bowl game.”

Our answers

Tommy: There is going to be a heavy rotation in that room utilizing everyone's unique skill set. Benson is going to have a big year but I don’t think the offense is designed around having a 1000-yard rusher — not to say there isn't a back that is capable. If running the ball works, it works. I’d be more apt to say that we have a 1k APY back but it really depends on a ton of factors.

Offensive line, quarterback health, opponent strategy, who is actually having success moving the ball.

NoleThruandThru: No, but Trey Benson will crack 750 in a strong post-injury campaign.

Evan: Yes! Benson gets the majority of the carries because Toafilli is not consistent enough, Ward is not an every down back and Hill is a freshman. The improved OL goes a long way here in this guess. I’m kind of betting on an injury to Ward to hit this mark so buyer beware.

Frank: I would not be surprised if FSU has two 1000-yard rushers after the ACC Championship game and bowl game.

Perry: 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?

Survey says — somewhat confident. And that people are really confident in that somewhat confident, with the clear majority going with that as their answer.

From the comments section:

JahNole78 — “History hurts my confidence.”

Fleenole — “I believe Norvell has changed the culture. Last year’s team had fight. They battled and overcame quite a bit of adversity. Our defense came to life in the second half. I think this year’s team keeps that momentum going. Yes, depth at a couple positions still needs work, but the staff has really elevated the floor and challenged these young men to battle through the tough times.”

BuffaN0le — “Not very confident. I’ve punched some holes in my kool-aid drinking cup. I have the flex tape on standby for when FSU decides to put a half decent product on the field.”

Original Water Boy — “Our defense in whole should be better, D-line maybe a slight drop off, but the LB’s and backfields are better as a whole. If we can get the special teams to improve that will help. Offense, the line is better and has more depth, Rb’s are solid, WR’s so far seem to be a better group. We just need Jordan to say healthier and not to take so many hits.”

Our answers

Tommy: I’ll admittedly say I hit the somewhat confident answer on this survey. Sticking with that, yes, and I think the fan base should come to terms with what “success” looks like this year. For me, a bowl game win and a solid recruiting class will do the trick. Taking down a rival and looking competent if you do lose is also important moving forward.

NoleThruandThru: Everything will come down to health, particularly at QB and along the offensive and defensive lines. If FSU can stay relatively healthy and keep Jordan Travis upright, my confidence level will rise appropriately.

Evan: What is success? My goal for this team is a bowl game so I feel confident in that. This is still a very broken program but there are signs that it is heading in the right direction. Like NoleThruandThru said though, this is going to depend on Travis’s health. I keep harping on it but I’m hoping an improved OL helps keep him healthy.

Frank: Very confident. I am hoping UM finishes the season with their only loss against us, then we beat them again in the ACCCG.

Perry: I went with 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.

Will FSU win over 6 games in 2022?

The highest percentage answer of any of the questions asked — 87 percent of you think FSU will make a bowl game in 2022. It seems like the natural trajectory for the Seminoles program, given the small steps forward they’ve taken under Norvell.

From the comments section:

RWHUGHESJR — “I picked over 6.5, but I’m including the bowl game in the over. A tough schedule with improved teams around us (Clemson, UM, NC St) doesn’t bode well for us.”

TomRob — “I think this team will be improved from top to bottom, but the schedule is probably harder this year overall so I don’t foresee a huge leap in wins. I think this is probably a 7-5 team so I took the over, but just barely.”

JamesMay — “I’d love to see at least 8 wins, maybe a stretch but that’s why I think the Lou/BC/Wake stretch is the most important of the season, LSU would be cake obviously, but it would be nice to be in the ACC hunt and not be out of it early like we have done of late.”

Samuel Kessler — “I am right on the edge of 7-8 wins. I am hoping for 9-10, but honestly 6-7 is more likely. I hope all the preseason hype is true and not the same that we have seen the last 5 years.”

Our answers

Tommy: Queue the controversial schedule talk. This team looks lightyears better than last season and you have a ton of new and old talent to take the reins. I don’t think FSU is off the injury and the season is over train but if any little bit of fortune swings in the ‘Noles favor you're gonna see results.

NoleThruandThru: Hell yes! I have FSU winning 7 games before going to a bowl, with 6 more likely than 8.

Evan: Norvell better hope so. The big issue FSU will face is all of the quality returning QBs in the ACC but I think they are well positioned to handle that as they should have solid secondary play and I think they’ll be able to get to the QB enough via numbers to win the day.

Frank: I don’t think we will go undefeated because we are still a young team, but this team will have a 10-win regular season, and the ACCCG and Bowl games could result in a 12-win season.

Perry: I’m going with the over — there’s a tough schedule slated for the Seminoles, but 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’s the most important game for FSU in 2022?

LSU is far and away the most popular answer here, with 47 percent as compared to 21 percent of the vote going to Miami.

From the comments section:

ColemanNoleman — “Alright attention now...the biggest game of the year for FSU and always will be the hated Florida Gators. There can be no other correct answer for the Nole fan. Having been an FSU fan for well over 50 years I have seen enough (and unfortunately suffered enough) to consider myself an true expert on this particular all together now class “What is the biggest game of the year for our beloved Florida State Seminoles...those beastly, horrible, pathetic Florida Gators!!” Alright...class dismissed.”

RobOregon — “The BIGGEST will be the LSU game need to WIN that game on National TV. It is important for this team to win early.”

34_lb_sack — “Louisville is most important because win or lose against LSU we need to see how Norvell can get the team to respond in the next game,on the road vs an Atlantic division ACC team,right before a slew of other tough Atlantic division opponents(Boston College,Wake,NcState and Clemson.)

If we beat LSU and then go on the road and lose to Louisville,things could quickly get ugly again. If we beat Louisville after whatever happens vs LSU,then,imo FSU has shown they can respond well to a high level emotional game on a big stage and I think that sets us up to at least split the next 4 games.”

Our answers

NoleThruandThru: I’m going to go outside the box and say at Louisville. FSU will either be riding high or feeling low following the hyped LSU matchup. Louisville will represent an opportunity for this team to show how it responds to victory or defeat in a hostile environment. If they defeat the Tigers, can the ‘Noles show they can stack victories? If they lose to LSU, will they show resiliency or let one loss turn into two?

Evan: I like NoleThruandThru’s answer but that Wake Forest game looks important. Wake looks to be without Hartman this year so I might change my tune on game week but with FSU’s luck as of late he’ll come back and throw for 500 yards in his fist game of the season. I think winning that game really tips the odds of a bowl game in your favor assuming reasonable outcomes before and after.

Tommy: LSU. Set the tone for the season and run with it.

Frank: Clemson. Beating Clemson will give FSU the direct path to the ACCCG.

Perry: For me, it’s 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.