Under the guidance of fourth-year head coach Mike Norvell, the Florida State Seminoles are making significant strides toward reclaiming their former glory. Last season marked a turning point for the program as they achieved their first double-digit winning season since 2016, a notable achievement during the Jimbo Fisher era. The 2022 campaign commenced with an emotional and thrilling victory, where the Seminoles triumphed over the LSU Tigers in a nail-biting 24-23 battle on neutral turf, showcasing their potential.
While they experienced a slight dip after an impressive 4-0 start, facing challenges in three consecutive losses against ACC opponents, the team demonstrated resilience by bouncing back with six straight wins to conclude the season on a high note. Among these victories were notable triumphs against inner-state rival, the Florida Gators, and a decisive bowl win over the Oklahoma Sooners, signifying the Seminoles’ return to the national spotlight. As Florida State heads into the 2023 season, the anticipation of further progress and success is palpable.
Previewing the Florida State Offense
Amidst Florida State’s impressive six-game winning streak, their offense shined, averaging over 40 points per game against opponents during the latter part of the season. This dynamic unit was a crucial factor in the Seminoles’ overall success, ranking an impressive 10th in the nation in total offense with 484.2 yards per game and claiming the 16th spot in scoring with an average of 36.1 points per game. Leading the charge for the Florida State offense is the talented quarterback, Jordan Travis, who returns for his final season under center. During the 2022 campaign, Travis established himself as a top QB prospect for the upcoming NFL Draft.
As a second-team All-ACC signal caller, he demonstrated his prowess by throwing for an impressive 3,214 yards, 24 touchdowns, and a mere five interceptions. Providing Travis with a formidable target is wide receiver Johnny Wilson, a towering presence at 6’7″. Wilson emerged as the Seminoles’ primary option in the passing game last season, racking up an impressive 897 receiving yards and five touchdowns.
However, the Florida State offense boasts even more firepower with the addition of former Michigan State wide receiver Keon Coleman. Joining the Seminoles after entering the transfer portal, Coleman stood out for the Spartans, leading his team in receiving 58 receptions for 798 yards and seven touchdowns. While the departure of running back Treshaun Ward is noteworthy, the ground game is expected to maintain momentum, with Trey Benson shouldering the rushing responsibilities. As Florida State gears up for the 2023 season, its offensive arsenal promises an exciting spectacle that could once again propel the team to new heights.
Previewing the Florida State Defense
The Florida State defense received a significant boost for the 2023 season when defensive end Jared Verse decided to forgo this year’s NFL Draft. At the time, Verse was projected to be a potential top-10 pick if he chose to leave Florida State. In the 2022 season, Verse showcased his prowess on the field, recording a team-high nine sacks and an impressive 17 tackles for loss. His decision to return to the Seminoles gives the defense a powerful edge rusher, adding a formidable threat to opposing offenses. Accompanying Verse on the defensive line is his teammate Fabien Lovett, also considered NFL-level talent. Together, they form a menacing duo that has the potential to be one of the best defensive lines in the country.
In addition to the bolstered defensive line, the Seminoles welcome cornerback Fentrell Cypress II, a transfer from Virginia who committed to Florida State after entering the transfer portal. Cypress II brings valuable experience and skill to the Seminoles’ secondary, adding depth and versatility to the defensive backfield. His presence benefits the defense significantly, as he can lock down receivers and disrupt passing plays. With Cypress II in the mix, the Seminoles’ secondary gains a playmaker who will play a pivotal role in thwarting opponents’ aerial attacks. The combination of an impressive defensive line and a strengthened secondary position is the Florida State defense for an exciting and impactful season ahead.
LSU: (September 3)
Clemson: (September 23)
Wake Forest (October 28)
Pitt: (November 4)
Miami: (November 11)
Florida: (November 23)
As we conclude our projected outlook, Florida State enters the 2023 season poised to make a serious bid for a College Football Playoff (CFP) berth. With the potential for an impressive 11-1 record, the Seminoles have the opportunity to secure their spot among the nation’s top contenders. However, external factors beyond their control might influence the road to the CFP. The emergence of other competitive teams, such as Texas and USC, adds a layer of complexity to the selection process. The strength of Florida State’s resume will be crucial as they may need to contend with these teams for a coveted playoff spot.
In their season opener, the Seminoles will face the LSU Tigers in a rematch that promises another emotionally charged showdown. The location has shifted to Orlando, Florida, a neutral site that will undoubtedly favor the enthusiastic FSU crowd. It’s essential to note that this season’s LSU team will present a different challenge than the previous FSU encountered. The Tigers will be better equipped to take on Florida State with a significantly upgraded roster.
Beyond the LSU matchup, Florida State has two winnable games against Southern Mississippi and Boston College before the highly anticipated clash against Clemson at Doak-Campbell Stadium. To solidify their CFP aspirations, the Seminoles must navigate these critical contests, aiming for at least a 1-1 record against the formidable opponents of Clemson and LSU. As the season unfolds, Florida State’s journey to the CFP will be defined by its resilience, determination, and ability to seize pivotal moments on the path to championship contention.
Predicted Record: 11-1 (Potential CFP Contender)