College Football News Preview 2020: Keys To The Season
Biggest Key To The Florida State Offense
Start blocking someone already. There’s talent at receiver, James Blackman is a veteran quarterback, and there’s promise at running back – despite the loss of Cam Akers. None of that matters if defenses get to spend the better part of Saturday afternoons hanging out behind the FSU line.
The Florida State running game averaged under four yards per carry – and that was an improvement after averaging fewer than three yards per carry in 2018.
Even worse, the pass protection went from awful to totally miserable. allowing 48 sacks last season and finishing fifth from the bottom nationally in tackles for loss allowed. The new offensive style should be just quick-hitting enough to get past some of the issues, but as the O line goes, so goes the Seminole season.
Biggest Key To The Florida State Defense
Get better at slowing down passing games. In S Hamsah Nasirildeen and CB Asante Samuel Jr., there’s NFL talent in the FSU defensive backfield. There was a good pass rush last year – and it should be stronger this season – but all the parts have to start working to stop guys who can throw the forward pass.
Outside of Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, it’s not like the ACC was loaded with a who’s who of next-level passers, but FSU was torched on a regular basis. The D allowed fewer than 200 yards through the air just twice, came up with a mere eight picks, and was 0-5 when allowing 290 yards or more.
Key Florida State Player To A Successful Season
OT Devontay Love-Taylor, Sr.
All forgiveness for continuing to hammer on this, but it’s everything for FSU going forward …
The offensive line has to be better.
Time of possession isn’t going to matter. It didn’t matter to Mike Norvell’s Memphis teams, and it wasn’t a part of the Florida State puzzle last season. However, there’s a difference between getting hammered in the time stat because the offense can’t convert on third downs, and being on the wrong side of it because the up-tempo attack scores in a hurry.
There’s experience returning on the offensive front, but it would go a long, long way to the development of the O – especially with no spring ball to get everything going – if the 6-4, 308-pound Love-Taylor can become an instant factor at left tackle.
The transfer from FIU might not have the NFL upside a top-shelf FSU tackle should bring, but he’s reliable, was terrific in pass protection for QB James Morgan, and he’s at least one part of a starting five that needs to finally be a positive.
Key Game To The Florida State Season
at Miami, Sept. 26
The Seminoles lost the games at Boise State and against West Virginia in Atlanta, but it’s going to take a few games to get the new staff and season in motion. There’s a date against Georgia Tech to kick things off, and then it’s the big one up next in ACC play.
The 27-10 loss to the Hurricanes last year was essentially the end of the Willie Taggart era. It’s not like everything will be fine with just one win, but with a killer schedule coming up, beating Miami would do wonders for Norvell.
– Florida State Schedule
2019 Florida State Fun Stats
– Opponent 1st Quarter Scoring: 56. Opponent 4th Quarter Scoring: 130
– Field Goals: Opponents 28-of-37 – Florida State 7-of-14
– Penalties: 119 for 953 yards – Opponents 87 for 737 yards