Florida State Seminoles College Football Preview 2021: Keys To The Season
Florida State Seminoles Biggest Key: Offense
(For what seems like the 19th year in a row … ) The offensive line has to give everyone time to work. It’s been a huge problem for the last several years, but at least this year’s version is loaded with veterans and more options.
The offense under head coach Mike Norvell is known for breaking off big runs and huge plays, and it averaged over five yards per carry last season with a few great games – the team was 3-1 when running for over 200 yards – but pass protection has been spotty at best.
This group doesn’t have to be Wisconsin up front, but if it’s merely okay, everything else from the downfield passing game to the third down conversion issues should start to work.
And on the flip side …
Florida State Seminoles Biggest Key: Defense
Get the pass rush going again. The program that’s been such a killer at producing elite college pass rushers came up with just ten sacks last year. It was only a nine-game season, but averaging just barely over a sack per game wasn’t okay.
The Noles generated four against North Carolina, two against Jacksonville State, and just four total in the other seven games.
Sort of like the offense needing the line to be stronger to get everything else to flow, if there’s more pressure, more big plays behind the line, and more disruptive factors from several spots, the third down defense, takeaways, and stops should all follow.
And that’s why …
Florida State Seminoles Key Player To A Successful Season
DE Jermaine Johnson, Sr.
The Seminoles need someone to rise up and become a factor on the end. The linebackers did most of the work at generating tackles for loss, but no one did much from anywhere to get to the quarterback. Janarius Robinson led the team with three sacks, but he’s gone, and no one else was able to come up with more than one.
That’s where the 6-5, 260-pound Johnson comes in.
Part linebacker, mostly a defensive end, Johnson started out at Georgia with 7.5 sacks in his two years and now is a key part of the FSU defensive front. The Noles needed a pass rusher, and they got one.
Florida State Seminoles Key Game To The 2021 Season
Notre Dame, Sept. 5
It’s not like one game will turn around the program – witness the North Carolina victory last season – but beating Notre Dame at home would do wonders for the confidence and tone.
How rough have things been for Florida State? It lost four straight season openers. 1973 to 1976 was the last time that happened, and there’s never been a run of five straight season opening losses.
However, get a win, and with Jacksonville State, at Wake Forest, Louisville and Syracuse to follow, there’s a shot a big start to the season.
2020 Florida State Seminoles Fun Stats
– 2nd Quarter Scoring: Florida State 111 – Opponents 54
– Sacks: Opponents 29 for 213 yards – Opponents 9 for 52 yards
– Average Yards Per Pass: Opponents 8.1 – Florida State 6.1