2019 Florida State Seminoles College Football Preview
BET ON THE FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES
Doak Campbell Stadium
79,560 Seat Stadium
Last year’s record (5-7, 3-5 ACC)
Head Coach: Willie Taggart
Record at School (5-7) 1 year
Career Record (52-57) 9 years
1976 was the last time Florida St had a losing record, until last season. That was Bobby Bowden’s first year. It was all good after that, until last season.
They had made it to a bowl game for 36 straight years, until last season. I am sure FSU wants to erase in their minds what happened last season. They were no match for 6 of the 7 ranked teams they played.
That 7th team was Boston College and they won by the skin of their teeth 22-21. Take away the two cupcakes on the schedule and the record would have really been ugly.
Cross state rival Florida ended their regular season with a 41-14 thumping eliminating them from a possible bowl game.
FLORIDA STATE OFFENSE
To my surprise the Florida St passing game was ranked 3rd in the ACC & 28th nationally last season. I guess when you are always trailing those passing stats get inflated a little bit because in total offense they were near the bottom of the ACC.
Huge loss was QB Francois who led that passing attack, was kicked off the team in February with some domestic issues at home. They do have (6) starters returning including 2 WR’s. Last year’s backup QB James Blackman will be the guy to throw to those wideouts.
RB Cam Akers and his 706 yards returns to lead the running game. TE Tre’ McKitty had 26 catches returns as well. Coach Taggart brought in a new OC Kendall Briles, as well as 2 more offensive coaches to help turn things around. Briles has always had high powered offenses wherever he has been.
The offensive line has not been good the past couple of years, so with only two starters coming back, maybe fresh blood is what they need. I guess we could say this offense has potential. This is not the same Florida State offense we are used to seeing. It may still be another year away from being where they want it to be.
FLORIDA STATE DEFENSE
The defense was down last season with a ranking of just 9th in total defense in the ACC. They do bring back (8) starters from last year’s group, as well as 8 of their top 10 tacklers. Teams ran up the score, especially in the 2nd half of the season last year.
The talent is there, the recruits are there. These players just need somebody to bring out the best in them. Coach Taggart shuffled his defensive coaches in hopes of lighting a fire under these guys. DT Marvin Wilson Jr is expected to lead this team on defense.
The staff says he will be the next great defensive player at Florida State. The defense will definitely improve this year. It is amazing how much players can mature and improve in one offseason. The team is counting on that happening in 2019.
FLORIDA STATE SPECIAL TEAMS
Even the special teams coach got the axe after last season. Losing football at Florida State is unacceptable and the coach is making whatever changes he need to.
They do have both the place kicker and punter returning. Ricky Aguayo made only 11 of 17 attempts, but did manage to go 2 for 2 from 50+ yards. I can not imagine things not improving this year in the kicking department.
2019 FLORIDA STATE OUTLOOK
With all the new coaching changes, FSU has taken that first losing season since 1976 pretty seriously. That just does not fly well with the boosters and fans.
The coach is probably playing for his job this season. You are going to see a more focused, better prepared football team in 2019. The talent is there, Florida teams always have talented players and it is up to the coach Taggart and his new coaches to motivate them.
I don’t think that will be a problem this season. They will be harder under this new staff.
BETONLINE has listed the regular season win total at 7½. The opener vs Boise State is going to set the tone for the 2019 season. A win and you are off and running with a new attitude. A loss, especially a bad loss, and all those thoughts come back from last season. I still feel like they are one season away from maybe becoming a top 25 team again. I see a 6-6 season, with no better than 7-5. UNDER 7½ wins is my play.
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