2022 Florida St. Seminoles Preview

by Matt Fargo

Florida St. Seminoles

2021-22 Season Record 5-7 (4-4 ACC Atlantic) - 6-6-0 ATS - 4-8-0 O/U

Returning Starters

Offense - 9
Defense - 9

Overview

Times have changed in the Sunshine State as the powerhouses consisting of Florida St., Miami, Fla. and Florida have taken a fall and the Seminoles might be at the top of that list based on recent play. They are coming off a 5-7 season after a 0-4 start and it is surprising that head coach Mike Norvell was not let go right then and there. It has been a bad run, the worst in nearly a half century as Florida St. has had four straight losing seasons for the first time since 1973-1976 and that 1976 season was their last sub-.500 one before this current run started. They have gone four straight years without bringing in a five-star recruit so the rosters are not what they used to be. There is some good news as the Seminoles did have an above average recruiting class, they bring back 18 starters and are No. 11 in the country in returning production. The pressure is on Norvell to win big.

Offense

When you score 17 points in the second game of the season against Jacksonville St., you know the offense is in trouble. The Seminoles ended up ranked No. 85 in total offense and No. 73 in scoring offense and that was with 10 starters coming back. They are one shy of that this season so now there is no excuse. Quarterback Jordan Travis was decent but did not put up big numbers as expected as he threw for only 1,539 yards just 15 touchdowns but did rush for 530 yards so he can do it both ways but there needs to be more of a downfield threat. There is good experience at wide receiver but there was not a go to target as their leading receiver was Ontaria Wilson with 382 yards and he does return. The running game is stable despite losing their leading rusher and will be behind an offensive line that was inconsistent but is experienced and will be better in pass protection.

Defense

The defense had its best season during this four-year losing run as they allowed 377.8 ypg but that was still only No. 65 in the nation which shows how really bad it was before that. Like the offense, nine starters are back so there needs to be a substantial improvement and we are not talking glory days improvement but cracking the top 30 should not be an issue. One of the positives was that Florida St. had 33 sacks which was tied for No. 36 in the country but they have to replace 18 of those from the two defensive end positions. They should be ok as there was a solid rotation across the front four and three of the top four tacklers from last season are back, all from each level. The linebackers are in good shape led by Kalen DeLoach who tied for third in tackles. The passing defense was ranked No. 75 and needs to take advantage of the help from the pass rush if it comes through.

2022 Season Outlook

Norvell was a terrific coach at Memphis where he went 38-16 in four seasons and finished ranked twice in the AP Top 25. His offenses were ranked No. 5, No. 40 and No. 14 in three of his four seasons and wants to get the Seminoles up to that level. Some thought that would transpire last season but it actually regressed from his first season despite more experience and it should come together in 2022. Florida St. opens with Duquesne before a neutral site game against LSU in New Orleans and then it is eight straight ACC games. The first five are against teams projected to have winning records but three of those are at home against Boston College, Wake forest and Clemson and they end the season at home against Louisiana and Florida. The O/U win total of 6.5 is very attainable if the projected pieces stay together and Florida St. avoids another 0-4 start to the season. 

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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