Just a season ago, Florida State was ranked as high as third in the AP and coaches poll. After a few struggles mid-season, the Seminoles found their form and closed the year on a five game winning streak, including a victory against the Michigan Wolverines in the Orange Bowl. Florida State enters the season with high expectations. The Noles will likely enter the year ranked first or second in the in the polls and as favorites to win the ACC. Florida State has a very talented roster and is more than capable of meeting and exceeding these expectations. Here are three bold predictions for Florida State this season.
1. FSU will go undefeated, win the ACC, and clinch a spot in the College Football playoffs.
Florida State opens the season with the Chick-fil-A kickoff game against the Alabama Crimson Tide. This is by far the most difficult game FSU has all season and will likely be a matchup against the first and second ranked teams. As of now, Alabama is a 3.5 point favorite, but as a season nears expect this to change. This past offseason, Alabama lost some very talented defensive players, such as defensive tackle Jonathan Allen, linebacker Reuben Foster, and cornerback Marlon Humphrey. Offensively they’ll look more or less the same, with the exception of tight end O.J. Howard. Florida State has an extremely talented defense returning, as well as star quarterback Deondre Francois. The Noles will be without running back Dalvin Cook, but with a strong group of experienced running backs returning and freshman phenom Cam Akers joining the team, the Seminoles should be strong offensively. Alabama has a team compiled of five-star recruits, so they’ll always have a talented roster despite any loss they might incur. They will undoubtedly be a difficult team to beat, but Florida State should have the firepower to do so. If FSU can beat Alabama they will finish the rest of the season with ease.
2. Deondre Francois will win the Heisman.
In his first season, Francois completed 58.8% of his passes, for 3,350 yards, and 20 touchdowns. He finished the season as ACC Rookie of the Year, as well as the ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year. With the talent around him, Francois will be in a great position to finish the year as a Heisman finalist. If he is able to come out strong against Alabama in their season opener, Francois should be a favorite to win the Heisman.
3. Jacques Patrick will break FSU’s single season rushing touchdown record.
In both 2015 and 2016, Dalvin Cook came one touchdown away from tying FSU’s single season rushing touchdown record. This season, Jacques Patrick will likely take the Seminoles starting job. Though he has a talented freshman in Cam Akers closing in behind him, Patrick should still receive a majority of the carries for the team. At 6’2″ and 231 lbs, Patrick has the skill set and makeup to be a major red zone back for the Noles. If he is able to get a majority of the team’s red zone carries he will have the opportunity to break the record (20) set by Greg Allen in 1982.
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