Friday, July 30, 2010
ACC 2010-Florida State Seminoles
2010 Record: 7-6 (4-4)
Head Coach: Jimbo Fisher (1st Season)
Offensive Coordinator: James Coley (1st Season)
Defensive Coordinator: Mark Stoops (1st Season)
2009 Bowl Game: Gator Bowl, Defeated West Virginia 33-21
Offense: This should be the year of Christian Ponder at FSU. Ponder Passed for 2717 yards last season, but only threw 14 TD passes. He also injured his shoulder towards the end of last season and had surgery during the off-season. He will have the benefit in 2010 of having all of his O-Linemen returning, including pre-season All-American LG Rodney Hudson. The RB situation was unsettled coming out of spring camp with three different players vying for the job. Those three players are Jermaine Thomas, Ty Jones, and Chris Thompson. Thomas led the team in rushing in 2009, but Thompson was the best back coming out of spring ball. There is depth at the wideout spot, with Bert Reed and Jarmon Fortson returning last season. Fortson has NFL build, and has the ability to make the electrifying plays, but has lacked consistency thus far. Rodney Smith (a sophomore) could push Reed for his starting job, but both will play plenty. There is also a stellar group of kids coming up with the freshman class, including De'Joshua Johnson and Kenny Shaw, as well as speedy athletes Christian Green and Greg Dent, who can help either at WR, RB, or in the secondary. There is only one other spot that is open, and that is at TE, where Beau Reliford and Ja'Baris Little are duking it out. Again, both look to play. New coordinator James Coley has a ton to work with, and he had better work it out, as this unit has more working for it than the...
Defense: Where the offense has 9 returning starters, the defense has only 4, and one prospective starter has been busted on felony charges. Mark Stoops was a pretty solid grab as coordinator, but he has it cut out for him this fall. The centerpiece to the defense has to be sophomore CB Greg Reid. Ochuko Jenije plays at the other CB spot, and he actually led the team in picks with 4. Xavier Rhodes is expected to push at CB, as is incoming freshman Jamarcus Joyner, who is expected to be the next big thing in FSU's vaunted history at the corner position. Everett Dawkins (DT) and Markus White are the only returning starters on the D-Line, but every position is up for grabs. Dan Hicks and Brandon Jacobs will battle for the other DE spot, while Anthony McCloud and Jacobbi McDaniel will fight for the other DT spot. Nigel Bradham and Kendall Smith return at LB, but Nigel Carr, who was slated to take the MLB job, was busted on a potential felony just last week, and will likely not be available. With a new starter in the middle, and new starters at safety, the major burden will fall on the line and the corners, and the OLB's will have to be significantly active and may have to abandon some edge rush duties to cover the middle of the field at times. There are enough significant problems on this side of the ball to be concerned. There are two very bright spots in the LB crew, as incoming freshmen Christian Jones and Jeff Luc are expected to contribute right away, and are both highly anticipated.
Special Teams: There are no reasons for concerns with this group. Dustin Hopkins returns at PK and P Shawn Powell returns as well. Greg Reid comes back as the main return man, and is every bit as energetic in the return game as he is covering receivers in the secondary. This group is solid.
Wins: 9/4 Samford, 9/18 BYU, 9/25 Wake Forest, 10/2 Virginia, 11/13 Clemson, 11/20 @ Maryland
Toss Up Games: 10/9 @ Miami, 10/16 Boston College, 10/28 @ NC State, 11/6 North Carolina
Losses: 9/11 @ Oklahoma, 11/27 Florida
The Seminoles have a brutal October slate, and if they can get through unscathed, a huge bowl and ACC title can be attainable. If they bump it around during that span, than another 7 win season could be in line. Miami is always a toss, and BC and NC State have been giving FSU trouble for a long while now, including a loss to BC last season, and a 45-42 shootout against a highly average Wolfpack squad. North Carolina is a fence team in 2010, as they can be great, or they can suck. It's a fine line.
Outlook: So many things can happen at FSU in 2010. If Ponder is 100%, than this offense is built to roll. If he isn't, and only throws a meager 14 TD passes again, then it's going to be a very disappointing year. Fisher has the unenviable position of having to replace a legend, as Bobby Bowden was there since the beginning of time. A new era can mean many things, and this season can turn either way.