Sunday, February 6, 2011
Florida State Seminoles 2010 Review
2010 Record: 10-4 (6-2), 1st Atlantic Division
2010 Bowl Game: Chik-Fil-A, Defeated South Carolina 26-17
Samford, W 59-6
@ Oklahoma, L 47-17
BYU, W 34-10
Wake Forest, W 31-0
@ Virginia, W 34-14
@ Miami, W 45-17
Boston College, W 24-19
@ NC State, L 28-24
North Carolina, L 37-35
Clemson, W 16-13
@ Maryland, W 30-16
Florida, W 31-7
South Carolina, W 26-17
386.9 total yards per game
Christian Ponder finished his FSU career on a note that was consistent throughout his Seminole career...inconsistent. He was injury plagued once again, and even though he was banged up for most of the season, he still managed to pass for 2044 yards and 20 TDs compared to 8 picks. Ponder has to be considered a sort of a letdown as far as what he was unable to do for FSU. He never became the big play big win QB that the Seminioles needed him to be, but that's not saying that he was terrible. EJ Manuel is the future at QB for now, but that isn't saying a bunch based on what I have seen so far.
The running game was better than it has been in years in 2010, but it wasn't phenominal. Chris Thompson led the team with 815 yards, but he only brokedown to 58.5 yards per game. HE was dominating at times and showed flashes of what he can become if he becomes more of a focal point. He will be a junior in 2011, so you can expect him to get some serious work. Ty Jones and Jermaine Thomas both received solid work in 2010 as well, and both return in 2011. If the offense can be focused on this three headed attack, the Noles will be a serious threat.
The group of Bert Reed, Willie Haulstead, Taiwan Easterling, and Rodney Smith led the receiving charge. Reed is the primary receiver, but his yards per catch fall below the other three receivers. All of them are slated to return, so the Manuel will have plenty of experience to throw to next fall.
The offensive line found itself in 2010. The running game was vastly improved, and they did their best to protect QBs that didn't always live up to their billing. Rodney Hudson was named to our All-Bilo ACC team and was our All-Bilo National Guard of the Year. The bad news is that he is gone now, as is Center Ryan McMahon. Rhonne Sanderson is slated to replace Hudson, and Jacob Stanley is the leading candidate to replace McMahon. Three starters (Andrew Datko, Zebrie Sanders, Bryan Stork) will return in 2011.
The outlook is solid in recruiting, and the Seminoles succeeded in landing another star back in 5 star recruit James Wilder of Tampa. WR Kelvin Benjamin, OL Jacob Fahrenkrug, RB Devonta Freeman, WR Rashad Greene, OL Bobby Hart, OL Josue Matias, and TE Nick O'Leary are all 4 star athletes. The future of the Seminole offense is looking solid.
349.1 yards allowed per game
The defense wasn't always perfect in 2010, but was solid overall and only allowed 19.6 points per game on the season. 4 of the last 5 opponents were held to less than 20 points, including holding SEC East Champ South Carolina to 17. The Noles weren't all the way back to the dominant days of the 90's, but they are certainly on the right track.
Brandon Jenkins and Markus White were definately dominators on the line, as as Jenkins picked up 21.5 TFLs on the season and White added 12.5. Jenkins had 13.5 sacks, with White adding an additional 8.NT Jacobbi McDaniel was essentually a block vaccum used to free up the ends and LBs to make plays. He finished with 30 tackles on the season, or 2.4 per game. Everrett Dawkins manned the other DT slot and had 39 tackles on the season to complement the active ends. White will likely take his talents to the Sunday game in 2011, but Jenkins, McDaniel, and Dawkins are all slated to return. Dan Hicks, Jamar Jackson, Bjoern Warner, and Toshmon Stevens look to be the top candidates to battle for White's spot as the depth chart stands now.
Kendell Smith and Nigel Bradham led the team in tackles per game with 6.93 each. They were not as active in attacking the backfield as one would hope in 2011. Mister Alexander finished 3rd amongst FSU LBs in tackles, but had a rather underwhleming senior season with just 56 tackles, although 42 of them were solo jobs. Alexander and Smith are both moving on now, leaving Bradham as the lone returning starter at LB. Christian Jones is the leading candidate going into spring ball to take over for Alexander, and will be a sophomore. Vince Williams and Jeff Luc will battle to replace Smith. The replacements are all very young, and experience with this group will be thin.
The good news in the secondary is that the group should return enmass in 2011. CB Xavier Rhodes started as a freshman, and tied for the lead with backup CB Mike Harris in INTs with 4. Nickleback Ochuko Jenije is the lone departure from the FSU secondary in 2011. The depth in this group is incredible, and will need to be to take the pressure off of what will be a very young and experience thin group at LB.
On the recruiting front, the Seminoles added to their depth in the secondary by grabbing 5 star DB Karlos Williams from Ridge HS in Davenport, Florida. DB Nick Waisome, DE Giorgio Newberry, DT Derrick Mitchell, DT Nile Lawrence-Stample, DT Timmy Jernigan, and DE Cornellius Carradine are all 4 star prospects. The Noles signed a pair of 3 star LBs as well, as this group is already very young.
The Seminoles appear set at the PK position, as Dustin Hopkins has shored up a sore spot by nailing 22 of his 28 kicks in 2010. He has the potential to start for two more seasons barring injury, and will likely just get better with time. There are no issues here for FSU going forward. He hit all 53 of his PATs this season.
The same can be said at Punter, where Shawn Powell was one of the best in the land, as he averaged 44.28 yards per punt this season. Powell will be a senior in 2011, so his talents are due to be back on hand for one more season. The kicking game is well in hand, and that has been a rarity for the last several seasons.
Greg Reid averaged 9.81 yard per punt return and brought one back to the house in 2010. He returns to lead the way next season as well. He also racked up 732 yards in kickoff returns as well. If the opposition kicks away from Reid on kickoffs, then they will contend with Lamarcus Joyner, who averaged over 20 yards per return in 2010 when teams went away from the dangerous Reid.
The schedule is not complete in conference play as of yet. Non-conference dates come as follows: 9/3 against Louisiana-Monroe, 9/10 against Charleston Southern, 9/17 against Oklahoma, and 11/26 at Florida.
FINAL 2010 NOTES and a Look to 2011
2010 was an uplifting season as Jimbo Fisher took the reins from the legendary Bobby Bowden. It became almost immediately obvious as to how stale things had become under Bowden as of late, as Fisher installed a new energy from day one. Had there not been the two game losing streak to NC State and UNC, the Seminoles may very likely well have been a top 10 team at the end of the season.
All things aside, FSU has a bright outlook in 2011, as the depth on offense and the defensive secondary leave reasons to be encouraged. QB play and the development of the LBs will tell the tale for the Noles next season, but there is no reason why you shouldn't look for another step up from FSU.
The only non-conference date to worry about should be the Oklahoma game, as FSU should be better than Florida next season.
FINAL 2010 GRADE
A solid B. Improvements must be made, but with Jimbo at the helm, they will come. Solid season, as 10 wins was a 3 game win over my pre-season expectations.