Depending on who you want to believe, the program is either 1)
on the verge of completely imploding and is in for a Tennessee-2005
style disappointment, 2) good enough to win the ACC title again, but
with holes to fill, or 3) back to its national title status if a few
things break the right way.
2005 might not have been pretty from start to finish, but the Noles
won yet another ACC championship in a year when it had no business
being among the contenders after an ugly November. The offensive
line was patchwork at best, the coaching staff ignored its NFL
caliber running backs and allowed a true freshman quarterback to
bomb away, and the defense started to crash as the year wore on. And
then a funny thing happened; Florida State lost its head case status
and became the smart, poised
This team of 114 penalties and sideline meltdowns by petulant young
wide receivers became a focused, mentally tough team that appeared
to get tired of being pushed around and shocked the college football
world by letting a heavily favored Virginia Tech do the melting down
in the ACC championship game.
2005 would've had a nice cherry on top had kicker Gary Cismesia been
able to connect on either of his two field goal attempts in overtime
against Penn State in the Orange Bowl, but losing that game was
immaterial; Florida State hung tough with a national-title caliber
team and almost pulled it out.
Now the key will be to act, and play, like defending ACC
champions week in and week out. As always, this is one of the
fastest, most athletic, most talented teams in the country, but
there are major concerns, major questions to be answered,
and many issues to be ironed out.
Head coach: Bobby Bowden
31st year: 286-75-4
41st year overall: 359-107-4
Best FSU Players
1. QB Drew Weatherford, Soph.
2. LB Buster Davis, Sr.
3. DT Andre Fluellen, Jr.
4. RB Lorenzo Booker, Sr.
5. WR Greg Carr, Soph.
6. S Myron Rolle, Fr.
7. WR Chris Davis, Sr.
8. WR De'Cody Fagg, Jr.
9. OT David Overmyer, Jr.
10. CB Tony Carter, Soph.
at NC State
Preview 2005 predicted wins
Boston Coll W 28-17
at Florida L 34-7
Virginia Tech W 27-22
Penn State L 26-23 3OT
First of all, can the offense be more consistent and balanced?
Injuries killed the line and hindered the overall production
of the attack. That the Noles were able to average 29 points and 377
yards per game was a minor miracle considering the running game was an
afterthought. It might be tempting to throw, throw, and throw some more
with an elite receiving corps and quarterback Drew Weatherford appearing
to be night-and-day more comfortable this spring. However, there's an
NFL back in Lorenzo Booker there to be used.
Only four starters return on a defense that gave way too many of its players to the big
league this last year. Yeah, Florida State reloads as well as anyone,
but it's still asking a lot to replace so many top-notch performers.
Sometimes when you're expecting players to take the next step up and go
from being good backups to all-star starters, it doesn't happen right
away. Depth will be an issue with big problems at end and corner if
injuries strike early on.
Forget about all the problems. At this point in the 31 years under Bobby
Bowden, the Noles have seen and done it all while finding a way to come
through with conference championships. Of course, they're seen by some
as a disappointment since the program is used to playing for national
titles, but winning the ACC is nothing dismiss.
Yes, this team will be in the hunt for the ACC title again, and yes, it
has a fringe chance of being in the national championship hunt. However,
this is a young team that might be the 2007 preseason number one, or at
least top three. That doesn't mean the Noles can't be in the BCS to
start off the new year.
brutal opening day game at Miami is exactly what the team doesn't need
with seven new starters on defense, but the offense should be ready to
roll. Getting an interdivisional road game at Duke is a colossal break,
while playing the last road game on October 28th is an even bigger coup.
Clemson, Virginia, and Boston College all come to Tallahassee, which
means even an opening day loss to Miami should still mean a berth in the
ACC title game. A win over the Canes, and FSU will be in the national
Offensive Player: Sophomore QB Drew Weatherford. Yeah, RB Lorenzo
Booker is an early round draft pick, and the scouts are drooling all
over receivers Greg Carr and De'Cody Fagg, but Weatherford will be the
one to make the attack go. He should've been named the ACC Player of the
Year for carrying the Nole offense, interceptions and all. Expect him to
grow into a superstar this season.
Defensive Player: Senior LB Buster Davis. Everyone knew about Ernie
Sims and A.J. Nicholson, while Davis was lost in the shuffle. Opposing
coaches knew all about him, and running backs who feared for their lives
certainly knew all about him. As the only returning starter to the
linebacking corps, he'll be a key leader on either the weakside or the
to a successful season:
Junior OT David Overmyer and senior OT
Mario Henderson. The offensive line must remain healthy to prevent a
repeat of last year's inconsistencies. Overmyer and Henderson not only
have to be durable, they have to be productive. With the progression of
Drew Weatherford, the more time he gets and the more time the speedy
receivers have to get downfield, the most explosive the offense will be.
will be a success if ... Florida State is playing for the national title. If the Noles
can win the opener at Miami, the toughest games left are all at home,
except for the road trip against thorn-in-the-side NC State. Another ACC
title makes the season a success no matter what.
Sept. 4 at Miami. Getting the Miami monkey off the back last year,
even in a horrifically ugly game, did wonders for the team's confidence.
Imagine what a win in the Orange Bowl would do?
- Sacks: Florida State 44 for 273 yards - Opponents 32 for 186
- Fourth quarter scoring: Florida State 120 - Opponents 65
- Penalties: Florida State 114 for 1,018 yards - Opponents 93 for 736
The Last Time Florida
…played in a bowl game…2005 (Orange Bowl vs. Penn State)
…missed a bowl game…1981
…pitched a shutout…2003 (Notre Dame)
…was shutout…1988 (Miami)
…scored 50 points…2005 (Duke)
…won a conference title…2005 (ACC)
…had a 3,000-yard passer…2005 (Drew Weatherford)
…had a 1,000-yard rusher…1996 (Warrick Dunn)
…had a 1,000-yard receiver…2002 (Anquan Boldin)
…had a first-round draft choice…2006 (LB Ernie Sims, DE Kamerion Wimbley,
DT Brodrick Bunkley and CB Antonio Cromartie)