Florida State Preview 2006
Florida State WR Greg Carr
Posted Jul 31, 2006

Reports of Florida State's demise may have been greatly exaggerated.

Offense | Defense | Depth Chart | Further Analysis

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 team.

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
Ten 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.

2006 Schedule
CFN Prediction: 10-2

9/4 at Miami
9/9 Troy
9/16 Clemson
9/23 Rice
10/5 at NC State
10/14 at Duke
10/21 Boston College
10/28 at Maryland
11/4 Virginia
11/11 Wake Forest
11/18 Western Michigan
11/25 Florida

2005 Schedule
CFN Prediction: 8-3
2005 Record:
Preview 2005 predicted wins

9/5 Miami W 10-7   
9/10 The Citadel W 62-10
9/17 at Boston Coll W 28-17
10/1 Syracuse W 38-14
10/8 Wake Forest W 41-24
10/15 at Virginia L 26-21
10/22 at Duke W 55-24
10/29 Maryland W 35-27
11/5 NC State L 20-15
11/12 at Clemson L 35-14
11/26 at Florida L 34-7
12/3 ACC Championship
Virginia Tech W 27-22
1/3 Orange Bowl
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.

The Schedule: The 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 title hunt.

Best 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.

Best 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 middle.

Key player 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.

The season 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.

Key game: 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?

2005 Fun Stats: 
- 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 yards

The Last Time Florida State…
…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)
…went undefeated…1999
…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)