2007 Florida State Preview

Posted Jun 23, 2007

After a slew of major coaching hires and a few tweaks here and there, Florida State will be a far different team. At least that's the hope for Seminole fans. If nothing else, Antone Smith and the running game should be far more effective.

Florida State Seminoles

Preview 2007

By Michael Bradley & Pete Fiutak

- 2007 FSU Offense Preview | 2007 FSU Defense Preview
2007 FSU Depth Chart | 2006 CFN Florida State Preview 

It seems like ancient history now, but there was a time when Florida State was an absolute offensive terror. Really, the same Seminoles who occasionally appear unable to score against a high school team used to hang up 40-50 points a game and terrorize opponents with a balanced attack that could scorch the earth by land or air. Great quarterbacks rolled through the system with alarming regularity, waiting their turn for a chance to start and then peeling off 2,500-yard passing seasons as if they were 50-dollar bills from Jay-Z’s wallet.

Head coach: Bobby Bowden
32nd year: 293-81-4
42nd year overall: 366-113-4
Returning Lettermen: 58
Lettermen Lost: 14
Ten Best FSU Players
SS Myron Rolle, Soph.
2. DT Andre Fluellen, Sr.
3. LB Geno Hayes, Jr.
4. WR Greg Carr, Jr. 
5. RB Antone Smith, Jr.
6. WR DeCody Fagg, Sr.
7. CB Tony Carter, Jr.
8. QB Drew Weatherford, Jr.
9. FS Roger Williams, Sr.
10. QB Xavier Lee, Jr.

2007 Schedule
CFN Prediction: 8-4

Sept. 3

at Clemson

Sept. 8


Sept. 15

at Colorado

Sept. 29

Alabama (Jack)

Oct. 6

NC State

Oct. 11

at Wake Forest

Oct. 20


Oct. 27


Nov. 3

at Boston College

Nov. 10

at Virginia Tech

Nov. 17


Nov. 24

at Florida

2006 Schedule
CFN Prediction: 10-2

2006 Record:
Preview 2006 predicted wins

9/4 at Miami W 13-10
9/9 Troy W 24-17
9/16 Clemson L 27-20
9/23 Rice W 55-7
10/5 at NC State L 24-20
10/14 at Duke W 51-24
10/21 Boston College L 24-19
10/28 at Maryland L 27-24
11/4 Virginia W 33-0
11/11 Wake Forest L 30-0
11/18 Western Mich W 28-20
11/25 Florida L 21-14
12/27 Emerald Bowl
UCLA W 44-27

That hasn’t been the case for a while in Tallahassee, but there’s hope for the immediate future. Bobby Bowden finally, finally, decided to cut loose his son/offensive coordinator, Jeff, thereby allowing FSU to import a coach with the reputation and track record capable of returning the attack to its former offensive formidability. That would be Jimbo Fisher, late of LSU and considered by many as the best available option to turn things around.

Fisher, who was rumored for nearly every coaching job during the off-season, will be charged with taking the young talent on the team and making it more potent. Most of all, he must convert Drew Weatherford or Xavier Lee into a consistent passer capable of making big plays, and more importantly, not force the starter to make every play and carry the entire offense.

Florida State may have won the ACC title and played in the Orange Bowl after the 2005 season, but it hasn’t been a significant national player for several years now. The cries for Bowden to step down are getting louder, and another disappointing season (like last year’s 7-6 campaign) will turn up the volume even more. FSU must become more dynamic offensively, or it’ll also lose its reputation among recruits as a hot place to play.

The good news is that the defense should be outstanding, thanks to the return of all but three players from the two-deep. If Fisher’s attack can get cranked up, the ‘Noles could be a force beyond the ACC in 2007. In other words, Florida State should be Florida State again.

What to look for on offense: Fisher will try to give the Seminoles an attack with a powerful running game built around junior Antone Smith. He’d also like to build running back depth and needs sophomore Marcus Sims – and others – to emerge. Expect to see Weatherford, if he gets the starting gig, go downfield more frequently, which should be good news for Greg Carr and De’Cody Fagg. FSU won’t be a steamroller right away, but it could be lethal come November.

What to look for on defense: The Seminoles were hit hard by injuries last year, so they used a pile of true and redshirt freshmen, with mixed results. Now, this year’s group will be deep, relatively experienced and fast. The only question area is linebacker, where outside man Lawrence Timmons and his 18.5 tackles for loss is gone, along with middle man Buster Davis. This is Florida State; it’ll find other stars. Outside man Geno Davis is a big-time player in the making, and if Derek Nicholson returns 100% from a knee injury, the run defense should be stellar. The secondary is filled with talent, and up front, expect nose man Andre Fluellen to stand out next to juniors Paul Griffin and Letroy Guion.

The team will be far better if …Weatherford becomes a reliable starter or Lee takes the job by the horns. Weatherford looked excellent in the second half of the Emerald Bowl win over UCLA, but that was when the running game was taking the pressure off. Should Fisher coax a star turn out of the junior, Florida State could be back on the road to big things.

The Schedule: The Noles had better be nasty road warriors or this could be a long year. Bobby Bowden's boys have to go away from Doak Campbell to play Clemson, Colorado, Alabama, Wake Forest, Boston College and Virginia Tech before finishing up with the national champion Florida Gators. Oh yeah, there are home dates with Miami and Maryland, who'll both be bowling. Three road games in the final four should make for an interesting November.

Best Offensive Player: Junior WR Greg Carr.  For the last two seasons, Carr has been a mismatch for just about every defensive back who’s tried to contain him, averaging nearly 20 yards on his 64 catches, while pulling down 21 touchdown receptions.  Now he needs to play up to his talent level as he wasn’t even listed as a starter coming out of spring ball. That’s mainly for motivation as Bowden wants his 6-6 target to make the transition for solid to superstar..    

Best Defensive Player: Sophomore SS Myron Rolle. It would've been interesting to have seen where Rolle would've been taken in the 2007 NFL Draft had he been able to come out. He has is all with size, speed, hitting ability and smarts. As expected, he played like a true freshman at times last season, but he also showed glimpses of becoming a next-level superstar. If he can stay injury free over the next two years, he'll likely be a top ten pick in 2009.  

Key player to a successful season: Junior RB Antone Smith. The coaching staff completely forgot about the running game over the last few years despite having NFL-caliber backs like Leon Washington and Lorenzo Booker at its disposal. With Fisher as the new offensive coordinator, there should be more balance and less of a reliance on the quarterbacks to shoulder the load.

The season will be a success if ... the Noles win the Atlantic Division. Times have changed, and so must FSU’s expectations. No longer can the program reasonably shoot for the national title, and despite being a year removed from being ACC champions, winning the league title might be a lofty goal with road games at Clemson, Wake Forest, Boston College and Virginia Tech. Even so, anything less than a division title will get the fans grumbling.

Key game: Sept. 3 at Clemson. There’s no room for error to start the season, with a battle of the Bowdens likely to ruin one team’s ACC title hopes right out of the gate. With a road trip to Colorado and a neutral site game against Alabama coming up before the end of September, FSU needs to re-establish itself as a national power, while also getting a big conference win.

2006 Fun Stats: 
- Kickoff return average: Florida State 18.7; Opponents 24.4
- Average yards per carry: Florida State 3.4; Opponents 2.8
- Fourth quarter scoring: Florida State 115; Opponents 42


Related Stories
2007 Florida State Preview - Offense
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Jun 23, 2007
2007 Florida State Preview - Defense
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Jun 23, 2007
2007 Florida State Preview - Depth Chart
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Jun 23, 2007

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