Five questions FSU football must address during 2017 fall camp

Florida State Football 2017 Match Preview and Prediction: The Florida State football team begins fall camp on Tuesday, ahead of the 2017 season with an opening matchup against Alabama on Sept. 2 in Atlanta. Whether it was an offensive lineman’s fault, or a receiver taking too long to get open or running a wrong route, or even Francois holding onto the football waiting for a play to develop, the blame can be spread all around for FSU’s offense last season.

Florida State Football 2017 Match Preview and Prediction

Florida State Football 2017 Match Preview and Prediction

Francois was knocked out of several games last season after being hit by opposing defenders, a trend the Seminoles hope to see less of this season. It will be a collective effort that starts on the offensive line, which will feature a new starting left tackle and left a guard to protect Francois’ blind side. Sophomore Landon Dickerson, a starter who tore his ACL last season, is expected to be ready for fall camp and compete for the left guard position while redshirt freshman Josh Ball, a former four-star prospect, is expected to start at left tackle. Center Alec Eberle, right guard Cole Minshew and right tackles Brock Ruble and Rick Leonard should assume their roles from last season.

The onus will also be on receivers Nyqwan Murray, Auden Tate, Keith Gavin, Da’Vante Phillips and George Campbell, and tight ends Ryan Izzo, Mavin Saunders and Naseir Upshur to be sharp in the passing game. If Florida State hopes to win the ACC and reaches the College Football Playoff for the first time since 2014, the Seminoles’ defense will need to perform like one of the nation’s best units. The challenge begins immediately against Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts, who led his team to the national championship game as a true freshman last season. Florida State’s defense matured from being one of the nation’s worst units in 2016 to one of the more efficient units. After FSU’s loss to North Carolina at home in October, FSU was ranked below 100th nationally in several statistical categories, including last among Power 5 teams with 6.98 yards allowed per play and 9.4 yards allowed per pass after the game. Those numbers improved to 5.27 yards per play (37th nationally) and 7.1 per pass (57th) at the end of the season.

Florida State Football 2017 Match Schedule

The defense will be fueled by the return of safety Derwin James, who suffered a knee injury last season, along with leadership from FSU’s most important defenders in defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi, cornerback Tarvarus McFadden, safety Trey Marshall, defensive ends Josh Sweat and Brian Burns and linebackers Matthew Thomas and Ro’Derrick Hoskins. Alabama will be hungry to avenge their national title loss to Clemson in the opener, but FSU’s defense will also have plenty to prove with national title hopes of its own this season. Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois speaks to media during ACC kick off on Thursday, July 13, 2017. Jimbo Fisher is tasked with replacing Florida State’s all-time leader in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns and could employ a number of options in the running game this season.

Florida State Football 2017, While many surrounding the program have high hopes for true freshman Cam Akers, FSU’s highest-rated offensive recruit to date, the Seminoles will look to junior Jacques Patrick to bulldoze his way through opposing defenses. Patrick may not have the breakaway speed and playmaking ability Cook displayed for three seasons, but his 6-2, 231-pound frame is well suited to handle a workhorse load behind Francois. Akers, sophomore Amir Rasul, and true freshman Khalan Laborn will also be factors in FSU’s offensive attack this season with their abilities to run the ball and work in open space in the passing game. Source Link

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