As a Florida State University Alumni there is nothing I love more than my school and our football team. Having attended the university during the 2014 National Championship is enough to make you bleed garnet and have a heart of gold. Not to mention beating Miami and Florida the past four seasons in a row has just been the cherry on top.
Now what I am most looking forward to is the upcoming 2017-18 season with the home opener against the Alabama Crimson Tide and breaking in the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Georgia.
Legendary Florida State Coach Bobby Bowden on FSU’s matchup with Alabama:
“I think they can play with anybody right now, to be honest with you,” Bowden said, via AL.com. “I think he’ll have a real good football team. Jimbo coached with Nick Saban for a long time. He knows him like a book. Saban knows him like a book. They’re both from West Virginia. I’ll be shocked if it’s not a great game.”
It is the first time since 2014 the Noles will have a clear answer on who the starting quarterback will be – Deondre Francois. Last season after passing 3,350 yards and adding 20 touchdowns, Francois will have even bigger aspirations to fill this season. Serving as a dual-threat quarterback and getting seasoned as a redshirt freshman has allowed him to come back confident and composed. The key to his success will revolve around a dependable offensive line.
While replacing Dalvin Cook is impossible, the Noles did the next best thing and will give Jacques Patrick a crack as the starting running back with an average of 5.7 yards per carry last season. But, five-star RB recruit, Cam Akers, is a high-profile force to be reckoned with as well and is looking to make his impact with this Noles offense.
Florida State’s defense is what helped win them a national title and will serve as the backbone to their success this season. With eight out of nine experienced, leading tacklers returning this season they will be more confident than ever and lead by linebacker, Matthew Thomas, and defensive back, Tarvarus McFadden. After overcoming a knee injury the Noles defense will again be rejoined by their All-American safety, Derwin James. Not to mention the 6-ft-1, 312 lb beauty of a nose guard, Derrick Nnadi, adding to the depth.
The strength of the Nole’s defense, combined with the skill and composure of Francois, while being coached under Jumbo Fisher is not a team to be taken lightly. Yes, you can bet I am predicting them to be the 2018 National Champions.
Bleed Garnet & Have a Heart of Gold
By: Courtney Wagner
Photo Courtesy: ACC Network