As we countdown to kickoff in September, we’re going to be doing a team-by-team preview each Wednesday over the summer. SU will continue its 2015 ACC schedule when they play FSU on Oct. 31.
QB SUCCESSOR?: Who will replace former Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston at Florida State? The favorite coming out of spring practice was junior Sean Maguire, who backed up Winston last season and even made an emergency start against Clemson in a 23-17 overtime win. Maguire racked up 304 passing yards in that game, but was also sacked five times and threw two interceptions. The situation was further complicated in May, when former Notre Dame QB Everett Golson transferred in. During this week’s ACC kickoff, Maguire was listed as the starter, while Golson was relegated to the third string quarterback. But a lot can change between now and the beginning of the season, especially as Golson learns the FSU offense.
WHO TO WATCH FOR: This is not the Seminole offense you’ve come to know over the past few seasons. Besides the departure of Winston, FSU lost two elite pass catchers in WR Rashad Greene and 2014 Mackey Award winner Nick O’Leary, plus four offensive lineman. But head coach Jimbo Fisher has quickly reloaded his offense with a pair of JUCO linemen and stud sophomore running back Dalvin Cook who rushed for more than 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns as a freshman. But Cook’s availability is in question now after he was suspended indefinitely following an arrest earlier in July. Fisher also has a talented, but unproven, receiver core, headlined by sophomore Travis Rudolph. He finished 2014 with 38 receptions for 555 yards and four touchdowns.
PREDICTION: FSU will be reloading on defense as well after losing star tackle Eddie Goldman and defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. The losses on both sides of the ball means that the Seminoles will start the season on the outside looking in when it comes to national title aspirations. But with the talent on this team, FSU could find itself back in title consideration by the end of the year. FLORIDA STATE 41, SYRACUSE 17.