As we countdown to kickoff in August, we’re going to be doing a team-by-team preview each Tuesday over the summer. SU will continue its 2014 ACC conference schedule when they host FSU.
REPEAT CHAMPS?: Last year, the ‘Noles ended the SEC’s dominance of college football with a 34-31 win over Auburn in the National Championship game. The biggest question this year is if Florida State can do it again. Just based on their schedule, it is more than feasible that FSU can grab the top seed in the new playoff format. After all, where will the loss come from? The toughest games on the schedule are hosting Notre Dame on October 18, or the next game at Louisville on October 30. Perhaps the season finale against Florida presents a possible stumbling block. None of those foes seem formidable against the Seminoles, who return Heisman winner Jameis Winston, a stacked offensive line, and plenty of talent across the skill positions.
WHO TO WATCH FOR: Florida State will have a completely new backfield in 2014 after losing their top two running backs and fullback. But the Seminoles are high on converted defensive back Karlos Williams, who rushed for 730 yards and 11 touchdowns as the third back in 2013. In the passing game, Winston will be targeting senior wide receiver Rashad Greene, who has led the team in receiving in all three years in Tallahassee. Last year, he caught 76 passes for 1128 yards and nine TDs. John Mackey Award Finalist Nick O’Leary missed the final six spring practices after being involved in a motorcycle accident, but it will not affect the tight end’s 2014 season.
PREDICTION: Syracuse was held scoreless in the first three quarters against a completely superior FSU team. While the margin may not be as large given that the Orange is at home, this game will be over quickly. SYRACUSE 10, FLORIDA STATE 52.