Way-Too-Early Predictions for Florida State's 2013 Season

Chris VafinisContributor IIIFebruary 26, 2013

Way-Too-Early Predictions for Florida State's 2013 Season

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    With the release of the Florida State Seminoles' 2013 schedule, it is difficult to not look ahead at what are the chances that FSU has for a run at back-to-back ACC titles and possibly a BCS berth or even a national championship chance. Even though a starting quarterback has yet to be named and there will be new faces to many of these teams, let's take a peek at what the Seminoles have looming before them next season.

    Some highlights are:

    • Opener on Monday (Labor Day) night
    • No Thursday games (always a killer for FSU)
    • No back-to-back road games
    • Two very difficult road games (Clemson and Florida)

Pittsburgh

1 of 12

    Home/Away: Away

    Date: September 2, 2013 (Labor Day night, ESPN, 8 p.m.)

    All-Time Record: 3-5 (last game in 1983)

    Returning Starters: 14 (five on offense; nine on defense)

    Analysis: Pittsburgh has a lot of talent returning specifically on defense; however, this is the same team who lost to Youngstown State and fought national title contender Notre Dame to triple overtime before eventually losing. They were 4-2 at home (defeating ranked Virginia Tech and Rutgers) and held opponents to 17 or less in all their wins. FSU had trouble with teams on the road each game in 2012. The Panthers will be starting a very young offense with a new QB and two new starting offensive linemen.

    Prediction: 21-17. This game might resemble the Virginia Tech game in 2012 with a last touchdown being the deciding factor.

    Record to this Point: 1-0

Nevada

2 of 12

    Home/Away: Home

    Date: September 14, 2013

    All-Time Record: 0-0

    Returning Starters: 11 (seven on offense; four on defense)

    Analysis: Nevada has a high-octane running attack led by returning quarterback Cody Fajardo, who has thrown for more than 4,400 yards and rushed for close to 2,000 yards in his two-year career. The defense, however, struggled mightily throughout last season, allowing close to 34 points per game. With so few defensive players returning (which might be a good thing), the Wolf Pack will have to regroup before 2013.

    Prediction: 35-10. This game will be similar to the Orange Bowl against Northern Illinois with a team led by one individual who does everything.

    Record to this Point: 2-0

Bethune-Cookman

3 of 12

    Home/Away: Home

    Date: September 21, 2013

    All-Time Record: 0-0

    Returning Starters: Who cares

    Analysis: Not much to say here. This FCS school went 8-0 in their conference before losing to Coastal Carolina in the first round of the playoffs. At least this will not be as bad as the Savannah State game from last year.

    Prediction: 49-3. Basically whatever Jimbo Fisher wants it to be.

    Record to this Point: 3-0

Boston College

4 of 12

    Home/Away: Away

    Date: September 28, 2013

    All-Time Record: 7-4

    Returning Starters: 14 (seven on offense; seven on defense)

    Analysis: The Boston College Eagles finished last in the ACC with only one conference win and two overall wins in 2012. They struggled to run the ball with any success but do return starting QB Chase Rettig and 1200-yard receiver Alex Amidon. However, newly hired coach Steve Addazio is more run-happy and will look to regain a strong ground game.

    Prediction: 28-7. With a new coach and not having an effective ground game, FSU's defense will have no problems shutting them down.

    Record to this Point: 4-0

Maryland

5 of 12

    Home/Away: Home

    Date: October 5, 2013

    All-Time Record: 21-2

    Returning Starters: 12 (seven on offense; five on defense)

    Analysis: Maryland could not keep a quarterback healthy, eventually having a converted linebacker play quarterback toward the end of the year. Therefore, their offensive numbers were very low. They will get starting quarterback C.J. Brown back, as well as wide receiver Stefon Diggs. The defense will be replacing many starters that allowed more than 27 points per game last season and at least 33 in the last four games of 2012.

    Prediction: 24-13. Closer outcome with a healthy offense but not much defense from Maryland.

    Record to this Point: 5-0

Clemson

6 of 12

    Home/Away: Away

    Date: October 19, 2013

    All-Time Record: 18-8

    Returning Starters: 13 (7 on offense; six on defense)

    Analysis: This game will determine the ACC Atlantic Division champion. There are a number of weapons returning for Clemson. Among them are Tajh Boyd (a Heisman hopeful), Sammy Watkins, Roderick McDowell and four-out-of-five offensive linemen. The defense will be their Achilles heel, specifically the line, with the loss of three defensive linemen and linebacker Jonathan Willard. The game in 2012 was a great show for the ACC and one of the best between Clemson and FSU in many years. This game will be played after the second bye for FSU.

    Prediction: 24-28. With so many weapons on Clemson's offense, FSU will have success against their defense but will find it hard to stop the offensive firepower.

    Record to this Point: 5-1

North Carolina State

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    Home/Away: Home

    Date: October 26, 2013

    All-Time Record: 22-11

    Returning Starters: 11 (five on offense; six on defense)

    Analysis: FSU let up a big loss to the Wolfpack in 2012 on the road. This year they get them at home. NC State will have a competition between sophomore Manny Stocker and Colorado State transfer Pete Thomas for quarterback. They also have to replace three interior linemen (center and guards). Their returning strength will be the front seven; however, this group struggled on the road, letting up 44 to Miami, 43 to North Carolina and 62 to Clemson.

    Prediction: 35-10. FSU will look for payback. If they can focus on wearing out the defense early with strong runs, the passing game should be clear also.

    Record to this Point: 6-1

Miami

8 of 12

    Home/Away: Home

    Date: November 2, 2013

    All-Time Record: 26-31

    Returning Starters: 19 (10 on offense; nine on defense)

    Analysis: This will be one of the best Miami teams in a few years. They return quarterback Stephen Morris and running back Duke Johnson with the entire starting offensive line. Their only losses on defense are the kicker and punter. The offense will rely heavily on running the ball effectively with a veteran group on offense. The defense will need to improve from 2012 after allowing close to 500 yards per game.

    Prediction: 24-21. Fisher has had Miami's number every year and will continue that at home in 2013. It will be close but FSU knows how to handle Miami and Stephen Morris.

    Record to this Point: 7-1

Wake Forest

9 of 12

    Home/Away: Away

    Date: November 9, 2013

    All-Time Record: 24-6-1

    Returning Starters: 16 (eight on offense; eight on defense)

    Analysis: FSU always has one trap game, usually on the road or Thursday night, that they do not play up to their potential and have to win ugly (South Florida in 2012). Wake Forest could provide that with the return of four offensive linemen, quarterback Tanner Price and his favorite target, Michael Campanaro. Last season FSU shut down Campanaro and will need their defense to do that again this year. Wake Forest allowed more than 31 points per game in 2012 and will need to strengthen this area before the 2013 season.

    Prediction: 17-13. A late touchdown by FSU will seal this game like Virginia Tech or South Florida last season.

    Record to this Point: 8-1

Syracuse

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    Home/Away: Home (Homecoming)

    Date: November 16, 2013

    All-Time Record: 5-1

    Returning Starters: 13 (six on offense; seven on defense)

    Analysis: Syracuse loses their starting quarterback, part of the offensive line and two receivers who accounted for close to 1900 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns. The battle for quarterback between Charley Loeb and Terrel Hunt (who have six career passes combined) will be pivotal. The defense will need some improvement up front as they allowed 182 rushing yards per game on the road.

    Prediction: 28-10. Syracuse is new to the ACC and FSU will want to welcome them during homecoming properly. The Orangemen have too much youth at offense for the stingy, veteran defense of FSU.

    Record to this Point: 9-1

Idaho

11 of 12

    Home/Away: Home

    Date: November 23, 2013

    All-Time Record: 0-0

    Returning Starters: 11 (seven on offense; four on defense)

    Analysis: There is not much to say here. Idaho lost their quarterback and running back, but do get four of the five offensive linemen back. The team only scored close to 16 points per game and rushed for 88 yards per game. Also, they basically have to rebuild a defense that allowed 42 points per game and their only win from 2012 was against New Mexico State (who was 1-11). They let up close to 300 passing yards and 200 rushing yards per game. Is there more that needs to be said?

    Prediction: 55-7. Idaho lost 66-0 to North Carolina in 2012. This will be a similar game.

    Record to this Point: 10-1

Florida

12 of 12

    Home/Away: Away

    Date: November 30, 2013

    All-Time Record: 21-34-2

    Returning Starters: 11 (six on offense; five on defense)

    Analysis: Florida will have many weapons to replace on both sides of the ball (Mike Gillislee, two offensive linemen, tight end Jordan Reed, Matt Elam, six of the front seven on defense). Its strengths will be having both defensive backs returning in Loucheiz Purifoy and Jaylen Watkins, punter Kyle Christy, quarterback Jeff Driskel and receivers Quinton Dunbar and Trey Burton. FSU was unable to stop the running game of the Gators in 2012. This year Florida will have a new backfield that will need to prove themselves. Therefore, the Gators might have to depend too much on Driskel.

    Prediction: 23-14. The Gators have too much to replace in their defense and Driskel has not shown the ability to throw the ball with much accuracy against good defenses.

    Record After Regular Season: 11-1