Head Coach: Jimbo Fisher (5th season; 45-10 overall)
Series History: FSU leads 25-6-1
2013 Record: 14-0 (8-0 ACC; Won BCS National Championship)
The Florida State Seminoles will be the sixth opponent for Wake Forest in the 2014 season. Last year Florida State absolutely obliterated the Deacs when they won 59-3. It was 42-0 at halftime and could have been far worse, but Jimbo Fisher demonstrated compassion and the Noles only scored 17 in the second half. In that game, Wake Forest quarterbacks combined for a truly terrible stat line: 7/25 for 63 yards and 6 interceptions.
It's well-documented that the 2013 team went undefeated and won the national title. They averaged 51.6 points per game last season, while only giving up an average of 12.1 points. They were absolutely dominant and #FSUTwitter will tell you that they arrived a year early. The Noles have a legitimate chance to repeat in 2014 and go from #Dallas2Dallas.
The Seminoles are led at quarterback by Heisman winner Jameis Winston. Perhaps you've heard of him. He's had his fair share of offseason troubles, but there's no denying that he's an immensely talented quarterback. He threw for more than 4,000 yards last season and had 40 touchdown passes to just 10 interceptions. Quite frankly it could have been more, but they often rested him in the fourth quarter and they had a dominant run game. Had Winston been eligible, he probably would have been the number one pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Keep in mind that was his first year as a starting quarterback. I don't think it's unrealistic to expect him to be even better this year.
It has to be nice when you lose tailbacks Devonta Freeman and James Wilder, Jr. and still expect to have an excellent running game. That's what happens when you return Karlos Williams, who converted to tailback from safety last season. Williams was sensational and ran for 730 yards and 11 touchdowns on just 91 carries, which is an average of 8 yards/carry. Williams has a scary blend of size and speed. Mel Kiper Jr. currently has him as the second best senior back in college football. Sophomore Ryan Green showed some flashes last year and true freshman Dalvin Cook should also be a rotational back for the Noles.
Florida State lost receivers Kelvin Benjamin and Kenny Shaw to the NFL, but they'll still be just fine. They return Rashad Greene, who led the team with 76 receptions and more than 1,100 receiving yards last season. Tight end Nick O'Leary had 35 receptions and is rated as Mel Kiper's top senior tight end. Christian Green should take a step up this year and Florida State also boats a pair of 5-star freshmen receivers in Ermon Lane and Travis Rudolph.
Jameis Winston and Karlos Williams will get the media hype, but this offensive line is damn good. They return four starters from last year's national championship team, and have a combined 110 starts among the four returners. Left tackle Cameron Erving and right guard Tre' Jackson are both in Mel Kiper, Jr.'s top 30 overall draft prospects. Erving was a first-team All-American last season and both were first-team All-ACC. If any linemen get hurt, they have a host of 4-stars to bring in off the bench.
Jimbo Fisher is entering his fifth season as the head coach of the Florida State Seminoles, and has compiled a record of 45-10 during the past four seasons. They have won all four of their bowl games during that span and have finished in the Top 25 each year. He has won two ACC Championships and one National Championship. He and his staff have been recruiting at an elite level and he certainly deserves to be called a quarterback guru. During his tenure at Florida State, the Noles have produced NFL 1st round picks in E.J. Manuel and Christian Ponder. Winston has won a Heisman, and former backups Clint Trickett and Jacob Coker are slated to start at West Virginia and Alabama, respectively. He has Florida State "back" and a football dynasty is brewing in Tallahassee.
Part two will be out tomorrow, where the 2014 Florida State defense and special teams is broken down and a way-too-early prediction is given on the game.