Ricky’s Atlantic Coast Conference NCAAF pick for 2017 is the Florida State Seminoles.
QB Deondre Francois proved to be the real deal last season as a redshirt freshman. He led the team to a 10-win season and proved he could win some big games. Francois threw for over 3,300 yards and only threw 7 INT in 400 attempts. Things look very promising this season when you consider the talent on hand, however, the Seminoles lose a lot of production from the 2016 unit.
We won’t rehash the Heisman debacle from last season – but let’s just say we had RB Dalvin Cook inside our Top. Regardless, Florida St is going to have to come up with a way to at least somewhat replace their all-time leading rusher if they want to contend for a national championship. Cook was also devasting out of the backfield. This season there are some unknowns. Freshman Cam Akers could be really special and Jacques Patrick averaged 5.7 yards per carry in 2016. The Seminoles had over 200 yards rushing per game last season and should be able to run the ball effectively again in 2017.
The offensive line will need to do a better job in pass protection. Florida St was ranked #106 in the FBS and #10 in the ACC in sacks allowed per game in 2016. If they do a better job, Francois should be able to at least match the passing numbers from his fine first season as a starter. WR Travis Rudolph will be missed but there are a number of young and talented players waiting to make their mark.
Whoa. Florida St finished up #1 in the FBS in sacks per game while totaling 51 in just 13 games. The defense got stronger as the season went along. They return 9 starters in 2017.
The defensive line will miss the production of DeMarcus Walker (16 sacks – 2016), but overall, the Seminoles will feature an impressive front seven that returns essentially intact from a season ago. The LB corps is full of senior leadership. Did we mention the secondary ? One of the best. The unit includes AA CB Tarvarus McFadden and they welcome back fantastic S Derwin James who missed almost the entire season last year with an injury. Have fun moving the ball on these guys.
The Seminoles went with freshmen at the PK and P positions last season. The results were ok. There should be improvement. They will be able to cobble a decent kickoff and punt return group given all the speed on hand.