Three Things You Need to Know about Florida State
The 2017 college football season marks 60 years since Florida State University started playing college football.
Prior to Bobby Bowden arrival in 1976, the Seminoles went 150-130-13 under seven different coaches. Since 1976, the program has achieved a 394-114-4 on the field under Bowden and Jimbo Fisher.
While Bowden established Florida State as a national power in the 1980s and 1990s, Jimbo Fisher has succeeded in carrying the torch from Bowden. Coming into Saturday’s game, Fisher has a record of 78-17 in seven seasons as FSU’s head coach.
Similar to Alabama, stellar recruiting and talent development has reestablished the Seminoles as a national power under Fisher.
Going into Saturday’s clash with the Crimson Tide, discover three things you need to know about the Florida State Seminoles.
Experience on Defense
Most national championship teams in college football have used suffocating defenses to earn their titles.
If FSU earns a spot in the College Football Playoff this season, it will be because of experienced depth.
The Seminoles return 22 of their top 25 tacklers, 83.3 percent of their tackle production and 68.6 percent of their sack production from 2016.
While sophomore free safety Derwin James has been garnering most of the preseason attention in FSU’s defensive backfield, observers should not overlook another one of his teammates.
Junior cornerback Tarvarus McFadden emerged as one of college football’s top corners. The Fort Lauderdale native finished the 2016 season tied for first in America with eight interceptions.
McFadden was also a finalist for the Nagurski Trophy and won the Jack Tatum Award as the country’s top defensive back.
College Football Leader in Red Zone Production
In addition to special teams, red zone production could be the deciding factor in who wins on Saturday.
Last season, Florida State led college football by converting on 96.5 percent of their scoring opportunities in the red zone. Of their 57 opportunities inside the 20-yard line, the Seminoles scored 44 touchdowns compared to 11 field goals.
Spanning the decade, FSU has led college football in red zone production. Since 2010, they have converted on 91.5 percent of their scoring opportunities in the red zone.