Few schools in the ACC had as rocky a 2017 season as the Seminoles who turned in one of their worst campaigns in the last 30 years, lost a coach to another Power 5 school, and had to find a new coach while finishing a season and salvaging respectable recruiting class. Considering this is as close to bottom as most FSU fans have seen in their lifetime, the only thing they can do is look up.
Here are five reasons for Florida State to be optimistic going into the 2018 season.
Many will discount the way that Willie Taggart has galvanized the FSU fan base during his spring booster tour, and many critics have looked at it as a waste of time. But when you look at sold out event after event which Taggart has headlined, he is showing that he is a fundraising machine. This greater off-season energy typically leads to greater ticket sales, which leads to sold out stadiums which in turn leads to a great home field advantage.
The spring game attendance is an indicator about how the first few games at Doak should be – raucous. Good energy leads to momentum. One of the complaints Jimbo Fisher voiced and critiques that I’d have for Seminole fans is the lack of attendance at games. Now, a good product on the field leads to more butts in seats and let’s hope the Taggart effect continues spurring that momentum.
Defensive Coordinator who knows how to effectively run a defense
Harlon Barnett is considered a great mind especially in terms of defensive coverages inside of the 4-2-5 alignment which features four down lineman, two linebackers and five defensive backs. He’s got the defensive players playing with more technique and is recreating the swagger that old Seminole defensive units have been known for.
The reality is that FSU’s defense last year wasn’t bad until they really needed a play. One stop against Miami, Louisville and N.C. State and FSU’s season is completely different. From reports and what I’ve seen during the spring, the defense is having more fun playing fast and making plays.
Barnett knows the defense as opposed to previous coordinator Charles Kelly just running a defense he was asked to run.
Creative ways to get skill players the ball in space
The Gulf Coast Offense is about creating one-on-one match-ups and getting play-makers the ball in space. What makes this a fun offense, and one that is difficult to stop when it’s in full go, primarily lies in the fact you can run one play with multiple ways to score or gain yards. You’ve got players who can receive the ball on a motion, a traditional hand off, a pass or just a QB keep. This requires defenders to be extremely disciplined because if defenders over-pursue, they could leave a wide open gap to be exploited.
© 2016, gridironnow.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.