Publish date:

3 FLORIDA STATE

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OPPOSING COACH'S TAKE

"With [5'11", 213-pound running back] Dalvin Cook, you try to slow him down. You can't stop him. You've got to limit him to singles and doubles, because if he gets going, he's going to get home runs. He's great at finding the crease and exploding through the hole. And on those mid-zone or wide-zone toss plays, he has a lot of freedom to find that crease. Because of the unsettled quarterback situation—it's between senior Sean Maguire and redshirt freshman Deondre Francois this year—they've had to run the ball a little bit more. They didn't have anybody that scared us last year at wideout—they were just good college receivers. But the Cook effect can help that. Teams have to worry about him so much that they may not worry about those receivers.

They're getting back to having the speed on the edge, like the old Florida State defenses used to have. They've got some of those bodies now on their team. Having [sophomore defensive back] Derwin James means there's another guy that the offensive coordinator and the quarterback have to be aware of on every play. He's one of those dynamic playmakers who can completely disrupt a play. They're going to miss [cornerback] Jalen Ramsey [first round, Jaguars]. He made a bunch of big plays on the boundary.

They're sound and they're physical up front. They'll make it a fistfight even if you want to play basketball on grass."

FAST FACTS

7.4

Yards per carry last year for now junior RB Dalvin Cook, second best in the nation.

17.5

Points per game given up by the Seminoles last season, ninth best in the nation.

2

Sophomore safety Derwin James's position ranking, according to Pro Football Focus.

10½

Sacks for DeMarcus Walker last year as a junior; he may draw enough attention for sophomore Josh Sweat to outdo him in 2016.

8

Defensive players who left for the NFL.

2

Kickers named Aguayo to play in Tallahassee: Freshman Ricky follows in the footsteps of brother Roberto (now with the Bucs).

[The following text appears within a chart. Please see hardcopy or PDF for actual chart.]

5 YEAR TREND

WINS

15

12

9

6

3

9--4

12--2 (ACC CHAMPS)

14--0 (NATIONAL CHAMPS)

13--1 (ACC CHAMPS)

10--3

YEAR

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

X-FACTOR

The 6'3", 227-pound junior outside linebacker Matthew Thomas, who missed last season after left shoulder surgery, runs like a defensive back and hits like a truck. He and sophomore safety Derwin James, who moves all over the formation, will leave opposing quarterbacks guessing about who will drop into coverage and who will come screaming into the backfield.

2016 SCHEDULE

MONDAY 9/5

OLE MISS [KEY MATCHUP]

(IN ORLANDO)

SATURDAY 9/10

CHARLESTON SOUTHERN

SATURDAY 9/17

AT LOUISVILLE

SATURDAY 9/24

AT SOUTH FLORIDA

SATURDAY 10/1

NORTH CAROLINA

SATURDAY 10/8

AT MIAMI

SATURDAY 10/15

WAKE FOREST

BYE

SATURDAY 10/29

CLEMSON [BIGGEST GAME]

SATURDAY 11/5

AT N.C. STATE

FRIDAY 11/11

BOSTON COLLEGE

SATURDAY 11/19

AT SYRACUSE

SATURDAY 11/26

FLORIDA [KEY MATCHUP]

KEY MATCHUP

BIGGEST GAME