The 2022 season is upon us for Florida State.
Fresh off a 5-7 campaign, the Seminoles will open the year on Saturday against Duquesne. FSU has suffered through four straight losing seasons.
Third-year head coach Mike Norvell will look to flip the script in 2022. For him to keep his job, that is a must.
Our 4-part series predicting the outcome of each FSU game in 2022 continues. We continued on Tuesday by showcasing games four through six. The series continues with an important midway stretch in the season.
vs. Clemson, Oct. 15
Florida State almost survived a road trip to Death Valley last season. However, Clemson’s defense (six sacks, nine tackles for loss) and running back Will Shipley (152 yards rushing and two touchdowns) proved too much to handle for the Seminoles as they were defeated by a score of 30-20. Fast forward to this season and the success of this Clemson team will come down to its quarterback play.
DJ Uiagalelei struggled last season with consistency. Uiagalelei finished with 2,246 passing yards, just nine touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 2021. True freshman Cade Klubnik could push the presumed starter if things don’t go as planned.
Luckily enough, Clemson will be able to rely upon its running game with both of its running backs returning from a season ago in Kobe Pace and Shipley. The two combined for 1,380 yards and 17 touchdowns last season. The Tigers lose their leading wide receiver in Justyn Ross (514 yards and three touchdowns) but return all of their other key contributors at the position.
Defensively, the Tigers lost their top two tacklers in James Skalski and Baylon Spector. But FSU still has to worry about defensive end Myles Murphy (eight sacks), linebacker Trenton Simpson (6.5 sacks), defensive end Xavier Thomas (4.5 sacks), defensive end KJ Henry (four sacks), among others. Clemson’s defensive unit could prove to be too challenging for the Seminoles after playing a tough NC State team on the road the week prior.
Prediction: Clemson 23, FSU 16
vs. Georgia Tech, Oct. 29
For FSU, there will be nothing like coming back to the friendly confines of Doak Campbell Stadium after a much-needed bye week. Thankfully, the Seminoles will be facing a struggling Georgia Tech program. The Yellow Jackets are led on offense by quarterback Jeff Sims (1,981 passing yards, 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 2021).
Their leading rusher from a season ago, Jahmyr Gibbs, transferred to Alabama. Thankfully for the Yellow Jackets, they return leading receiver Malachi Carter.
Defensively, Georgia Tech had one of the worst passing defenses in the entire country last season. To make matters worse, it lost one of its top defensive ends in Jordan Dominick to Arkansas and Jared Ivey. Head coach Geoff Collins could potentially be fighting for his job when he arrives in Tallahassee. The Yellow Jackets will have played Clemson, Ole Miss, UCF, Pittsburgh and Virginia before they face FSU.
Prediction: FSU 38, Georgia Tech 17
at Miami, Nov. 5
By our projections, Florida State will enter Hard Rock Stadium with a 5-3 record and gaining confidence after navigating through the first half of their schedule. However, rival Miami will stand in FSU’s way. The talk of the offseason for Miami has been the hire of former Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal and the emergence of quarterback Tyler Van Dyke (2,931 yards passing, 25 touchdowns and six interceptions in 2021).
However, new offensive coordinator Josh Gattis has a tendency to run the ball at a higher rate. As offensive coordinator at Michigan in 2021, the Wolverines averaged 214 rushing yards per game. The Hurricanes return speedster Jaylan Knighton (eight touchdowns in 2021) and bring in Ole Miss transfer Henry Parrish.
The loss of wide receiver Charleston Rambo (1,172 yards and seven touchdowns in 2021) could loom large. The Hurricanes have major questions on both sides of the line of scrimmage. But one specific player to monitor on their defensive line is Leonard Taylor.
Linebacker Corey Flagg Jr. (60 tackles), linebacker Waynmon Steed (55 tackles) and defensive back Tyrique Stevenson (43 tackles) are players to watch for the Miami defense. With Miami’s uncertainty at wide receiver as well as in the trenches, the Seminoles will do just enough to escape with a crucial road victory.
Prediction: FSU 28, Miami 27
Featured image courtesy of Florida State athletics