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.
In what will be a 4-part series, we’ll be predicting the result of each contest for the Seminoles. We begin with a pivotal 3-game stretch to open the year:
vs. Duquesne, Aug. 27
The Duquesne Dukes went 7-4 and had a 5-2 record in the Northeast Conference in 2021. They went 1-1 against FBS opponents last season with a blowout loss to TCU and a hard-fought win over Ohio. The Dukes are led by sophomore quarterback Darius Perrantes. Last season, Perrantes passed for 1,620 yards to go along with 17 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
Perrantes completed 60% of his passes and likes to get the football out of his hands quickly with the short passing game. Leading rusher Billy Lucas returns as well after tallying 703 yards rushing and six touchdowns in 2021. Thoughts of Jacksonville State from last season may haunt those in garnet and gold, but this is one the Seminoles should win easily.
Prediction: FSU 59, Duquesne 6
vs. LSU, Sept. 4 (New Orleans)
Former Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly will begin his tenure at LSU against the Seminoles in New Orleans. This new coaching staff will most certainly bring challenges. With Myles Brennan walking away from football, the Tigers’ offense will most likely be led by Arizona State quarterback transfer Jayden Daniels.
Daniels completed 65% of his passes for 2,381 yards to go along with 10 touchdowns and 10 interceptions for the Sun Devils in 2021. As a true freshman in 2019, Daniels helped lead Arizona State past FSU in the Sun Bowl, 20-14.
LSU will likely be without running back John Emery, who will be serving a 2-game suspension related to academic issues. Penn State transfer Noah Cain and Armoni Goodwin will be the backs to monitor.
Daniels will look to target wide receiver Kayshon Boutte early and often. Boutte finished with 38 receptions for 509 yards and nine touchdowns last season.
Defensively, BJ Ojulari and linebacker Micah Basketville are two to watch. Ojulari tallied seven sacks last season while Basketville had 83 tackles. Getting LSU early in the season with a new coaching staff could end up being advantageous for the Seminoles.
Prediction: FSU 24, LSU 20
at Louisville, Sept. 16
Louisville quarterback Malik Cunningham had more 4,000 total yards, 39 total touchdowns and only six interceptions in 2021. While Louisville lost wide receivers Jordan Watkins to Ole Miss and Tyler Harrell to Alabama, the Cardinals will be returning four of their five starting offensive linemen. Running back Jalen Mitchell, who had 722 yards and five touchdowns last season, returns as well.
Tight end Marshon Ford, who had a team-high 550 yards and two touchdowns, for the Cardinals last season also returns as does leading sack man Yasir Abdullah. Abdullah tallied 10 sacks last season.
While FSU has a bye week to prepare for this game after the LSU contest, Louisville’s prolific offense could spell doom for the Seminoles. Having a rowdy Friday night crowd could also prove to be a difference-maker.
Prediction: Louisville 31, FSU 28
Featured image courtesy of Florida State athletics