Rix returns for the defending ACC champions along with sophomore Fabian Walker, who received a mostly unpleasant baptism of fire as the Sugar Bowl starter.
Jones led the ACC with 104.2 rushing yards per game, and Craphonso
Thorpe, Dominic Robinson, P.K. Sam and Chris
Davis man a first-rate wideout corps. The offensive line needs four
The Seminoles' defense returns virtually intact. Darnell
Womble and Travis Johnson comprise a formidable
defensive tackle rotation. Linebackers Kendyll Pope and
Boulware are tackling machines. Cornerbacks Stanford
Samuels and Bryant McFadden shared the team lead with
three interceptions apiece, and Samuels ran one back 82 yards to paydirt
The 2003 Noles will host Miami and visit Notre
Dame. In the conference, Maryland and NC State are home
games; the Virginia
contest is in Charlottesville.
Success: Bobby Bowden's winning percentage is .800 at Florida
State, .775 overall.
Holiday cheer: Over the last 18 years, the Seminoles are 144 in
Dominance: Since joining the ACC 11 years ago, Florida State is 835 in league games.
2002 results: 95 (71 ACC)
Bowl Game: Lost to Georgia 26-13 in Sugar Bowl
Returning starters: 4 offense, 11 defense, placekicker
A. 30 at North
S. 6 Maryland
S. 13 Georgia Tech
S. 20 Colorado
S. 27 at Duke
O. 11 Miami
O. 18 at Virginia
O. 25 Wake
N. 1 at Notre Dame
N. 8 at Clemson
N. 15 NC State
N. 29 at Florida
Schedule Analysis: One of the toughest in the country. There are
six BIGGIES on the FSU slate this year Miami, Notre Dame and Florida
non-league and Maryland, Virginia and NC State in the ACC. Three of
those six are on the road. The Noles have open dates before Miami and
Florida, which should help. Closing the season with three of four on the
road (two being ND and Florida) is not ideal. Oh, and by the way, don't
forget about a non-league visit from Colorado in September.
Final Word: The good news is the defense returns in tact. The bad
news is it surrendered 29.4 points a game last season. How much better
will it be? With the schedule the Noles will face, it will have to be
significantly better. A bigger question may be whether or not Chris
Rix can embrace the leadership role on offense. The talent, as
always, will be there for the Noles. The chemistry needs to follow suit.
#16: The Florida State Seminoles
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