Game One: vs. Murray State
WIN. 47-3. The first of two 'tune-ups', Florida State should have little trouble handling the Racer's. This will be an opportunity for the offense to start rolling as well as working in some of the younger players. Achieving a shut-out on defense is an attainable goal.
Game Two: vs. Savannah State
WIN. 61-0. Should be more of the same as game one.
Game Three: vs. Wake Forest
WIN. 38-10. The first of back to back 'revenge' games for the 'Noles. Wake Forst is a little weaker than a year ago and this time the game is in Tallahassee. FSU should have little trouble moving the football. Wake always has a couple of special things offensively for FSU and that is how they manage 10 points in this one.
Game Four: vs. Clemson
WIN. 31-21. On paper this will be the toughest test in the regular season for the defense. Sammy Watkins is suspended for the first two games, but will play in this one and should be 'fresher' because of it. Tahj Boyd, DeAndre Hopkins, Andre Ellington, and Brandon Ford are other offensive players for the Tiger's than can do damage. Clemson's defense is not nearly as strong as FSU's and that is the difference here.
Huge game in the ACC title race and the home team has tended to win this one.
Game Five: at South Florida
WIN. 27-14. We see some potential scary moments in this game as it is the first road test and USF players will play this one like it is the Super Bowl. The talent edge is heavily tilted in FSU's favor however and that allows FSU to pull away late in this game. USF will have perhaps their best defense in 2012.
Game Six: at North Carolina State
LOSS. 27-24. We have to pick one loss on the schedule and this is the TYPE of game that FSU has lost over the past decade. Is FSU the better team? Absolutely they are, but this is Coach O'Brien's best team at NCSU and traditionally they play FSU well at home.
Game Seven: vs. Boston College
WIN. 42-7. This should be one of the easier conference games of the season. BC does not have the weapons to hurt FSU on either side of the ball.
Game Eight: at Miami
WIN. 35-21. The 'Canes played FSU quite a bit tougher than expected a year ago, but this is certainly a re-building year in Coral Gables and Jimbo Fisher has had his team ready for the key in-state battles. Miami comes out ready to play, but the talent difference is just too much in this rivalry game.
Game Nine: vs. Duke
WIN. 48-14. Duke has gotten better, but they simply do not have the horses to compete here. FSU gets up early and puts their foot on the Blue Devil's throat.
Game Ten: at Virginia Tech
WIN. 21-17. This will be a night game in Lane Stadium where VT is very tough to beat. For FSU it would probably be better to play this game in the first third of the season as VT tends to improve throughout the year. The FSU defense is just too good and the offense makes just enough plays to pull this one out. There very well could be a re-match in the ACC Title Game.
Game Eleven: at Maryland
WIN. 50-3. The Terp's look like the worst team in the conference on paper, particularly after losing their starting QB. The loss of Danny O'Brien looks downright foolish right now. By this point in the season we expect the natives to be quite restless in College Park and there is a good chance that Maryland has packed it in.
Game Twelve: vs. UF
WIN. 28-7. FSU handled their neighbors to the South the past two years relatively easily. There is not any reason for that to change this year as they are the more talented team playing at home. E.J. Manuel has a big game in his final appearance at home and the game opens up in the second half. UF Head Coach Will Muschamp won't quit like his predecessor though, expect the Gator's to fight to the end.
Analysis: At 11-1 it would be all but certain for FSU to be playing in the ACC title game. There is a good chance that Miami AND UNC will NOT be able to represent the other side, thus FSU would be looking at either VT or GT in that title game.
We feel FSU would be favored in that game, perhaps by as much as 7-10 points.
The BIG question is if a win in that game will be 'enough' to play for ALL THE MARBLES......tough to know, but FSU will definitely need some 'help' in this scenario. An upset in the SEC Championship game could be just one of those things. Regardless, 12-1 would be A GIANT step in the right direction heading into the bowl game. Coach Fisher would move to 6-0 against Miami/UF as well.
Top Newcomer Offense: OL Menelik Watson
Top Newcomer Defense: DE Mario Edwards
Offensive MVP: QB E.J. Manuel
Defensive MVP: S Lamarcus Joyner
Top Rusher: Devonta Freeman
Most Sacks: Brandon Jenkins
Most Tackles: Christian Jones
Most Yards Receiving: Willie Haulstead