Opening Acts

Florida State concluded its regular season last Saturday, losing to rival Florida 20-13 at Doak Campbell Stadium. The defeat left the Seminoles with more questions than answers, starting with the coaching staff. Still, it's not all doom and gloom. Far from it. FSU had plenty of bright spots as well, especially with a number of younger players who stepped in and performed well.

A quick look at Florida State's depth chart suggests the future looks bright for the Seminoles.

Of the 47 players listed, 29 are underclassemen. FSU loses 18 seniors from that depth chart -- nine on offense, nine on defense.

Of course, the Seminoles will lose its top two receivers in Chauncey Stovall and Craphonso Thorpe;

Its leading scorer in kicker Xavier Beitia;

Five of its top 10 tacklers in rover Jerome Carter, tackle Travis Johnson, cornerback Bryant McFadden, linebacker Ray Piquion and backup rover Claudius Osei; in addition to end Chauncey Davis, who is tied for the team lead in sacks.

And four offensive line starters in split tackle Alex Barron, tight guard Bobby Meeks, tight tackle Ray Willis, and tight end Paul Irons.

Another senior on that depth chart list is quarterback Chris Rix, who could regain his starter's role for the Seminoles' bowl game following a solid relief performance against the Gators.

A quick look at FSU's freshman class, and 10 players have played this season --kicker Gary Cismesia,; linebackers Jae Thaxton and Lawrence Timmons; defensive back J.R. Bryant; fullback Joe Surratt; tailbacks Lamar Lewis and Jamaal Edwards; offensive guard Jacky Claude; receiver De'Cody Fagg; and quarterback Drew Weatherford.

Weatherford, of course, will apply for a medical hardship after suffering an ankle sprain on his first and only collegiate play against North Carolina on Oct. 2.

Cismesia had made the first six field-goal attempts of his career, two shy of the school record set by all-time leading scorer Derek Schmidt, before misfiring on two attempts against the Gators.

Cismesia tied a school record for field goals in a game by nailing 5-of-5 against Duke in his first career start on Nov. 6.

Thaxton has blocked two punts, becoming the first Seminole to block multiple punts in a single season since Tommy Polley blocked two punts in 1999.

Lewis and Edwards combined on 21 rushing attempts for 84 yards and one touchdown. Both had double-digit long runs -- Lewis 17 yards, Edwards 11.

Bryant was in the two-deep rotation against Florida last Saturday.


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