An in-depths couting report of the Florida State Seminoles

NoleDigest's Wayne McGahee provides a detailed scouting report of Syracuse football's next opponent, the Florida State Seminoles.

Florida State hosts Syracuse for the second time since the Orange moved to the ACC. The Seminoles are 6-1 on the season and coming off a brutal road loss to Georgia Tech.

Scouting the Offense

The Seminoles’ offense is extremely multiple. They will be in the I-formation on one play, and then go five wide the next. Jimbo Fisher is an excellent play caller, and when the Florida State offense executes they can score in a hurry.

Projected Starters


Everett Golson


Dalvin Cook


Kermit Whitfield


Travis Rudolph


Bobo Wilson


Ryan Izzo


Roderick Johnson


Chad Mavety


Ryan Hoefeld


Kareem Are


Derrick Kelly

Key Players

QB Everett GolsonGolson has been decent for the Seminoles this season. He’s not a guy that the Florida State offense can lean on in crunch time, but he’s done a good job of managing the game and not turning the ball over.

RB Dalvin Cook:  Cook is easily the best player on the Florida State on Florida State roster. His hamstring has limited his production for the past few games, but he is already over 1,000 yards this season.

WR Kermit WhitfieldWhitfield has emerged as Florida State’s best receiver so far this season. His worldclass speed makes him a dangerous player every time he touches the football.


The Florida State offense is adept at ending their own drives due to penalties, dropped passes, and poor offensive line play. If Syracuse can stop the run Florida State has trouble moving the football. The Seminoles have also struggled in the red zone this season.


This Florida State offense is built around one player. They go as Dalvin Cook goes. If he is able to run the football effectively the Florida State offense will be hard to stop. If he is not able to run effectively the Seminoles could have trouble scoring.

Scouting the Defense

Florida State runs a base 4-2-5 defense, but will play in many different formations. They do a good job of masking their blitzes before the snap, and will have many different players blitz throughout the game.

Projected Starters


Demarcus Walker


Nile Lawrence-Stample


Derrick Nnadi


Josh Sweat


Ro’Derrick Hoskins


Reggie Northrup


Javien Elliot


Jalen Ramsey


Lamarcus Brutus


Derwin James


Marquez White

Key Players

CB Jalen Ramsey: Ramsey will be a Top-5/10 pick in the 2016 NFL draft. He has played three different positions in the three years he has been at Florida State, and has been dominant in every role. He’s extremely versatile with great instincts.

DE Josh SweatA 5-star true freshman that’s already living up to the hype. He’s turned the corner over the past few games, and has emerged as arguably the best player on the Florida State defensive line.

DE Demarcus Walker: Walker has done a complete 180 from last season, and was Florida State’s defensive MVP from the first half of the season. He leads the team in sacks and tackles for loss.

DB Derwin James: Another 5-star true freshman that has lived up to the hype. James is an excellent pass rusher that’s played more as a safety over the last few weeks.  


The Florida State defense has been a strength of the team, but the injuries are piling up for the Seminoles. The back seven has been hit the hardest. Tyrell Lyons is out for the season, Terrance Smith has been out since the Wake Forest game, and Reggie Northrup is still not fully recovered from an ACL tear last season. Defensive back Trey Marshall is out for the season with a torn bicep, and safety Nate Andrews has missed multiple games this season. Defensive back Tyler Hunter missed the Georgia Tech game with a concussion and his status is up in the air.


The Florida State defense has been dominant against the run this season, but has been vulnerable against the pass with all the injuries. Still this is a team that is allowing just 56-percent of passes to be completed and just 3.73 yards per carry to Power-5 teams.

Scouting the Special Teams

Projected Starters


Roberto Aguayo


Cason Beatty


Cason Beatty


Bobo Wilson


Jalen Ramsey


Kermit Whitfield

Key Players

K Roberto Aguayo: Aguayo is a former Lou Groza winner, and is considered to be the best kicker in college football.

KR Kermit Whitfield: Whitfield has world-class speed and is known for his kickoff return in the 2013 National Championship that gave Florida State their first lead of the game.

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