By: Alex Turko: @aturko_23
Florida State capped off its12-win season with an ACC Title and a BCS Orange Bowl victory. This was a great way to send off the seniors that have brought this football program back to relevance. Through all of the coaching changes this postseason, the BCS victory revealed a couple of very positive signs for the future of the Seminole program.
1) The aggressive defensive scheme will be lethal with these players
To me the most exciting part of the NIU victory was that interim defensive coordinator, D.J. Eliot, brought consistent pressure. Even an untrained eye could see that the speed of these defensive players rivals the likes of Alabama and LSU, and a blitzing scheme fully utilizes their athletic abilities. In Stoops’ zone-based system, these athletic freaks were made one-dimensional, as they had to stay in their zone instead of flying around the football. I know Eliot won’t be the defensive coordinator next season, but he did break the ice for future defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, who also likes to blitz opposing offenses.
2) Recruiting efforts have paid off with all of the talented youngsters
Ronald Darby, a true freshman cornerback, has played often this season and his impressive efforts have earned him a spot on the freshman All-American team. Mario Edwards Jr., another true freshman, earned two starts at defensive end in the final two games, replacing injured Tank Carradine. During these two starts, along with extensive playing time during the regular season, Edwards has shown glimpses of greatness and has a very bright future. Many other young players have played meaningful snaps throughout the season and despite losing some talented players to the NFL draft, the stellar recruiting classes of the past will prove to replenish the roster with more young stars.
3) Troubled freshman punter shows improvement
Cason Beatty certainly has struggled this season with plenty of disappointing performances and below average statistics. Many lose sight that he is just a freshman because at such a prestigious program fans expect positive results immediately. Well, the climb up to his potential began late in the season including in the Orange Bowl where he punted the ball inside of the 20-yardine 4 times, and had a long of 46 yards. Special teams are so important to the recipe for a teams’ success, and Beatty will help the special teams avoid being the team’s weak link.
4) Jimbo Fisher knows how to prepare for bowl games
It’s no longer beginners luck for coach Fisher in bowl games. This Nick Saban disciple has been known to be a perfectionist, and with the extra time bowl season provides, Fisher has been able to win his 1st three bowl games. It is well documented that Fisher is a film-room junkie and this obsession has proven beneficial to the Seminoles bowl performances.
The Orange Bowl victory was an exceptional way to end this season, and just enough time has passed to get some sleep after the disappointing loss to the Gators. The future looks bright for the Seminoles, and with a new quarterback at the helm, Seminole fans across the country are ready to take the next step.
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