Coach: Bobby Bowden
250-59-4, 26 years
2001 Record: 8-4
at Duke WON 55-13
UAB WON 29-7
at North Carolina LOST 9-41
at Virginia WON 43-7
at Clemson WON 41-27
at Florida LOST 13-37
Virginia Tech WON 30-17
2001 Final Rankings
AP-15,   Coaches-15, BCS-UR
Young Chris Rix broke the freshman passing records in Seminole Country.
2002 Outlook

To be or not to be. That question will get answered in two key areas: the defensive back play and the pass rush. The Seminoles already have the tools necessary on the offensive side of the ball. The defense will be the defining edge. If Coach Bowden can find that edge, there is no reason at all the Seminoles won't be playing for a chance at all the marbles when the Florida game rolls around at the close of the regular season, which has been the case for the last eight seasons. Last year is certainly no indication that FSU has fallen from the elite for good. The Sunshine State schools do not fit that mold. Just way too much talent returning and the phenomenal recruiting classes continue to roll in. Out of all Top 10 teams for 2002, FSU has the most returning starters. What must be avoided is the disastrous repeat of the injury bug that swept through Tallahassee last fall, which killed an already inexperienced team. Chris Rix looks like he is maturing and will certainly have to avoid the many turnovers that plagued him early. The non-conference opponents are nasty with your staples of Florida and Miami, as well as a major addition of Notre Dame and Iowa State. September 26th is another date that should be noted, as FSU heads into Papa John's Stadium to face a tremendous Louisville team on Thursday night national TV. That ESPN special may be one of the best of all of the Thursday night listings. The Noles will return to national prominence this fall. The ACC looks to revert back to being a one-team conference.

Projected 2002 record: 13-1

Robert Morgan and Anquan Boldin did not participate in contact drills during the spring as they continued to rehabilitate their surgically repaired knees. The defense worked without defensive tackles Darnell Dockett and Travis Johnson and linebacker Kendyll Pope, who all sat out rehabbing following offseason surgeries. All are expected to return when preseason practice begins in August.
QB - 4 DL - 4
RB - 4 LB - 3.5
WR - 4.5 DB - 2.5
OL - 5 ..
Passing: Chris Rix, 165-286-13, 2734 Yards, 24 TD's

Rushing: Greg Jones, 134 att., 713 yds., 6 TD's

Receiving: Talman Gardner, 33 rec., 649 yds., 11 TD's

Scoring: Xavier Beitia, 13 FG, 44 PAT, 83 pts.

Punting: Chance Gwaltney, 53 punts, 40.1 avg.

Kicking: Xavier Beitia, 13-14 FG, 44-48 PAT, 83 pts.

Tackles: Kendyll Pope, 113 tot., 52 solo

Sacks: Alonzo Jackson, 5 sacks

Interceptions: Michael Boulware, 3 for 52 yds.

Kickoff returns: Craphonso Thorpe, 26 ret., 21.6 avg.

Punt returns: Dominic Robinson, 16 ret., 337 yards, 10.1 avg.

OFFENSE: William McCray-FB, Javon Walker-WR, Atrews Bell-WR, Carver Donaldson-TE
DEFENSE: Bradley Jennings-MLB, Abdual Howard-SS, Chris Hope-FS

Strengths: The basic coaching philosophy has always been that it all starts in the middle. If that is the case, Florida State is set with possibly one of the best offensive lines Coach Bowden has ever put on the field. The final results still remain to be seen, but no doubt the front wall is built with talent and experience. Experience? Try a group of all seniors from tight end to the tackle spot on the other side. Not just seniors, but huge talents. Brett Williams could be considered the leader of the group as he has performed extremely well against some of the nation's best defensive linemen over the course of the last three seasons. Both starting guards go 320 pounds or more. Montrae Holland was an all ACC performer last season and junior college transfer Milford Brown returns to man the other guard spot. Don't be surprised if up and coming tackle Ray Willis makes a strong push for starting duties. There are real positives everywhere on this side of the ball. Chris Rix solidified himself as the starter again through the spring and the Tallahassee faithful are sold on his merit. Only a sophomore, the California native looks to the next great Seminole quarterback. His targets at receiver will get a huge boost as Anquan Boldin, the best athlete on the field, returns from a knee injury that sidelined him last fall. Senior Robert Morgan falls into the same boat as he is still progressing from the same injury suffered only days apart from Boldin's injury last August. Plenty more talent abounds on the outside. Talman Gardner has the physical tools to be a great possession receiver and deep threat. Keep an eye on young P.K. Sam, who had a marvelous spring. The tailback spot could be the big difference as Greg Jones really came on to close out 2001. When we say big, we mean big. All 243 pounds of this load will be a nightmare for anybody that stands in his way. If the power doesn't get it done, the speed and agility might with Nick Maddox alternating in at tailback. Not to mention the freshman looking to possibly step in right away, as FSU signed some top rated prep running backs on signing day. The kicking game looks to be back to the Janikowski days of old with the X-man, Xavier Beitia, stepping in and hitting a solid 13 for 14 last year in field goal attempts, which was good enough to garner All-ACC recognition. Beitia is only a sophomore, the kicker position looks to be set for the next three years.


Concerns: The fullback spot is one giant question mark. William McCray has departed, Randy Golightly is no longer practicing with the team after he posted an eye opening season in 2000, and James Buchanan looks like he won't be able to go due to physical problems. That leaves a senior walk-on, Greg Tony, and a freshman that has been moved from linebacker, B.J. Dean, to battle for the duties. FSU has not gotten quality play out of the tight end spot over the last few seasons, in particular at catching the pigskin. So far, the tight end spot looks to be much the same for 2002. Although one could consider the offensive line to be stacked on an individual talent analysis, the unit just has not produced up to its expectations. The run blocking has been a major priority since the National Championship debacle in the Orange Bowl two seasons ago. The unit did make some good strides at the end of last season as the Noles started to show some signs of life in the rushing department, something that has been missing during their great run. The pressure is really on for the offensive line to produce more than it has. Almost a now or never situation with five starting seniors.


Returning Starters in Bold
QB Chris Rix-So Adrian McPherson-So
FB B.J. Dean-Fr Greg Tony-Sr
TB Greg Jones-Jr Nick Maddox-Sr
WR Craphonso Thorpe-So Anquan Boldin-Jr
WR Talman Gardner-Sr Robert Morgan-Sr
TE Patrick Hughes-Sr Paul Irons-So
OT Brett Williams-Sr Alex Barron-So
OG Milford Brown-Sr Matt Meinrod-Fr
C Antoine Mirambeau-Sr Andrew Henry-Kennon-Fr
OG Montrae Holland-Sr Bobby Meeks-So
OT Todd Williams-Sr Ray Willis-So
K Xavier Beitia-So ..

Strengths: The big difference people will notice about the Seminoles this year will be the defensive front line and the return of the great defensive end position, most notably in the pass rush department. Senior Alonzo Jackson has just been dominating through the spring and the depth has increased two-fold as opposed to a year ago. Keep an eye on young Eric Moore, who has high hopes for the breakout season fans have been waiting for. The middle of the line starts with Darnell Dockett. If there were a risk of losing an underclassman to the NFL next spring, Dockett would be the one, a superb run stuffer, one of the best in the business. Aiding his cause is the play of Jeff Womble and Travis Johnson, both of whom saw plenty of starting action last year with solid results. The depth at linebacker may still not be where coaches want, but Boulware and Pope are a huge factor.


Concerns: Two keys for this year's success will be as follows: defensive back play and the pass rush. The two almost went hand-in-hand last year as one could never do well without the other, and was the cause of much heartache in the not so typical 8-4 season of last fall. Defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews was quick to point out the situation of having to run mostly zone blitzes last year, which at best were far and few between, due to the fact there was not much confidence in the defensive back coverage. Cornerback U. has taken a hard hit from the days of old and even though the same players will still be suiting up, there just has to be a major improvement. Both safety positions have been left bare with the departures of Chris Hope and Abdual Howard. Maybe the biggest surprise of the spring was the emergence of Kyler Hall at safety and his ability to lay the wood on receivers. Not so far fetched is the feeling that incoming superstar recruit and local boy Pat Watkins, will need to play immediately. With the lack of defensive back play last year, the pass rush was non-existent up front. That will need to change if the Seminoles are to make their usual push for a national title. Finding a replacement for middle linebacker Bradley Jennings could prove tough. Jerel Hudson now holds the starting spot. However, he is way oversized and looks like he should be playing defensive tackle. The punting game is not exactly making the best of strides and could be a major thorn in the side if a consistent starter cannot be found.


Returning Starters in Bold
DE Alonzo Jackson-Sr Charles Howard-Jr
DT Darnell Dockett-Jr Travis Johnson-So
NG Jeff Womble-Jr O.J. Jackson-Sr
DE Kevin Emanuel-Jr Eric Moore-So
SLB Michael Boulware-Jr Ray Piquion-Fr
MLB Jerel Hudson-Sr Robert May-Sr
WLB Kendyll Pope-Jr Allen Augustin-Jr
CB Rufus Brown-Jr Dominic Robinson-So
CB Stanford Samuels-Jr Malcolm Tatum-Sr
SS Claudius Osei-So Jerome Carter-So
FS Kyler Hall-So Yohance Buchanan-Jr
P Chance Gwaltney-Sr Chris Hall-Fr


At 6'1 and 243 pounds, tailback Greg Jones will need to continue building on FSU's rushing success that finished out strong last year.

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