Way-too-early look at FSU Football's 2022 schedule
As you finish your holiday shopping and wait for college games to be played (or not played due to COVID protocols), we decided to take an early peek ahead to the opponents on tap for Florida State's 2022 football schedule.
The dates for the ACC games are still not yet known, and there is plenty of movement still expected in the transfer portal -- perhaps even in the coaching ranks.
But based on what we know now, here's a very early look at the Seminoles' 2022 foes from a big-picture standpoint:
Have there been changes made on the coaching staff?
Will the QB and top offensive weapons be returning?
What about the top tacklers and sack leaders?
This is a very cursory glance, with the 2022 season still eight months away, but it's interesting to note that all three of the Seminoles' non-conference FBS opponents -- LSU, Florida and Louisiana -- will be breaking in new head coaches and new starting quarterbacks next season.
The ACC schedule, meanwhile, will feature a combination of familiar and not-so-familiar faces.
So with that said, away we go:
Aug. 27 vs. Duquensne -- FSU opens the season at home against FCS opponent Duquesne. No offense to the Dukes, but we're not going to spend much time on them right now. FCS rosters are even more fluid than those at the FBS level during the transfer portal era.
Sept. 4 vs. LSU in New Orleans -- The Tigers have a new head coach in Brian Kelly. They also will have a new quarterback now that Max Johnson has transferred to Texas A&M. It's not yet known officially, but the speculation is that leading rusher Tyrion Davis-Price will declare for the NFL Draft. Also gone will be leading tackler Damone Clark, who racked up a staggering 135 tackles and 15.5 tackles for loss this season. Second-leading tackler Micah Baskerville is also expected to leave, but nothing official.
Nov. 19 vs. Louisiana -- The Ragin' Cajuns also will have a new head coach in Michael Desormeaux, who replaces Billy Napier (see below). Desormeaux has been on the Louisiana staff for six years and was promoted from co-offensive coordinator. Star QB Levi Lewis will definitely be leaving, and with a coaching staff turnover there could be other departures.
Nov. 26 vs. Florida -- Like LSU and Louisiana, the Gators will have a new head coach and new quarterback next season. Napier takes over for the fired Dan Mullen, and Emory Jones has hit the transfer portal. The Gators also will have to replace top WR Jacob Copeland, who has entered the portal. It's not yet known if leading tackler Mohamoud Diabate will return in 2022, but second-leading tackler Trey Dean is expected to leave. Top sack producer Zachary Carter is also moving on.
Miami (road) -- The Hurricanes will have a new coaching staff with Mario Cristobal replacing Manny Diaz. Impressive young QB Tyler Van Dyke returns, along with RB Jaylan Knighton, but star WR Charleston Rambo is headed to the NFL. Leading tackler Corey Flagg, Jr. returns in 2022, but top sack guy Zach McCloud will be gone.
Syracuse (road) -- Dino Babers is expected back as head coach but with several staff changes. Star RB Sean Tucker appears to be returning, but that's not set in stone. QB Garrett Shrader is coming back, but there's no guarantee he'll be the guy after an unimpressive 2021 campaign. Leading tackler Mykel Jones is returning, but leading pass-rusher Cody Roscoe has finished his Syracuse career.
N.C. State (road) -- Head coach Dave Doeren will return along with QB Devin Leary. RB Ricky Person declared for the NFL Draft, but the Wolfpack are still waiting on word from backfield mate Bam Knight. WR Emeka Emezie is going to NFL, but leading tackler Drake Thomas will be back, along with several other top performers on defense.
Louisville (road) -- Scott Satterfield is coming back in 2022 but with changes to his coaching staff. QB Malik Cunningham is coming back after an impressive season, and top RB Jalen Mitchell should be back, along with other key players on offense. Leading tackler C.J. Avery is moving on.
Boston College (home) -- Head coach Jeff Hafley is returning with QB Phil Jurkovec and his top weapons -- star receiver Zay Flowers and excellent running back Patrick Garwo. The Eagles also are returning several of their top tacklers on defense.
Clemson (home) -- Dabo Swinney isn't going anywhere, but he is replacing his offensive and defensive coordinators this offseason. Quarterback DJ Uiagalelei and the Tigers' top running backs are returning, but Clemson will have several other departures. Star WR Justyn Ross is moving on, along with top tacklers James Skalski and Baylon Spector. There are other Tigers also considering jumping to the NFL.
Georgia Tech (home) -- Head coach Geoff Collins returns after another disappointing season, but he also is making changes with several coordinator and assistant coach positions. Jeff Sims is coming back at QB, but star RB Jahmyr Gibbs has transferred to Alabama. It appears that the Yellow Jackets' top defensive players, other than safety Juanyeh Thomas, are returning. Thomas has declared for the NFL Draft.
Wake Forest (home) -- Dave Clawson is entrenched as the Demon Deacons' head coach, unless another school comes calling after their impressive ACC runner-up season. QB Sam Hartman will be back, but it's not yet known if RB Christian Beal-Smith or WR Jaquarii Roberson will return for their sixth seasons. Leading tackler Luke Masterson was a super senior, so he will be moving on.