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    Column: State Of The Seminole Union - Vol. 2

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    I am the eternal Florida State football optimist.

     

    Ever since the Dynasty Years, I have boasted and bragged every off-season that the upcoming year would be the Garnet and Gold's return to glory.  But ever since the 2001 season, I have been proved wrong by early January.

     

    There's been some highs here and there and some definite lows, but certainly FSU football is not back to where it needs to be ... yet.

     

    As a Seminole optimist, I pride myself on my ability to put positive spins on the rough times throughout these down years and my knack for spinning has come in handy this week. After all, there weren't too many things to be excited about last Saturday and the days since.

    I am not going to rehash too much of what happened against Jacksonville State. If you love FSU like I do, you know what happened.

     

    It was the perfect storm - quite literally. Very short week after the slugfest that was FSU vs. Miami 2009? Check. Lesser opponent with a deceptive roster full of BCS-caliber athletes that through various reasons found themselves as members of the Gamecocks? Check. Angry weather that affected the game's attendance? Double check.

     

    That's a lot of factors working against FSU and the Seminoles were very lucky to escape with a win.

     

    Remember what happened to Michigan when the Wolverines lost to Appalachian State a few years back? That's what the Seminoles avoided Saturday.

     

    Still, one would think that FSU did lose to Jacksonville State. The negativity and finger-pointing amongst FSU fans is rampant and the blame for a shaky start to the season is spread all over the place. Even the national media is getting in on the bashing.

     

    It's time to move on and concentrate on what lies ahead. The Seminoles have a mighty task on their hands Saturday night way out in Provo, Utah against a BYU team that boasts a top-10 ranking and staggering 18-game winning streak on its home field.

     

    The weekend after that? USF comes to town looking prove they can hang with the big boys in the state.

     

    Against the Cougars on Saturday, we will get to see what the Seminoles can do when everyone is counting them out. For the young players that dot the roster, this will be their first taste of adversity and hostile crowds and the way they respond to those pressures will go a long way towards the outcome of the game.

     

    Can FSU finally generate a consistent a pass rush like they started to do in the second half against the Gamecocks? Can the secondary bounce back after its early-season woes? Both of those are critical questions that will be answered Monday and if the answer to both is "yes" then expect the Seminoles to earn the upset.

     

    Saturday's matchup will be a sod game for the Seminoles as they hit the road as underdogs.

     

    As team captain, here's hoping Dekoda Watson gets to bring a chunk of grass back home to Tallahassee.

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