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Florida State Football: Game-by-Game Predictions for 2021

Mike Norvell, Florida State Seminoles Football

Mike Norvell is hoping his second season leading the Seminoles goes much better than his first

It’s been a rough time recently for fans in Tallahassee.

Florida State football is coming off of three consecutive losing seasons. Earlier this month, the community said goodbye to a legend as former head coach Bobby Bowden died at 91 following a bout with pancreatic cancer.

Second-year head coach Mike Norvell hopes this fall will begin a turnaround for the program. After a 3-6 finish to 2020, the Seminoles notched a top-25 recruiting class and brought in a number of notable transfers to include quarterback McKenzie Milton, wide receiver Andrew Parchment, defensive lineman Keir Thomas and defensive back Jammie Robinson among others.

Related: Florida State 2021 Season Preview and Prediction

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FSU won’t have an easy schedule as the slate includes a home date with Notre Dame and trips to North Carolina, Clemson and Florida:

Florida State Football Game-by-Game Predictions for 2021

Florida State Football: Game-by-Game Predictions for 2021

Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)
Provided the Seminoles get improved quarterback play out of Jordan Travis or McKenzie Milton, I think coach Mike Norvell’s second team in Tallahassee will show marked improvement. The schedule does not provide many breaks, as Miami and North Carolina dot the slate in crossover play, along with non-conference games versus Notre Dame and Florida. Also, Florida State gets toss-up matchups against Boston College and Wake Forest on the road. While the schedule is tough, the personnel was bolstered by a handful of transfers on both sides of the ball, and the roster still has better players than last year’s 3-6 mark would suggest. The defense allowed 36 points a game last season but improvement should be noticeable this fall. Assuming that transpires, quarterback play and continued development will hold the keys to a postseason bid in Norvell’s second year.

Mark Ross (@AthlonMarkR)
It was a rough debut for Florida State head coach Mike Norvell, but it also was far from a normal season. With more time to put his stamp on the program and for the players to acclimate to the coaches and vice versa, I expect the Seminoles to be a far more competitive team in 2021. The wild card is the quarterback position as McKenzie Milton could help transform this offense, but it's also been nearly three years since he was on the field. So measured expectations are advisable when it comes to projecting FSU this fall, especially against a schedule that opens with Notre Dame and includes road games against Clemson, Florida and North Carolina. I do think Norvell will get the Noles back to a bowl but their margin for error is still relatively thin.

Mike Ferguson (@MikeWFerguson)
Most seem to be happy with the progress that head coach Mike Norvell has made with the program thus far, but 2021 could very well shape up to be another difficult year. The schedule is not an easy one for FSU and it could still struggle to win games even with significant improvement. Finishing with a winning record would be considered a success for the Seminoles this season, but that is not a given. FSU faces four teams that played in New Year's Six bowls a year ago and five that finished ranked in the AP Poll. For FSU to have a successful season, it will need to find a way to beat the Wake Forests, Louisvilles, NC States, and Boston Colleges of the world.