Football is back, and it couldn’t be coming any sooner for the Florida State Seminoles.
Florida State experience a very disappointing 2017 season after being picked to make the College Football Playoffs during the preseason. The Seminoles ended up just barely .500 and playing in the Independence Bowl.
But the redemption year begins for Florida State in its spring game on April 14.
Find kickoff time, information and a preview for the game below:
Florida State spring football kickoff time
Time: 6 p.m. ET
Date: Saturday, April 14
Location: Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, Florida
What TV channel is the Florida State spring football game on?
The Florida State spring football game can only be watched online.
How can I watch the Florida State spring football game online?
The Florida State spring football game will be streaming on ACCNExtra.
Florida State spring football game preview
The Seminoles had the most disappointing season in the country last year, but with several new faces, including new coach Willie Taggart, Florida State is rejuvenated and its spring game is the most highly-anticipated in the ACC this month.
The biggest storyline in Tallahassee is the coaching change. Jimbo Fisher experienced a ton of success in eight years with the Seminoles, but everything fell apart when starting quarterback Deondre Francois suffered a patella tendon tear in his left knee during the season opener against Alabama. Florida State began the season 1-3 and dropped to 2-5 after sustaining an embarrassing, 35-3, loss to Boston College in October.
Fisher rallied his players to win three of the next four, including a, 38-22, victory against Florida, but he didn’t stick around to finish the season. Fisher accepted a 10-year, $75 million fully guaranteed contract with Texas A&M on Dec. 1, which was one day before Florida State faced Louisiana-Monroe in a rescheduled game.
Taggart left Oregon after one season to arrive in Tallahassee at what he called in December “his dream job.” In spring practice, he’s brought a ton of energy, which has been very refreshing in the minds of many Seminoles players and fans.
Other than energy, Taggart is also expected to bring fresh ideas to an offense that generally grew stale under Fisher in his last couple seasons. That will be on display for the first time in the Florida State spring game on Saturday, April 14.
Whether or not Francois is ready to return next week is the other major storyline heading into the Florida State spring game. Still recovering from a patella tendon, he may not be cleared to play.
Heading into last season, Francois was expected to be the top quarterback in the ACC and perhaps even a Heisman Trophy candidate. But recovering from a patella tendon tear is said to be the hardest injury to return from in football, and after a rocky offseason that included a domestic violence accusation, there are questions about whether Francois will still be the starting quarterback.
If he isn’t, James Blackman is the next-best choice. As a true freshman, he began starting for Florida State in the second game of last season. He experienced a lot of growing pains, leading the Seminoles to a 6-5 record, but Blackman began to look much better towards the end of the season.
In the final two games of 2017, he completed 32 of 48 (66.7 percent) of his passes for 430 yards and 5 touchdowns with 2 interceptions. However, it’s important to note those contests were against Louisiana-Monroe and then Southern Miss in the Independence Bowl. Blackman threw for more than 200 yards and zero interceptions against just one ACC opponent.
As a freshman in 2016, Francois threw for 3,350 yards, 20 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. He also completed 58.8 percent of his passes that season but averaged 8.4 yards per attempt and chipped in 5 rushing touchdowns too.
Once Francois returns — if he is back in time — and enters a competition with Blackman, it will be one of the top quarterback battles in the country.