The Seminoles open the season against two Division I-AA opponents, a schedule designed to minimize the impact of multiple suspensions: WR Preston Parker for an arrest and 10 key players — DTs Budd Thacker, Paul Griffin and Justin Mincey, DE Neefy Moffett, LBs Dekoda Watson and Mister Alexander, CB Patrick Robinson, TE Caz Piurowski, RB Marcus Sims and WR Richard Goodman — for their involvement in an academic misconduct scandal. That means the Seminoles will be relying heavily on freshmen, redshirt freshmen and walk-ons. That's not to mention a first-time starter at quarterback in Christian Ponder, right. "We're trying to prepare for everything we saw on tape from last year," Catamounts defensive coordinator Matt Pawlowski said. "But it's still an unknown quality going in as to what they're going to try to do and what their mind-set is." Western Carolina opened with a 35-0 win over NAIA Shorter (Ga.) on Aug. 28.
Brian Landman, Times staff writer
WATCH OUT FOR …
Senior TB Antone Smith has underachieved but looked his most dynamic during the preseason. How well he runs, especially behind an inexperienced offensive line, looms large for the Seminoles.
Florida State (0-0) vs. Western Carolina (1-0), 6 p.m.