Seminoles to Watch: 2023 Orange Bowl

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Seminoles to Watch: 2023 Orange Bowl

Tate Rodemaker (Photo: FSU Athletics)

Keon Coleman (WR #4) – The Michigan State transfer has proven to be one of the best portal pickups of the season and has solidified himself as one of the top receivers in the country. In his first season in Tallahassee, Coleman has led the Seminoles in receptions (50), yards (658), and touchdowns (11). The lengthy receiver has nine more touchdown grabs than the next closest receiver, making Coleman the Noles’ most dangerous redzone threat. Without Jordan Travis and Johnny Wilson, expect Coleman to be the centerpiece of Florida State’s offense.

Trey Benson (RB #3) – Benson has been exceptional as the Seminoles’ lead back in 2023, having recorded 156 carries for 905 yards along with 14 touchdowns. The Noles’ ground game has run through the junior back, decimating teams due to their rushing attack all season. Florida State, as expected, has leaned on Benson even more since Jordan Travis broke his leg. If the Noles look to upset the Bulldogs in Miami, Benson will have to have a monster performance both on the ground and through the air. FSU’s Orange Bowl opportunity will be dictated by Benson’s performance.





Tate Rodemaker (QB #18) – Rodemaker has had the impossible challenge of replacing Jordan Travis’ production. In relief duty this season, the Valdosta High School product has thrown for 510 yards, five touchdowns, and zero interceptions. After picking up his first start against Florida in the Swamp, Rodemaker has been sidelined due to a concussion, being unable to compete in the ACC Championship. With over a month of rest, Rodemaker will face his toughest challenge to date in dealing with an elite Georgia defense. If Florida State expects to leave Hard Rock Stadium with a win, Rodemaker will have to generate some success in the air, and most importantly, have zero turnovers.

Tatum Bethune (LB #15) – Bethune returns home to Miami to take on the Bulldogs in what will be his final collegiate football game. The UCF transfer is the Noles’ leading tackler this season with 71. In order to slow down the Bulldogs’ offense, Bethune will have to showcase his sideline-to-sideline range and limit Georgia’s potent rushing attack. As one of the leaders on the Seminoles’ defense, Bethune will certainly be outraged by the College Football Playoff’s decision to leave the undefeated ACC Champs out of the playoff; however, beating an elite Georgia team can not only prove the committee’s decision wrong but also salvage the Noles’ season.

Jared Verse (DL #5) – Verse, a projected first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, opted to return to Florida State for one final season. The talented pass rusher has put up nearly identical stats this year as compared to last, with 41 total tackles along with nine sacks so far this season. Florida State must put pressure on Carson Beck to have a chance in this game, and nobody is better in garnet and gold in doing so than Jared Verse. Being aware of where No. 5 lines up across the defensive front will be a priority for the Bulldogs.





Jarrian Jones (DB #7) – Jones has been Florida State’s most productive cornerback in terms of interceptions this season with three in 13 games. The Noles are set to face the most prolific passing attack they have seen all season since facing the LSU Tigers in Week One; therefore, Jones will be targeted consistently, despite his skillset. Jones and the Seminoles understand that they must limit the Bulldogs’ offensive possessions as well as force multiple turnovers to win this game. The ball-hawking defensive back will be a prominent factor toward Florida State’s defensive efficiency when the Bulldogs and Seminoles square off in Miami.

Mike Norvell (HC) – Norvell has done a miraculous job turning around Florida State’s program since the disastrous tenure of former head coach Willie Taggert. Norvell’s Seminoles became the first Power 5 conference champions to not be rewarded for their undefeated regular season by the College Football Playoff. There is certainly frustration and animosity brewing from that decision, but it is Norvell’s responsibility to get his team focused and ready to play a Bulldog team that also feels disrespected by the committee’s final rankings. Finding a way to slow down the Bulldogs’ dominant offense while moving the ball with a backup quarterback against Georgia’s elite defense will come down to Norvell’s scheme.

Bobby Bowden led Florida State to a pair of national championships, including the 1993 title, which was clinched with an 18-16 victory over the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the Orange Bowl.

Florida State’s most successful professional golfing alum is Seminole All-American Brooks Koepka, who has won five majors – three PGA Championships and two U.S. Opens.

Florida State boasted a pair of two-sport standouts in the ‘80s & ‘90s – All-American Deion Sanders (football and baseball) and Heisman winner Charlie Ward (football and basketball).





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