Ranking Jimbo Fisher's FSU teams - No. 7 is 2011

Gene Williams, Publisher
Warchant

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No. 7 - 2011 Football Season  

2011 Season By The Numbers:

Final Record: 9-4
Preseason/Final Ranking: No. 5 / No. 23
Bowl Game: Defeated Notre Dame, 18-14 (Champs Sports Bowl)
ACC Finish: 5-3 (tied No. 2 in Atlantic Division)
Versus Rivals: 2-1
Win streak: Five (10/15 – 11/12)
Losing streak: three (9/17 - 10/8)
Key players: LB Nigel Bradham, DE Brandon Jenkins, CB/PR Greg Reid, QB. EJ Manuel, K Dustin Hopkins






Season Wrap 

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Gene Williams / Warchant.com

There really isn’t any debate that 2011 was Jimbo Fisher’s most disappointing season as Florida State’s head football coach. With a final record of 9-4, this is the only Fisher-coached team that failed to reach the 10-win mark. The 2011 squad also fell well below expectations -- preseason No. 5 in the Coaches’ Poll but finished with a No. 23 ranking.

With a 2-3 start, 2011 is the only season where a Fisher team had a sub .500 record in October. There were also a couple of head-scratching upset losses, with much of the blame for those setbacks falling on the coaching staff. The loss to Wake Forest was particularly painful considering that the Demon Deacons finished the season with a 6-7 record.

* The War Room: Schedules, ACC Network, facilities, support staff and money

On the positive side, the ‘Noles finished out 2011 winning seven of the last eight, defeated the Gators in Gainesville for the first time since 2003, and closed out the campaign with an exciting win over Notre Dame in the Champs Sports Bowl.

Top five headlines from the 2011 season: 

1. Seminoles defeat the Gators in Gainesville for the first time since 2003

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Gene Williams / Warchant.com

For the first time in nearly a decade, Seminole players proudly toted a gator head inside the Swamp. The 21-7 final was somewhat overshadowed by national headlines focusing on FSU’s 95 total yards of offense. However, after the ‘Noles took a 14-0 lead, Jimbo Fisher was extremely conservative with his offensive play-calls. The Gators were struggling greatly on offense, and the odds of them scoring two touchdowns in a half against a dominating Seminole defense were slim. In fact, FSU probably would have shut out the Gators if not for a late fourth-quarter fumble by Jermaine Thomas in Florida territory.

2. Quarterback shuffle backfires in upset loss at Wake Forest 

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Associated Press

The 35-30 setback to Wake Forest in 2011 was easily one of Jimbo Fisher’s worst losses as head football coach. A combination of turnovers (5), penalties (13-109 yards) and a controversial use of quarterbacks led to a surprising loss in Winston-Salem. Three of those turnovers came from quarterback Clint Trickett, who was yanked in the second quarter after FSU fell behind 16-7. EJ Manuel, who was only supposed to be available in case of an emergency, came on in relief and helped get the offense somewhat on track. However, lackluster play by the defense and untimely turnovers were too much to overcome and FSU suffered its third straight loss for the only time in the Jimbo Fisher era.

3. Florida State loses a thriller at home to No. 1 Oklahoma

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Gene Williams / Warchant.com

In one of the most exciting and well-attended home games in maybe a decade, Florida State went toe-to-toe with No. 1-ranked Oklahoma in front of a raucous sold-out crowd in Doak Campbell Stadium. The ‘Noles rallied to tie the game in the fourth quarter before the Sooners finally pulled away in the final minutes.

4. Seminoles blow lead, lose home finale to opportunistic Virginia

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Warchant.com

After a slow start to the 2011 season, FSU ran off five straight victories and was riding high for the home finale against a 7-3 Virginia team. In a sluggish contest, the Seminoles held a 13-7 lead late until UVA drove 75 yards on its final offensive possession to take a one-point lead. But the most memorable takeaway from the game was the multiple times the FSU offense shot itself in the foot on its final drive, only to get second chances. In the end, Dustin Hopkins missed a 43-yard field goal attempt on the game’s final play, and the Cavs left with their first ever victory over the Seminoles in Tallahassee.

5. 'Noles finish on a high note with exciting win over rival Notre Dame

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Gene Williams / Warchant.com

The Seminoles rallied from a two-touchdown deficit with a dominating second half to defeat the Irish, 18-14. Rashad Greene’s 15-yard touchdown catch from EJ Manuel in the fourth quarter put FSU in the lead for good. Closing out the season with back-to-back victories over Florida and Notre Dame made 2011 much more palatable than it would have bene otherwise.

NEXT UP: Season No. 6 - 2016

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