1. Keep EJ Manuel healthy
The redshirt junior has played in 17 career games; his backup, redshirt freshman Clint Trickett, son of offensive line coach Rick Trickett, has played in zero. Manuel, despite his athleticism, must avoid unnecessary scrambling.
Even though they are only four days apart, we're not talking about games against North Carolina State and Boston College to end October and start November. FSU will know exactly what it's made of with games against No. 1 Oklahoma at home Sept. 17 and Clemson the road Sept. 24.
3. Big plays
The receiving corps lost Taiwan Easterling's toughness to Major League Baseball. But returnees Bert Reed (58 receptions, 614 yards, two TDs), Willie Haulstead (38-587-6) and Rodney Smith (31-448-3) should provide plenty of targets downfield.
4. ACC hardware
Once thought unfathomable, especially after winning nine consecutive ACC championships after joining the league in 1991, the Seminoles have not won the conference title since 2005. The drought must end if FSU wants to a part of national title conversations.
5. Kick this
PK Dustin Hopkins and P Shawn Powell are a dynamic duo. And let's not forget return specialist Greg Reid, either. Hopkins converted 22-of-28 FG attempts last season with a long of 55 yards. Powell averaged 44.3 yards per punt and placed 16 inside the opponents' 20. Reid is a threat to return both punts and kickoffs the distance.