Expectations are high in Florida State, and coach Jimbo Fisher wouldn’t have it any other way. “Pressure brings urgency, and urgency is what you want,” he said at ACC Kickoff. “When you’re young, you can say, ‘I’ve always got next year.’”

There’s no next year for QB EJ Manuel, who enters his senior year looking to win an ACC title and contend for a national crown.

“It has to be this year,” Manuel said. “It’s my last year. As a senior, you want to leave a legacy at Florida State.”

With Manuel running the offense and a defense that is two-deep with NFL talent across the board, all the pieces are in place for the Seminoles, with one glaring exception.

The offensive line is one of the most inexperienced in recent memory. In Florida State’s Champs Sports Bowl win over Notre Dame, the line featured four freshmen, including two making their first career start.

Guards Josue Matias and Tre’ Jackson will likely make their second career starts in the season opener against Murray State. Austin Barron will make his fourth at center. Bobby Hart started nine games last year as a true freshman at tackle. They’ll likely be joined by junior tackle Bryan Stork.

The group combines for 28 career starts. If the line stays intact, it will take until the fifth game of the season for the group to pass Zebrie Sanders’ total. Sanders played his last game in the Champs Sports Bowl and finished his FSU career with 50 career starts.

“Call me crazy, but I think the offensive line will be a strength for us,” Fisher predicted.

Manuel agreed. “It’s my second year with my young offensive line,” he said. “The guys that were freshmen last year are now sophomores. They’re a lot stronger, a lot bigger.”

One reason for the optimistic outlook on what many consider a weakness is the extra time put in by Manuel over the offseason.

“I’ve bonded much better than in years past, and that was my fault,” Manuel said. “I should have done a better job to hang out with the guys more. If your’e going to go to war, you better hang out together.”

“These guys have to take personal pride that he’s their baby,” Fisher said of the line’s responsibility to Manuel. “Like a momma don’t want no one to touch their baby. They need to like and respect the guy back there, and they do. They know how competitive he is and his toughness. Also, they know the respect he has for them as players and how tough their job is.”

The close bond with their quarterback, and a soft early schedule that will allow them to find their way together before things get challenging should help the kids come through for the Seminoles this season. 

For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis from ACC bloggers Shawn Krest and Sean Bielawski, follow @CBSSportsACC.