GAME NOTES: Sitting atop the polls once again, the Florida State Seminoles
continue their run at perfection, as the play host to the Boston College
Eagles in an ACC affair at Doak Campbell Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Jimbo Fisher’s Seminoles once again showed their resiliency in their last
contest, coming from behind to earn a hard-fought 30-26 victory over instate
rival Miami last weekend. With the win, the defending national champions ran
their record to 10-0, clinched the ACC’s Atlantic Division crown, increased
their current win streak to an ACC-record 26 straight games and reclaimed the
No. 1 ranking.
Steve Addazio’s Eagles have quietly gone about their business this season.
Boston College earned bowl eligibility a couple of weeks ago with an exciting
33-31 victory at Virginia Tech on Nov. 1. However, the Eagles struggled in
their next game, falling to Louisville at home, 28-19. BC was idle this past
weekend and now sits at 6-4 overall and 3-3 in league play.
Addazio thinks playing a tough schedule may benefit his team here.
“I think that we have played a lot of really good football teams this year. We
played a tough schedule this year … We’re not going to be shocked because
we’re playing another good football team,” Addazio said.
The Seminoles own an 8-4 advantage in the all-time series with the Eagles and
have captured each of the last four encounters, including last year’s 48-34
victory in Chestnut Hill.
Boston College has been burdened with a one-dimensional offense this season.
Despite the loss of Doak Walker Award winner Andre Williams to the NFL, the
Eagles have still managed to run the ball extremely well this season,
averaging a hefty 264.0 yards per game.
A lot of that has to do with the play of quarterback Tyler Murphy, who paces
the team with 1,011 yards, with nine TDs. Jon Hilliman has amassed 620 yards
and a team-best 11 rushing TDs, as Boston College has scored a whopping 26
times on the ground this year.
Murphy’s exploits on the ground have masked a rather poor season throwing the
football. Murphy has completed just 54.9 percent of his passes this season,
for 1,293 yards, with nine TDs against 10 INTs.
There is no difference maker on the outside, with converted QB Josh Bordner
leading the team with a modest 22 receptions, for 301 yards and three TDs.
While BC has had great success running the football, opponents have struggled
to do so against a staunch Eagle defense. The team is allowing just 96.6 yards
per game rushing, good for fourth nationally.
Linebacker Steven Daniels leads the way for Boston College with 61 total
tackles, to go with 7.0 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 1 INT and 2 FR. Safety Justin Simmons
is a close second in stops (59), with 2 INTs. Linebacker Josh Keyes (56
tackles, 10.5 TFL, 4.0 sacks) and defensive end Kevin Kavalec (31 tackles, 9.5
TFL, 3.5 sacks) have been productive up the field.
The Seminoles trailed 16-0 in the second quarter and 23-10 at the half, but
once again found a way to recover and keep their winning ways going, topping
Miami and remaining undefeated.
Despite not playing at the level that won him the Heisman Trophy last year,
quarterback Jameis Winston has still found a way to get the job done each and
every time he has stepped on the field. Winston leads and FSU team that is
averaging 37.1 ppg, fueled primarily by a passing attack that generates 318.3
yards per game.
Winston has completed an impressive 65.8 percent of his passes, for 2,844
yards, but has a rather modest 18 touchdown passes against 12 interceptions.
He has had the advantage of throwing to one of the ACC’s all-time best in
senior wideout Rashad Greene. Already the school’s all-time leading receiver,
Greene is tops in the ACC in receptions (75) and receiving yards (1,042),
averaging 104.2 yards per game.
The FSU rushing attack is generating just 128.3 yards per game, with Karlos
Williams (530 yds, 9 TDs) and Dalvin Cook (508 yds, 7 TDs) leading the way.
Cook had 92 yards and two TDs, including the game-winner against Miami last
week and Fisher believes he has something special in the freshman tailback.
“Dalvin has the ability to change the numbers on the scoreboard,” Fisher said.
Much like the offense, FSU’s defense is off its pace from last year. The
Seminoles are allowing 22.8 ppg, as foes are netting 385.8 yards per outing.
The team has been vulnerable to the pass, giving up 246.1 yards per game
through the air.
Linebackers Reggie Northrup (85 tackles, 3.0 TFL, 1 sack, 1 INT, 1 FR, 1 FF)
and Terrance Smith (73 tackles, 4.0 TFL, 1 sack, 1 INT, 2 FF) have paced the
FSU defense in the middle. Jalen Ramsey (60 tackles, 8.0 TFL, 2 INTs) and P.J.
Williams (41 tackles, 1 INT) headline the play in the secondary.
FSU has won 22 straight ACC games and although Boston College shouldn’t be
looked past, getting to 23 probably won’t be too hard.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Florida State 34, Boston College 20