Both Florida State and Boston College will see some considerable differences in week three compared to the first two weeks of the season. For the Seminoles, the trip to Chestnut Hill will be their first time off campus. For Boston College, the change will be even more dramatic.
The Eagles opened the season with two FCS opponents. In the first game, they beat Maine 24-3. The Black Bears were 5-6 last season, yet they are light years ahead of week two foe Howard. The 0-2 Bison have lost their games by a combined score of 125-0. It was so bad last Saturday, that with the score 62-0 in favor of Boston College at halftime, both coaches agreed to ten minute quarters in the second half.
That will not be happening on Friday night. Boston College is 4-9 against Florida State but the games have been very competitive in recent years.
Florida State at Boston College
Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET (Friday)
TV Channel: ESPN
Spread: Florida State -7.5
Three Things to Watch
1. Florida State Running Against the BC Front Seven
Dalvin Cook is second in the nation with 211 yards rushing per game. Head coach Jimbo Fisher decided early on that establishing the running game was beneficial to the development of his young offensive line and it would take some pressure off quarterback Everett Golson. Oh yeah, and Cook can really run. That fact may have played a part in his decision-making process too. Since they played two vastly inferior opponents, it’s not surprising that the Eagles lead the nation in rush defense. More importantly though, they have the core of their front seven returning from last year’s unit that was No. 2 nationally against the run. This is a strength versus strength match up.
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2. Darius Wade Throwing the Ball
Boston College's new starting quarterback has not had to do much of anything so far. You’d actually think his numbers would be a bit better considering the competition in the first two games. But then again, the Eagles have run the ball so well and the backups have played a considerable amount of snaps, making it really hard to gauge Wade’s performance. Running the ball will be much, much more difficult for the Eagles this week, so Wade will have to make some plays if Boston College has any chance at all. That could be a challenge since BC’s unheralded receivers will be up against Jalen Ramsey and the vaunted Florida State secondary. But the Eagles obviously cannot hang with FSU by just running the football, so Wade will have to pass.
3. Getting Ermon Lane Involved
If Boston College is effective slowing down Cook, the Seminoles may have to put a greater emphasis on the passing game. Travis Rudolph and Ermon Lane had nice freshman seasons in 2014 and were expected to be a big part of the passing offense this fall. Rudolph has 10 catches in the first two games, but Lane has just two. Golson seems a bit reliant on Rudolph and Jesus Wilson. Lane has the ability to be a major threat and needs to develop a rapport with Golson.
Florida State is much more talented than the Eagles. They recruit from a different prospect pool and from a speed perspective they are on a different level. While the Seminoles have not played the toughest schedule in America so far, their two previous opponents are solid FBS programs. On top of everything else, FSU has a huge advantage in the kicking game. But Boston College is a tough, gritty team that takes on the personality of head coach Steve Addazio. After giving the eventual national championship winning Seminoles their stiffest test during the 2013 regular season, BC went down to Tallahassee and very nearly knocked off unbeaten Florida State last fall. Boston College will not be intimidated. The Eagles won’t win, but it will be a battle for the Noles.
Prediction: Florida State 24, Boston College 14
— Written by Jon Kinne, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a college football fanatic. Kinne has been writing about recruiting for the Irish Sports Daily for 10 years. Follow him on Twitter @JonRKinne.