Steve Addazio is going to have his team ready to go on Friday night. The Boston College Eagles host the Florida State Seminoles in the ACC opener for both teams. Boston College narrowly missed an upset on the road last season in Tallahassee. Can they get redemption this week?
Florida State vs. Boston College
Date/Time: Friday, September 18 8:00 pm ET
College Football Betting Favorite: Florida State -7.5
The Seminoles should be very wary this week in Chestnut Hill. Early week action has been on Boston College as a very live home dog as they look to snap a five-game losing streak in this series. Boston College lost by three on a last-second field goal last season, so they know that they can play right with the Seminoles.
It wasn’t pretty last week against South Florida, but Everett Golson and Company managed to get it done. Golson has come as advertised thus far, but the Eagles defense will present a bigger challenge than the two that he has gotten to begin his Florida State career. Golson is 33-of-51 for 465 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions. Dalvin Cook, found not guilty in his assault case just before the start of the season, has racked up 8.6 yards per carry against Texas State and South Florida. With Rashad Greene and Nick O’Leary on to the next level, wide receiver was an area of concern for FSU, but they’ve been just fine with junior Jesus Wilson and sophomore Travis Rudolph, who have combined for 16 catches for 206 yards and three touchdowns. The fact that Florida State has four new starters on the offensive line hasn’t been an issue yet, but this is a step up in class.
Second-year defensive coordinator Charles Kelly had some shifting to do prior to the season. The team’s top corner, Ronald Darby, left for the NFL and so did Mario Williams and Eddie Goldman. The Seminoles regressed in several defensive categories last season, so maybe these losses won’t be all that big. Florida State allowed 3.3 yards per carry or less from 2011-13 before giving up 4.2 yards per carry last season. That will be the key to this game, as Boston College likes to pound the rock.
Can Florida State avoid the letdown here? BC has caught FSU in compromising spots in the middle of conference play before, but this game sets up like the 2013 game when Florida State won 48-34 as a 23.5-point favorite after a couple of non-conference blowouts.
At this point, we don’t really know anything about Boston College’s offense. They’re averaging 50 points per game, but they hung 76 on Howard and struggled mightily in Week 1 with Maine. The Black Bears were locked in a 3-3 tie with the Eagles until BC scored a TD with 26 seconds left in the half. Darius Wade has gotten the first opportunity to replace Tyler Murphy, who had 1,184 rushing yards, an ACC record, last season. Wade, so far, does not seem to have the rushing prowess that Murphy had and that’s an issue for a BC team with five new offensive line starters. The Eagles ran the ball 635 times against just 243 pass plays last season. They have 89 rushes against 40 passes this season. The team’s leading receiver has one catch for 34 yards.
The Eagles defense is a scrappy bunch. After having to replace their top two linebackers and four defensive linemen prior to the 2014 season, the Eagles improved by a touchdown per game defensively. Third-year DC Don Brown is doing a great job with this group. As good as they were against the run last season, they were about that bad against the pass. BC allowed a 62.4 percent completion percentage against and 20 passing touchdowns against just nine interceptions. Big plays were also an issue, with 15.2 yards per play allowed.
On the surface, both of these teams seem to be down a notch. Does that open the door for a Boston College upset?
Florida State Seminoles vs. Boston College Eagles Free Pick: Florida State -7.5
Nope, and if you can get -7, which some books were offering as of the middle of the week, as Sir-Mix-A-Lot would say, “Jump On It”. Florida State has no excuse for a bad performance this season and the Boston College offense hasn’t proven anything, despite their 76-point outburst. Darius Wade had zero starts entering this season and hasn’t played a team remotely close to Florida State’s caliber.
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Good luck this season!