In an ACC showdown between two teams heading in opposite directions, the Boston College Eagles will try to turn their rough season around against the Florida State Seminoles, who are coming off a heartbreaking loss last week.
Boston College has really struggled to get anything going this season. Through five games, the Eagles have allowed 145 points and have yet to defeat an FBS team thus far, knocking off Maine in Week 2 for their lone win.
Florida State was on top of the football world again. The Seminoles were 15 minutes away from walking out of N.C. State with a win and 6-0 record. A fourth-quarter meltdown that saw them get outscored 14-0 ruined their undefeated season, but they are still in control of their destiny in the ACC Atlantic Division.
Where: Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, FL
When: Saturday, Oct. 13 at 5:30 p.m. ET
Watch: ESPN 2
Boston College Injury Report (via USA Today)
Questionable: WR Spiffy Evans (Upper Body); LB Kevin-Pierre Louis (Leg); DL Bryan Davis (Leg); RB Tahj Kimble (Leg); DT Kaleb Ramsey (Leg); TE Mike Naples (Back)
Out: G Harris Williams (Foot); DB Al Louis-Jean Jr. (Foot)
Florida State Injury Report (via USA Today)
Questionable: OL Trey Pettis (Head); DB Justin Bright (Head); T Garrett Faircloth (Hip); WR Josh Gehres (Hamstring); LB Ukeme Eligwe (Hand); DT Moses McCray (Concussion); OL Daniel Foose (Back); DT Derrick Mitchell (Back)
Out: DE Chris Casher (Knee); DT JacobbI McDaniel (Ankle); DB Colin Blake (Shoulder); DE Brandon Jenkins (Foot); TE Dan Hicks (Knee); RB Mario Pender (Groin)
Betting Line: Florida State (-27), Over/Under 54, according to Vegas Insider
While N.C. State was able to pull off the upset last week, the Wolfpack are a much better team than the Eagles. They have had their ups and downs defensively, but for the most part step up when it counts.
Boston College, on the other hand, has allowed 34 points in three games and at least 22 in all its losses.
The Seminoles should have few problems racking up enough points to push this over the 54-point total that Vegas is giving this game. Given how much I like them in this game, I have to say that they will easily cover the 27-point spread.
Florida State still has a shot at the BCS Championship Game. There are a number of things that can happen between now and the end of the season for this team to get where it believes it can go.
For now, though, the Seminoles have to set their sights on the ACC Championship. The only team ahead of them in ACC Coastal Division right now is Maryland, which has only played one conference game.
Clemson has the same 2-1 record as the Seminoles, but the Tigers lost the head-to-head matchup.
As long as the Seminoles are able to take care of business against the teams they are supposed to beat—like Boston College—the ACC Title Game is well-within reach.
Boston College's Keys to Victory
Big Pass Plays; Get A Defensive Stop
Since Boston College doesn't have a running game, especially one that will work against a team like Florida State, it has to rely on its ability to throw the ball. The Eagles currently rank 16th in the country with 310.8 pass yards per game.
However, they can't get in a shootout with Florida State, because the Seminoles have too much defensive talent. The Eagles will get eaten alive if they try to play the game fast.
They need to take calculated risks down the field and then hope that the defense can make enough plays against E.J. Manuel and Co. to keep things close.
Florida State's Keys to Victory
Use Speed and Power; Don't Get Complacent
There have been a few times this season where the Seminoles have looked lethargic on the field. They still try to win games, but there is not that sense of urgency in critical moments to make a big stop or get a key first down.
The Seminoles are way too physical for Boston College to stick with them for 60 minutes, assuming they go all-out and don't try to get too cute. They need to show the intensity they played with against Clemson rather than wait for the game to come to them.
It's no secret that I believe the Seminoles will win. The only question is, by how much?
Florida State 38, Boston College 6