After a two-game break in conference play, No. 8 Florida State (3-0, 1-0 ACC) returns back to ACC action with a road matchup against Boston College (2-1, 1-0 ACC). The Eagles are coming off a bye week, one in which they've had plenty of time to prepare for the Seminoles, while FSU is fresh off of a 54-6 victory over Bethune-Cookman.
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Place: Chestnut Hill, Ma.
TV: ABC/ESPN2 or ESPNU
Spread: Florida State by 21.5, according to Bovada.lv
Come out the gates firing
In each of FSU's last three games, the team has looked a bit sluggish in its opening drives, both on defense and offense. As the Seminoles start to get into the meat of their schedule (and with No. 3 Clemson looming), a fire needs to be lit underneath the 'Noles so that they can come out swinging and get a large lead early.
Stop the run
FSU's weakness looked exposed for a bit last week against Cookman, as the Wildcats put together several drives with their legs before eventually being extinguished. Boston College loves to run the ball, and this will be a great test to see how the Seminoles have adjusted.
The theme of last week's win against Cookman was that of trying to do too much, on offense and on defense. Players lamented on how they were getting greedy and trying to make more out of what they had to do, and the result was missed tackles and dropped balls. Play how you should play, and this'll be another good win on the Seminoles' resume.
Pound the rock
Run, run, run. That seems to be the way to move the ball against FSU, and it also runs time off and keeps the offense off the field. The Eagles love to run the ball, so why stop now?
Don't be intimidated
Florida State may be the eighth-ranked team in the country, but if a team shows no fear, things will get a lot easier. Bethune-Cookman applied that strategy last week, and before the talent differences started to show through, the Wildcats were competing with the 'Noles.
Get used to it: This is a name you're going to hear often for the rest of the season. He had an average performance (by Jameis standards) last week against Bethune, and he'll look to exploit a defense that made USC look good.
The senior cornerback has been having a great year, leading the team in tackles with 18 and also sacks (two). He kept a little quiet against B-CU, but expect him to make some noise.
The senior running back is huge; in fact, he's reminiscent of Florida State's own James Wilder Jr. At 6'0", 227 pounds, Williams has already ran the ball 71 times, which is more than FSU's top three runners (Wilder, Devonta Freeman and Karlos Williams) combined. He has 356 yards and two touchdowns to show for it.
It'll be interesting to see how Rettig, who last year against FSU went 15-of-31 with 122 yards and one touchdown and interception, plays against a Florida State defense that hasn't been beat by the pass. This year, he has 491 yards and four touchdowns through three games, so it'll be fun to watch him try and play against the likes of Lamarcus Joyner and Jalen Ramsey.
“[They] run the ball. “[It’s] so cliché now these first two games everybody’s been running the ball. We ended the season that way and I guess we’re starting it off that way.”
On their offense:
"They’re very physical on offense, (they have a) very good offensive line, probably the best one we’ve seen so far. Andre Williams is over a hundred yards a game, very physical, big, 230-pound guy, breaks tackles, strong. Receiver Alex Amidon has done a great job of making explosive plays for them, very quick, very good change of direction, and (Chase) Rettig is a very good quarterback."
On their defense:
"Different styles and different scheme. Much more multiple, do different things, very disruptive, blitz, change gaps, three- or four-man fronts, blitzes coming from all over the place. They do a really nice job."
Last year, the Seminoles took their frustration of losing to NC State out on the Eagles, beating them 51-7. This year, there's no anger built up, but the 'Noles will be looking to gain some momentum heading into the thick of their ACC schedule. Expect this one to be over early, as the Seminoles get another opponent out of the way on the road to the showdown with Clemson.
Florida State 48, Boston College 3
All quotes and paraphrases were obtained either firsthand or via phone unless otherwise noted.