Florida State Looks To Pull It Together Saturday at Boston College

Michael McGuffeeCorrespondent IOctober 3, 2009

PROVO, UT - SEPTEMBER 19:  Christian Ponder #7 of Florida State Seminoles passes the ball against Brigham Young University Cougars at La Vell Edwards Stadium on September 19, 2009 in Provo, Utah.  (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak via Getty Images)

Four games into the 2009 season, the Florida State Seminoles have been consistently inconsistent.

The ‘Noles fell to Miami in a hard-fought game that came down to the final play, struggled to outlast Jacksonville State, and then blew out a highly regarded BYU team on the road. Last week, however, FSU’s momentum took another turn for the worse as an upstart South Florida team shocked the Tribe at home.

A Seminole offense that controlled the clock and scored 54 points against BYU on the road, returned home to post just seven points in Saturday’s loss to South Florida. Quarterback Christian Ponder contributed another encouraging performance through the air despite playing with a slightly sprained knee, but FSU struggled in the red-zone, fumbled four times, and surrendered five sacks in the losing effort.

Florida State will have an opportunity to regroup Saturday against a stout Boston College team that stands 3-1 and is coming off a 27-24 overtime win over Wake Forest. Clemson handed the Eagles their lone loss, a 25-7 defeat in Death Valley, in week three.

Boston College switched quarterbacks since that loss and proved freshman quarterback Dave Shinskie could help produce a more balanced effort offensively. Against the Demon Deacons, Shinskie threw for 228 yards and three touchdowns, and the Eagles also accumulated 170 yards on the ground behind the team’s big offensive line.

For FSU, coaches and players alike preached a return to discipline this week on both sides of the ball. After giving up two more big plays against the Bulls, Mickey Andrews’ defense stayed after practice on more than one occasion this week in an effort to shore up the Seminoles’ struggles in the secondary.

Seminole fans can also expect a few lineup changes Saturday as true freshman Jajuan Harley is said to be penciled in for his first start at strong safety and sophomore tailback Jermaine Thomas is expected to start over Carlton ‘Ty’ Jones.

Florida State will also return defensive tackles Moses McCray and Justin Mincey from injury, and they expect their defensive line to be at full strength for the first time all season. Freshman Jacobbi McDaniel did suffer a knee injury against South Florida but was able to practice this week and is expected to be available.

As up and down as the Seminoles have been early in the season, Saturday’s contest is an opportunity to right the ship and keep the team’s ACC title hopes alive against a Boston College team that has claimed the Atlantic Division in each of the last two seasons.

The visiting team has won the last four match-ups in the FSU-Boston College series, and Florida State will hope to keep that trend alive on Saturday. The last time the Seminoles traveled to Alumni Stadium, the Tribe upset the second-ranked Eagles 27-17.