Friday night, a sold-out crowd is excepted at Alumni Stadium to see Boston College and Florida State play in primetime.
These are two teams that at the moment are going in different directions. Florida State is trying to keep a season alive, while the Eagles hope to keep that upward swing going that has been sparked by two straight conference wins on the road.
The Seminoles came into the season as the number three ranked team in the nation. They got things started with a marquee matchup against the Alabama Crimson Tide. The night would go from bad to worse for the Seminoles. Not only did they lose the game, but they also lost their starting quarterback. Deondre Francois left that opener in the fourth quarter with an injury, that would later be described as a season-ending knee injury.
It would force Head Coach Jimbo Fisher to hand the offense over to a true Freshman signal caller James Blackman. It has been a struggle for Blackman as their record would indicate. FSU is 2-4 overall and 2-3 in league play. They have dropped their first three home games for the first time since 1974, and are off to their worst start since Bobby Bowden’s final season in 2009. Fans in Tallahassee are not used to seeing this and have let their feelings be known. During last week game at home VS Louisville, Coach Fisher had a verbal exchange with a fan as he was heading to the locker room at halftime.
To be sure, there is talent on this team and for the time being, lack of experience at a key position (QB) is a problem. The run game has gotten better with Cam Akers who before last Saturday’s game had run for back-to-back 100-yard games. The team has been in every game so far this year. A play here or there has been the difference in the outcome of these contests.
On defense, FSU did give up 293 yards on the ground to the Cardinal in last week’s loss. Louisville averaged 6.7 yards a rush for the game. It sounds weird, but for Florida State to win come Friday night making plays will be a necessity.
Boston College has a newer look on things thanks to consecutive wins on the road, at Louisville and last week at Virginia. In both games, the Eagles offense racked up over 500 yards while scoring 86 points combined.
Freshman quarterback Anthony Brown has been better of late and his performance against the Cavaliers was his best so far. He completed 19 of 24 for 275 yards and three touchdowns. That start earned him ACC Freshman of the week honors for the first time this season.
Freshman running back A.J. Dillon has provided balance to this offense. After going for 272 yards and three touchdowns against the Cardinal. He came back with 89 yards on 24 carries VS Cavaliers. For the day, the Eagle offense gained 275 in the air, and 237 on the ground.
The defense did their part as well, limiting Virginia to 247 yards of total offense. They sacked Cavaliers QB Kurt Benkert three times and picked him off three other times. It has been a good two weeks for the Eagles.
Three weeks ago after a loss to Virginia Tech, Head Coach Steve Addazio was asked when his team might turn things around. His answer was “when it happens it will be a beautiful thing to watch”. For BC fans the last two weeks have been that.
Florida State has had the upper hand in the series as they have won the last seven meetings between the two programs, including last year’s 45-7 victory in Tallahassee. This may be the best chance for the Eagles to end that drought and get one in the win column.
Boston College, at 4-4 overall and 2-3 in the conference, still have some work to do if they want to make it back to back bowl seasons. In the meantime, Florida State is trying not to miss a bowl game for the first time since 1982. Friday night will go a long way to deciding which team may go bowling.
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