Boston College Will Struggle to Stop Florida State

By Travis Patterson

No. 8 Florida State has gotten off to a 3-0 (1-0 ACC) start this season, in large part because of their freshman quarterback, Jameis Winston.  Winston has looked very sharp so far this season and caught the attention of the national media after his near-flawless performance against Pittsburgh on Labor Day night.  Another reason why the Seminoles are 3-0 is due to the fact that they have played a very soft schedule early on.  They beat Pitt, the same Pitt team that just surrendered 55 points to Duke last week.  After dealing with the Panthers, the Noles took care of Nevada and Bethune-Cookman.  I mentioned in my power rankings that it is hard to judge how good Florida State actually is because of the level of competition that they have faced this year, but we do know that the Noles are loaded with talent once again.  Their defense is athletic and very active, despite countless departures to the NFL last year.

This Saturday Jimbo Fisher‘s squad rolls into Chestnut Hill to take on Boston College, a team that does not have a lot of talent.  Their quarterback Chase Rettig is inconsistent and their running game comes and goes.  They do have a good wide receiver in Alex Amidon, but getting him the ball will be tough for Rettig with that lengthy Florida State secondary.  However, the key for Boston College this weekend will be their defense.  In their last game against USC, a bad offensive football team, they gave up 264 passing yards and 257 rushing yards.  The Eagles lost that game 35-7, a game that was never in doubt.  This week they have the task of slowing down a quarterback who has been on fire and multiple running backs that can take it to the house.

Winston is completing 78 percent of his passes with eight touchdowns and only one interception.  He has quality receivers on the outside in Rashad Greene (15 receptions for 209 yards) and Kenny Shaw (14 receptions for 277 yards).  I think it is safe to say that the Boston College secondary will have its hands full with this group of wide receivers, as they will cause matchup problems all game.  In the Florida State backfield there is a running back by committee philosophy with Devonta Freeman leading the charge.  Freeman has gained 273 yards on just 28 carries, giving him a 9.8 yards per carry average.  Backing him up is Karlos Williams, who was playing safety a few weeks ago.  The coaching staff thought he was too good of an athlete to keep on the bench, and the FSU secondary is already loaded with talent so they converted him to running back.  Williams has 17 carries on the year and is averaging 11.8 yards per carry with three touchdowns.  The third running back is James Wilder Jr. who is the power back.  He could have played linebacker or running back, that is how big he is.  He has gained 159 yards on 24 carries this season while getting into the end zone twice.

The Florida State offensive line is one of the best in the ACC, and I look for them to impose their will of the Eagles.  Even though the Eagles are playing this game at home, I do not see how there is any way that they could win.  Florida State has not been tested all year, and I do not think they will be tested this week either.  The Noles have covered the spread each week and they will probably do it again this weekend.  This game will get ugly by the time the fourth quarter rolls around unless Boston College can get Matt Ryan another year of eligibility.

Travis Patterson, Writer For ACC  Follow Twitter @tpat20.

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