In 2016, Florida State’s defense totally dominated Boston College. The Eagles offense was held scoreless for 56 minutes in a 45-7 Seminoles win, and it was clear from the start of that Friday night contest that the inability to move the ball was going to prevent any chance of an upset. Now we’re back on a Friday night for Florida State and Boston College, only this time the game is in Chestnut Hill and the Eagles have an offense that’s surging while Florida State is struggling to put points on the board.
When the game was scheduled, it looked like a potential trap spot for a national title-contending Seminoles team. In the midst of a lost season, Florida State will step on to the field with pride on the line against an opponent they’ve defeated seven times in a row. Steve Addazio will be staring back across the field with a freshman quarterback and freshman running back that have brought new life to a struggling offense. It’ll be hard-hitting and probably low-scoring, and even though there’s no national rankings or playoff implications, there’s still a ton on the line.
Date: Friday, Oct. 27 | Time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: Alumni Stadium — Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
TV: ESPN | Live stream: WatchESPN
Florida State: Every week from here on out isn’t just Florida State playing for pride, its playing to guarantee the continuation of the program’s NCAA-best streak of 35 consecutive bowl games. It’s hard to imagine that a team starting the season in the top five with national title hopes would need a rally to make the postseason, but FSU is 2-4 with only five games remaining after losing out on playing ULM because of Hurricane Irma.
So how have we gotten here? For starters, the offense has been woeful. Even as true freshman quarterback James Blackman has taken strides to improve his play and comfort in the pocket, the wide receivers have been banged up and execution has been choppy. Florida State moves the ball with some success, but finishing drives with touchdowns (or even successful field goals) has been a struggle. For Florida State to avoid dropping to 2-5 with Clemson and Florida left on the schedule, they’ve got to do a better job of getting seven when they get into scoring position.
Boston College: In the last two weeks, the Eagles have totaled more than 500 yards of offense in wins against Louisville and Virginia. Redshirt freshman quarterback Anthony Brown has shown dramatic improvement running the offense and falling into rhythm with his receivers but the biggest breakout star has been true freshman running back A.J. Dillon. After rushing for 272 yards against Louisville, Dillon jumped up in the national rankings for rushing yards among freshmen, now at No. 4 trailing Jonathan Taylor (Wisconsin), JK Dobbins (Ohio State) and Spencer Brown (UAB) with 694 yards. It took a few games for Dillon and the offense to get rolling, but one has fed the other and now the Eagles have a realistic shot at making a bowl game with a 4-4 record heading into Friday night’s contest.
What a time to be alive when Florida State is favored by less than a touchdown against Boston College. This is a supreme spot for Steve Addazio’s team to stun the sluggish Seminoles on a national stage, giving the Eagles an extra boost heading into the final three games of the season. If Florida State escapes with a win, it’ll be real close. It’s hard to believe it, but I actually trust Boston College more in this spot. Pick: Eagles +4