NoleGameday

Game Preview: Florida State vs. Boston College

Boston College (4-5) Bio Flash:

Head Coach: Steve Addazio

Last Year’s Record: 3-9, 0-8 in ACC

Key Players: DE Harold Landry, LB Matt Milano, LB Connor Strachan, RB Jon Hillman

Game Introduction:

Florida State looks to continue to build on the momentum built after last week’s comeback win on the road against NC State. Meanwhile, Boston College will be looking to right the ship after Lamar Jackson and Louisville thumped the Eagles at home. Boston College has just one ACC win in the last two years, which came two weeks ago against NC State. This will be Florida State’s first time back in Doak after the heartbreaking loss against Clemson just a couple weeks ago. The game takes place at Doak Campbell Stadium on Friday night and will air at 7:30 on ESPN 2.

Headlines:

It’s Noonie time

It’s always sad to see anyone go down with an injury, and it’s especially sad when that person is a senior. WR Bobo Wilson gave a lot to the program at Florida State, and his effort and commitment should be appreciated. However, with injury comes the ol’ mantra “next guy up”. In this case, that next guy is Nyquan Murray. Only a sophomore, Murray had his breakout game a couple weeks ago against Clemson where he had 96 yards receiving and his first career touchdown. Last week against NC State, he had 9 catches for 153 yards. He is a budding star and we should start to see him get not only more snaps, but more targets. He seems to have great chemistry with quarterback Deondre Francois and this could become a lethal connection heading into 2017.

Dalvin’s last rodeo

After a lackluster performance by Dalvin Cook standards against NC State, Cook looks to cement his legacy among all time Florida State greats. Many have already coined him the best running back to ever wear the garnet and gold, and I would have to agree with respect to the great Warrick Dunn. Cook is such a unique talent, with an incredible blend of strength, balance, and quickness second to none. When he gets rolling, like we’ve seen him do countless times, he’s one tough man to stop. This may be another tough game for Cook, as Boston College’s biggest strength is their rush defense. The offensive line will have their hands full with BC defensive end Harold Landry, who’s an NFL talent. The Eagles also have a solid pair of linebackers, so it should be interesting to see if Cook can find some wiggle room. Nonetheless, it’s almost guaranteed that Cook declares for the NFL Draft after this season, so enjoy his final games for the ‘Noles.

Walker and McFadden leading the nation

Florida State now has two players leading the country in key defensive statistical categories. DeMarcus Walker leads the nation in sacks with 10.5, and Tarvarus McFadden leads the country in interceptions with 7. How this unit under-performed this season will continue to be puzzling, but the individual play by both Walker and McFadden bodes well for both their futures. Walker is a senior, and will be a prized possession in the 2017 NFL Draft as a lot of teams will be looking for a high motor defensive end with Walker’s skill set. McFadden, on the other hand, will return to Florida State next year and likely be a preseason All-American. Let’s see if they can finish the season as strong as they started it.

Burning Questions:

Is the upset on?

If I was a betting man, I’d put money on the answer to this question being ‘no’. Boston College is ranked 126th in total offense. In other words, the “Fire Charles Kelly” crowd will be a little quieter during this game, although it doesn’t mean their movement is without validity. As aforementioned, Boston College’s biggest strength is their rush defense, but their secondary is porous. I wouldn’t be surprised if Dalvin Cook has more receiving yards than rushing yards come Friday night. I expect a big day from Francois, Murray, and my bold prediction is that Auden Tate will lead all receivers in yards.

What does no Derwin James mean for the defense?

As a surprise to only a few, it was announced that Derwin James is indeed done for the rest of the regular season. A generational talent and all around incredible athlete, James certainly gave the FSU defense an irreplaceable edge. With his absence, we’ll be seeing a lot more of the same. Ermon Lane appears to be getting the most play time at safety alongside usual starter Trey Marshall. Sophomore AJ Westbrook will continue to get meaningful reps at the postion too. True Freshman Kyle Meyers has been playing all over the field, including safety and the infamous ‘STAR’ position. Young guys will continue be the ones replacing James, which is good moving forward for the ‘Noles.

 Are changes coming to the Florida State coaching staff?

This will all be up to Jimbo Fisher, but he definitely has a lot of pressure on him from both fans and media. In my opinion, if Florida State wants to make a title run in 2017 Charles Kelly shouldn’t remain defensive coordinator. There has been a significant drop in the quality of play on the defensive side of the since Kelly took over in 2014, and this may very well be his last year at Florida State. Ultimately, Jimbo Fisher makes the final decisions on the coaching staff. But if I had to make a guess, changes are coming.

Forecast:

Florida State should have no problems with a weak Boston College team Friday night. I think Deondre Francois will have a big night and the receivers should have no problem getting open against the Eagles’ secondary. Boston College has been blown out by both Louisville and Clemson.  I think the ‘Noles take an early lead and never look back, and come out on top 37-7. Although it’s a weird Friday night game, the weather should be absolutely gorgeous in Tallahassee. And since this game takes place on veteran’s day, I would like to personally thank each and every service member and veteran for all they do for this country. Thank you.

Ben Brewton

Writer at Nole Gameday covering football and basketball. FSU alum. Follow me on twitter (@Ben_Brewton) and we can talk sports. On the 8th day, God created college football.



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