There is cause for trepidation for the Seminoles (5-3, 3-2) despite being a heavy favorite on the road against Boston College.
History has proven FSU games on Thursday night have been more a struggle than a showcase. The Seminoles are 5-5 on Thursday night road games since joining the ACC. They are hardly a fan of the concept. The Seminoles have not played an ACC home game on Thursday night since 2002.
In this case, it's the Seminoles' longest road trip and comes on five days rest.
"I understand why [ESPN] puts us on. I wish they wouldn't, but they do," FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said. "This is what we're dealt. They have to go through it, too, and we have to play."
Boston College (2-6, 1-4) has some good vibes after winning a road game last Saturday against Maryland. The Seminoles enter this game with their best player availability since early in the season.
"I just hate the five-day turnaround. It's very tough," Fisher said. "Academically it stresses you, and physically it stresses you. That's something we do. That's ESPN, and that's what we're going to do."
In one aspect, however, the game presents the Seminoles a chance to get back on national television. That hasn't happened since the losses to Oklahoma and Clemson. After three consecutive wins, it gives the Seminoles a chance to secure bowl eligibility and move closer to clinching a winning season.
"Five, three, four [days of rest], it doesn't matter, as long as we get a chance to go out there and play," said quarterback E.J. Manuel. "And it's a national game. A lot of guys haven't been up to Boston before. It'll be a night game. It'll be on ESPN and things like that. I don't think it'll matter at all."
NOTES AND QUOTES
Florida State's rushing defense is ranked fourth nationally this week. The Seminoles have allowed their opponents to run for an average of just 77 yards per game this season. In fact, with the exception of rushing offense, where the Seminoles have climbed from dead last to No. 89 among FBS teams, the Seminoles are in the Top 35 of every team scrimmage category and among the top 15 teams in four categories. ...
A victory over Boston College would secure Florida State's bowl eligibility for a 30th consecutive season. The Seminoles currently hold the longest active streak of bowl appearances at 29, which is second in FBS history to Nebraska's 35. ...
FSU ranks third nationally with 3.63 sacks a game after tacking four to their season total against NC State. FSU has 29 sacks on the season, with 11 different players contributing to that total. The Seminoles also rank sixth nationally in tackles for loss (8.0 per game), with 63 on the year.
SERIES HISTORY: Florida State leads Boston College 5-4 (last meeting, 2010, 24-19 Florida State).
SCOUTING THE OFFENSE: The difference maker in recent weeks has been the improved health of Manuel. His ability to run the option, take off on sprint draws or designed rollout plays has opened up the running game for the tailbacks. It has helped negate the Seminoles' weaknesses on their revamped offensive line, where five of the top eight players on the August depth chart are no longer available. Without him, this offense is nowhere near as capable to spread the field and play pitch-and-catch, because the offensive line struggles so bad. But the Seminoles have shown one of the deepest, most explosive receiving corps of any team in the country, and with tailback Jermaine Thomas and fullback Lonnie Pryor running well now, it has made this offense very difficult to stop.
SCOUTING THE DEFENSE: Improved coverage in the secondary has changed everything for the Seminoles' defense. After allowing seven passing touchdowns and more than 600 passing yards in the losses to Clemson and Wake Forest, the Seminoles have yielded just two passing touchdowns and only one passing play longer than 30 yards in the last three games. They are controlling the line of scrimmage and forcing teams into lengthy third-down conversion plays, when they can apply a pass rush. While factoring in lesser opponents, the past three games have been the Seminoles' best combined defensive efforts of the season, and they should feel confident going into Boston College.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "From a players' standpoint and from a coaches' standpoint, I think it's the mindset you take with you. We have to go through it. They have to go through it. It's about the mindset." -- Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher on playing a quick-turnaround game on Thursday night.
Quick turnaround no excuse for FSU
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