FSU on Offense
Florida State's offense has been an absolute buzz-saw this year, scoring on 24 of 32 drives (75%) through the first three games, with the first team offense scoring at an even higher rate. There is little reason to think that will change against a Boston College defense that simply lacks the talent to compete with FSU.
Traditionally, Boston College has featured strong defensive linemen and active linebackers in front of a soft but disciplined cover-two defense, but this is not a typical Boston College defense, giving up 5.81 yards per play (83rd in the nation) against Villanova, Wake Forest, and a Southern Cal offense that is really struggling.
New defensive coordinator Don Brown has blitzed more this year in the effort to stop the run, produce pressure on the passer, and mask the overall lack of talent on defense. The BC secondary also lacks talent and depth, which combined with reliance on the blitz, should lead to more big plays for FSU (most likely on intermediate throws and run after the catch) than in the past against the Eagles.
Look for FSU to again come out throwing the football to get Jameis Winston comfortable on the road, with the offense producing a few big plays and a quick lead early before turning to the running game in the second half. Look for earlier participation from Karlos Williams also, who should get a series or two in the first half this week. Expect FSU to gain just under its average of 8.78 yards per play in this game, again scoring on around 70% of its overall possessions.
Florida State on Defense
Boston College is much more balanced on offense this year than last, as they've actually managed to run the football with some success this year, though again not against a stellar schedule. As on defense, the Eagles lack talent up front on offense, which showed against USC. Running back Andre Williams is a big, physical running back but will be limited by his line somewhat in this one.
Given the way Boston College will try to establish the run, this will be a good game for FSU to work on its gap control against the running game, something that has been a bit sloppy so far in 2013. BC quarterback Chase Rettig is a decent passer and can throw accurately downfield when upright, but the Boston College offense averages a paltry 5.06 yards per play (99th) and is unlikely to really challenge the FSU defense.
I expect the FSU defense to continue to rotate bodies and experiment with different looks throughout this game while still choking out the limited Boston College offense, holding the Eagles under 4 yards per play.
Look for the 'Noles to roll in this one and don't be surprised if FSU returns a kick for a touchdown with the new addition of Kermit Whitfield to the starting kickoff return duty. FSU wins comfortably, 52-13.
Wayne: Boston College has one of the worst offenses in the country. They're worse than 85th in the country in rushing yards per game, passing yards per game, and points per game while playing the stellar schedule of Villanova, Wake Forest, and Southern Cal. I expect the defense to settle down this week and use less rotation than we have seen the first three games.
Defensively BC has been fairly decent on the defensive side of the football only allowing 19.9 PPG. Those stats are skewed however as Wake and USC are in the 80s nationally in total offense and Villanova is FCS. The Florida State offense is night and day from those two teams so this will be the first legitimate test for that defense. FSU 45-10.
Geoff: Seems like every week we are talking about FSU playing an over-matched opponent. This week will be no different. FSU should have their way offensively. We will once again see the 'Noles get off to a slow start, but the 2nd quarter it will once again be an offensive explosion. Defensively, BC is capable of throwing the football. This will be a good test for the FSU secondary early in the season (especially with Tyler Hunter out). I don't see a lot of issues here. FSU rolls 48-14 and moves to 4-0.