Florida State travels up to Boston College this weekend for their first ACC game and the Eagles will provide a different sort of challenge for the Seminoles. In an era where the spread offense has become more and more prevalent in college football, Boston College continues to run a traditional offense. That will be a different look than the Seminoles will see in each of their remaining regular season games.
Against Howard the Eagles ran their first 11 plays out of a two-tight end set, a staple of their offense since Steve Addazio took over. Florida State defensive end Demarcus Walker is really looking forward to the challenge of playing a physical running team.
"I love it," Walker said. "We love it, you know what I'm saying? That's something we got recruited here to do -- to adjust to any type of offense. Playing hard-nosed, smash mouth football. They bring it. And we bring it also. It's going to be a real good game."
While Boston College first two games have not been very challenging, they had still racked up 551 yards rushing through the first two games, which ranks 16th in the country and one spot ahead of the Seminoles.
Redshirt senior defensive tackle Nile Lawrence-Stample doesn't think that going up against Boston College will require a change in the defensive front's mentality. He believes that they're just going to need to key on the run a little bit more than they normally would.
"There's not really much difference," Lawrence-Stample said. "Just we kind of key a little bit more run this week. We're always trying to make sure we clog inside. The mindset's probably not going to be much different. Just the fact that we know we're going to get the run, that would probably be it. There's no real mental aspect that we have to really get.
The Eagles have been a thorn in Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher's side for the last two seasons. A part of that is that their scheme doesn't just impact the defense according to Fisher. It limits the offensive possession that both teams will get and creates a much closer game like last season.
"I think it was just a very methodical game, more like a pro game," Fisher said. "You had limited possessions. And they moved the ball, did some things, and they'd move it, punt it. We had to drive a long field the whole game. Very much like a pro football game when you watched last year's game."
Despite the differnet scheme, Fisher believes that the defense will be ready for it thanks to the offense Florida State runs.
“Not hard for us, because we do it," Fisher said. "We’re the oddball in that regard. Our guys get it every day. One of the things about our offense, we can spread or we can go two tight. It prepares your defense at least for a base look that you’ve seen before. It’s not totally foreign. That’s why we do a lot of the offense that we do. I like to be able to have our defense go four-wide, three-wide, empty, all those things that go on. At the same time, you’ve got to go back and play physical football. What we do on offense will help our defense going into this game. There are some things [Boston College] does differently.”
The Florida State defense will have another advantage heading into this game over last year, and that is the depth on the defensive line. Florida State dealt with injuries and youth on the defensive line for most of the year last season and were not able to rotate the way that they wanted. This season they've been able to get a lot of playing time for those young players and will be able to rotate them in without too much of a drop off. In a physical game, like the one that will be played on Friday, that depth will be invaluable.