This game is the early-season litmus test for Florida State. We’re going to learn a lot about this young FSU team in this game, as an offense that depends on the run faces one of the nation’s best run defenses. Boston College returns all the key components from a defensive front that gave up only 3.21 yards per carry against FBS opponents in 2014 (good for 6th nationally) plus 6’7 defensive tackle Mehdi Abdesmad, who missed last season with an injury. The Eagles’ physical defensive front will test both Jimbo Fisher’s resolve to stick with the run and whether Everett Golson and the Seminole offense will have the necessary counters when the run isn’t there.
On the other side of the ball, Boston College is young and inexperienced on the offensive line, particularly on the left side, and struggled to run the ball between the tackles in the season against Maine. FSU’s defense is considerably better than that of Maine, and I don’t expect the Eagles to have a lot of success against a Seminole defense that will need to be gap sound against lots of unbalanced looks and motion.
I expect this to be an ugly, low-scoring game in which the Florida State offense continues to have some growing pains against one of the better defenses the Noles will face this season. But as long as FSU doesn’t have a rash of turnovers, their overall athletic superiority should be too much for an equally young BC team. I have FSU 23, BC 9.
Boston College's defensive numbers are inflated by playing two FCS teams, but they are still very impressive. Still the Florida State offense, with Dalvin Cook at the helm, will be a huge jump in talent for the Eagles. Still, the Boston College run defense was very good last year and will cause an issue for the inexperienced Florida State line, particularly on the right side. The Seminoles will need Everett Golson to start off quickly this game and take some pressure off the running game early. If Golson can get going Florida State will win this one going away. If not, the Noles are in for a dog fight on the offensive side of the ball.
I wrote earlier this week that Boston College would present a unique challenge for the Florida State defense, and it will be interesting to see how the Seminoles react. Florida State has the depth to cycle in defensive linemen this year, which will help them keep fresh bodies out there against a physical offensive line. If the defense can take away Boston College's ability to run the football effectively I'm not sure quarterback Darius Wade can win the game for the Eagles.
I think this will be an ugly game for the first half with Florida State pulling away in the second half similar to the USF game. I have the Noles 27-13.