Size vs. Speed

When Florida State meets Boston College for the first time in 24 years on Saturday night, a national television audience will be privy to captivating battle between speed and size.

Boston College (2-0) features behemoth fronts on both sides of the ball and a linebacker that doubles as an offensive battering ram at tailback on short-yardage situations.

The Seminoles (2-0), meanwhile, boast their trademark team speed, most of which is homegrown from the Sunshine State.

"They are a big, physical team," FSU tailback Leon Washington said. "This game is definitely going to be a battle up front. Our running game is going to have to step it up."

Having to go without the services of starting center David Castillo, the FSU offensive line will be forced to handle a BC front that features All-American Mathias Kiwanuka, the Big East player of the year in 2004.

BC likes to switch things up by moving the 6-7, 262-pound Kiwanuka around in several spots along the front to utilize his NFL-caliber run-stuffing and pass-rushing talents. Though Kiwanuka has yet to register a sack, the strategy has worked thus far – two games into the season, the Eagles lead the ACC in rushing defense.

On the other side of the ball, a surprising FSU defensive line will clash with a BC offensive front that measures 6-6 and 320 pounds per man on average. Only center Patrick Ross weighs in at under 300 pounds.

"No matter how big, the low guy usually wins," said FSU defensive tackle Andre Fluellen, who returns from a biceps injury that sidelined him for last Saturday's game against The Citadel.

Due to lack of experience, not much was expected from FSU's defensive line this season. The unit, however, has 11 sacks in its first two contests, good for second in the nation behind Nebraska (16).

"I don't care how big that guy is in front of me," nose guard Brodrick Bunkley said. "We have a lot of fighters on this team. We're going to find a way to get it done."

One other wrinkle that BC will bring to the table can be described simply as "First-and-Toal". In a 44-7 rout of Navy last weekend, the Eagles placed 240-pound linebacker Brian Toal into the lineup on the goal line to hammer it out in short yardage situations.

"That's typical northern football," FSU coach Bobby Bowden said. "The way we used to see it with Ohio State or Michigan…with Woody Hayes and (Bo) Schembechler. We are going to have to win this game up front."

Bowden and company have made scoring early a goal. The Seminoles didn't register a first-quarter touchdown during any road game a season ago.

"I think it's very important that we go out and play well the beginning of the game," FSU quarterback Drew Weatherford said. "If we go out and play well in the beginning, I don't see many teams coming back to beat us with the defense that we have. It'll be huge if we can get out in front."

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