Road to Tampa Bay: Game 5 - Boston College

In NoleDigest's fifth installment of our Road to Tampa Bay series, Florida State heads to Beantown as they return to conference play. Boston College loses many key players as well as their head coach from last season, but always finds a way to play the 'Noles tough.

When the Seminoles head to Boston this season, they will be looking at a new-look Eagle team under new head coach Frank Spaziani. Jeff Jagodzinski was fired by Boston College in January for flirting with the New York Jets, after being told not to interview with them.

In addition to the loss of Jagodzinski, the Eagles lose several keys players, most notable their defensive tackle tandem of Ron Brace and B.J. Raji. The Eagles also lose their starting quarterback from last season, Chris Crane, but he will be more easily replaced as he was unable to follow in the footsteps of Matt Ryan, who has settled nicely in the NFL.

Last season, Boston College's biggest strength on offense was their wall up front that handled most defensive lines. Four of the five starters on the Eagles' offensive line return which should make them even tougher this year for opposing defenses to penetrate.

Running behind them will be Jacksonville native Montel Harris, who rushed for 921 yards last season. 121 of those yards came in last year's battle with FSU at Doak Campbell Stadium. Harris was able to march down the field during the key drive which put the game out of reach of the Seminoles late during the fourth quarter.

With an unproven defensive line that is full of question marks, the Seminoles must find players to step up and slow down the rush attack of Boston College. If the Eagles are able to establish their ground game early, they will be in control of the tempo most of they way.

Dominique Davis will start out at quarterback for the Eagles, but in three games last season, did not show many signs of being ready to take over the offense just yet. He will battle with freshmen quarterback Justin Tuggle for snaps during fall camp and early into the season. As far as targets go for BC, they lose their top receiver in Brandon Robinson and will be keeping their eyes on Rich Gunnell, who racked up 551 yards last season.

Up front on defense, BC will have just as many question marks as FSU does. With an experienced line and talented running backs, the Seminoles will have the same plan as BC offensively; attack up front. Florida State should be able to effectively move the ball on the ground, which will put more pressure on the back seven of BC.

Linebacker Mark Herzlich is a do-it-all player as he recorded 110 tackles, six interceptions and three sacks last season. He is the heart of the defense and needs to be active if the Eagles want to be successful. They also return three upper classmen from the secondary, but lose Paul Anderson, who was the heart of the unit last season. Assuming the Tribe can move the ball early, the Eagles will be forced to pack the box which will let FSU's speedy receivers out in the open to make plays in the passing game.

What Florida State must do to win: As stated earlier, this game will come down to the rushing attack on both sides of the ball. Florida State MUST get pressure up front and disrupt the ground game of Boston College forcing an inexperienced quarterback to beat them with his arm, which probably won't happen. Just the same, the Tribe has to be able to move the ball with their three talented backs and take advantage of the absence of two of the best tackles in the ACC last season.

NoleDigest way too early prediction: Following what should be an emotional game against USF, Florida State will travel up the East Coast and play a team that always gives them fits. The Florida State offense will have to take advantage of a weaker defense and they should in this game. Alumni Stadium has been kind to Florida State lately as they Tribe has won their past two games there, and look for that trend to continue. Boston College just won't have enough fire power to keep up with a Florida State offense that should be much improved. Coach Fisher should be able to use the speed more effectively this season and spread out Boston College allowing an easier time than last season.

FSU 28 BC 17

FSU 5-0 (2-0 ACC)

Stay tuned to NoleDigest all month as we continue out "Road to Tampa Bay" series with out next installment looking at the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

*Based on NoleDigest's way too early predictions.

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