Chestnut Hill, MA – The eighth-ranked Florida State Seminoles jump back into ACC play when they travel to Chestnut Hill this weekend for a conference clash with the Boston College Eagles.
One of the favorites in the ACC coming into the season, FSU has certainly looked the part, posting three straight lopsided wins over Pittsburgh (41-13), Nevada (62-7) and most recently, Bethune-Cookman (54-6).
Despite last week's easy win over the Wildcats, Jimbo Fisher still sees areas that need to improve going forward.
"We've got a lot of room to grow but we did the things we had to do," Fisher said. "Now we get back to our conference on the road and need to clean a lot of things up but we're getting to where we need to be."
Steve Addazio is in his first season at the helm at Boston College. The Eagles opened the 2013 campaign with wins over Villanova (24-14) and Wake Forest (24-10), but suffered a 35-7 road loss at USC in week three. BC has had an extra week to prepare for this contest, sitting idle last weekend.
Addazio recognized after the USC loss that the team needs to improve in a lot of areas.
"I'm obviously disappointed in the outcome. I don't think we executed well at all. We gave up some 550 yards and on offense and we gained only 185-200. We didn't do much on either side of the ball. Collectively as a team we didn't play like we have to. We have to get off the field on defense and get good field position on offense, try to control the ball and get the thing in the fourth quarter and that didn't happen."
This is just the 12th meeting all-time between these two teams. Florida State holds a 7-4 series advantage and has won three straight against Boston College, including a 51-7 rout in Tallahassee last season.
Florida State has had no problem moving the chains this season, ranking 13th nationally in total offense (547.3 ypg). The team is putting up 52.3 ppg thus far, ranking fifth nationally in scoring.
The offense is running on all cylinders thanks to redshirt freshman phenom Jameis Winston. The young signal caller has completed an impressive 78.1 percent of his passes, for 718 yards and eight touchdowns against just one interception. A full arsenal of weapons in the passing game include wideouts Rashad Greene (15 catches, 209 yards, three TDs) and Kenny Shaw (14 catches, 277 yards, one TD) and tight end Nick O'Leary (6 catches, 63 yards, three TDs).
The ground game for FSU is equally productive at 266.3 ypg, with a backfield chock-full of options. Devonta Freeman (9.8 ypc, 91.0 ypg, two TDs) leads the way, but Karlos Williams (11.4 ypc, 64.3 ypg, three TDs) and James Wilder Jr. (6.6 ypc, 53.0 ypg, two TDs) are more than capable of carrying the load as well.
Florida State's defense has been just as responsible for the team's early season success as the offense. The Seminoles rank third nationally in scoring defense (8.7 ppg), first in pass defense (115.7 ypg) and seventh in total defense (251.0 ypg).
All-American candidate Lamarcus Joyner headlines the play in the FSU secondary. The 5-8 senior cornerback leads the team in tackles (18) and sacks (2.0). Senior linebacker Telvin Smith adds to the stellar play in the back seven with 17 tackles and one interception.
The offensive numbers for Boston College are a bit deceiving. The Eagles are netting just 303.7 yards per game and putting up a modest 18.3 ppg, but the team does possess talent at the skill positions.
Senior quarterback Chase Rettig threw for over 3,000 yards in 2012 and is off to a solid start in 2013, completing just over 60 percent of his passes, for 491 yards and four TDs. It helps to have an All-ACC receiver to look to downfield in senior Alex Amidon, who leads the team in receptions (20), receiving yards (262) and touchdown catches (2).
Tailback Andre Williams provides the balance with his rushing exploits. Williams leads the ACC in rushing through three games at 118.7 ypg (15th nationally), netting 4.7 yards per carry.
The BC defense has played to mixed reviews thus far. Opponents are averaging 19.7 ppg and have had success both rushing (177.7 ypg) and passing (209.3 ypg) the ball.
The unit is led by a veteran linebacking corps, highlighted by seniors Kevin Pierre-Louis (28 tackles, 3.5 TFL, one sack) and Steele Divitto (25 tackles). Senior end Kasim Edebali (12 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 2.5 sacks) and junior linebacker Josh Keyes (2.5 sacks) have had the most success rushing the passer.