AJ Black: Finally we can turn the page on the Howard fiasco Dan. Time to look forward to FSU, but before we do, one last question Dan. There seems to be some issue not only with the game itself being scheduled, but with the way it was played. Dan, did you have any issue with how BC performed on Saturday?
Dan Rubin: None whatsoever. I don't think the Eagles did anything wrong. The players played and the coaches coached. It was great to see some of the younger guys get some action. It was great to see Jeff Smith debut (seriously - how about his speed?!), and it was great to see Troy Flutie hucka chucka himself some passes.
Watching Howard, I've said it a few times and I'll say it again - I was impressed by their attitude and pride when trailing in an impossible situation. They handled themselves great, and I think they can go home knowing they did their job, whatever that job was.
I'm kind of done with talking about this game. At this point, the people who are talking about the schedule or about Brad Bates or about BC pummeling the team are forgetting there's a huge game on Friday night.
AJ - what's your expectations as the top-ranked Seminoles are coming to town?
AJ: Dan for the first time in a long time, I have literally no idea what to expect from the Eagles going into Friday's game. They have played two creampuff games, which shows me nothing in terms of film to prepare for the FSU game. Florida State is a dynamic team, one that has recruited well for years and they are going to be ready. However I like how BC matches up with them. There are going to be two keys to this game: Can the offensive line hold up against FSU and open holes for Jon Hillima/Tyler Rouse/Marcus Outlow, also they need to give Darius Wade some time. Secondly, can the defense prevent the big plays? Last year BC stayed with FSU partially because the weather prevented explosive plays, but also because they kept everything in front of them. If BC can minimize the big runs by Dalvin Cook, and the long ball by Everett Golson I like their chances.
Dan, what FSU/BC matchup worries you the most going into Friday's matchup?
Dan: I'm worried about the BC secondary against this FSU offense. The Boston College front seven should be able to contain the line of scrimmage against a Seminole o-line that struggled early against South Florida. That means FSU is going to pressure the secondary with play calls designed to get outside the tackle box.
What's that mean? Well to me it means a lot of Everett Golson. While I don't believe in the hype surrounding Golson as a great quarterback, he has the ability to deliver strikes to receivers. He's going to challenge the defensive backfield with downfield throws and slant strikes. The goal is to get a receiver a step or two away of separation. That will open up shuttle runs that bounce outside when Dalvin Cook uses his athleticism and speed to take a step or two to a side.
BC's secondary needs to be aware of their positioning all night. They have to avoid getting picked, and they'll need to be able to run (or at least close) on FSU receivers. They'll need to give up a first step and make it up somewhere else.
When Cook bounces his runs away from the line, they have to be able to pivot and attack. The safeties will play a big role in being able to protect in two-deep coverage or spy the running back. I don't necessarily think they'll need to worry about Golson's mobility like they would Jameis Winston, but they'll need to at least keep an eye on containment so the D-line and linebackers can do their thing.
AJ - I'll let you switch gears. What's the most concerning part of the BC offense against this FSU defense?
AJ: There are a few things that concern me about the offense. First, the offensive line has not played anyone yet, against Maine they looked like a mess in the first half, but pulled it together in the second. Against Howard....well nothing in that game counts. The front five are going to have be on point against Florida State, no mental errors, no missed assignments, they are going to have to be flawless.
Secondly, the wide receivers. They are certainly speedier than wide outs we have seen in years past, but what worries me is that I haven't seen them gain separation the first two games against FCS squads. FSU is going to be A LOT faster than Maine/Howard, so I worry that if BC has to pass the ball that the wide outs won't get space. Jalen Ramsey is one of the best corners in the country and could be a nighmare for the Eagles.
Finally--and this is just my anxiety, but I still have no idea what Darius Wade is. I need to see what he can do against an ACC defense. We will see that on Friday, but it still is worrisome.
Dan---BC is going to need to be creative in their gameplan if they want to beat FSU. What do you expect the Eagles to do from a game plan perspective?
Dan: I think BC is going to put a throwback performance out there. On our radio show on Tuesday night, I made it a point to talk about the 2006 Florida Gators. That Florida team ran two quarterbacks - Chris Leak and Tim Tebow. Leak threw for a truckload of yards, but Tebow was the team's second leading rusher. He also threw for five touchdowns.
Therefore, Jeff Smith is going to be a factor, and I think the game plan is going to reflect some of the misdirections and creativity of those Gator teams of past. It's been 10 years since a Steve Addazio offense really confused someone using a passing quarterback and a rushing quarterback.
If that actually happens and I predicted it, I'm quitting. Well not really.
Eh who am I kidding? People are probably hoping for that so they can try to hold me to that word.
What about you?
AJ: I'm going to go to the other side of the ball and look at what BC has been able to do there, and say that Don Brown is going to add some really exotic blitzes to his gameplan. Ty Schwab and Matt Milano are both very quick linebackers and I could see them coming up the middle after Golson if FSU is forced to throw the ball.
On offense? I agree with you Dan, I have been saying it all week, Jeff Smith is going to play a role in this game, I don't know how or when, but we will be talking about him.
No Huddle Offense
AJ: Dan, BC announced a whole bunch of events for Friday's game. What are you most excited about?
Dan: Probably Ronan Tynan. He's Irish, but him singing "God Bless America" is one of those things that needs to be heard once in life. He was an indelible image at Yankee Stadium before they tore down the old building. Honorable mention to seeing the Crowther family again. Every time I see Welles' father talking about him in the ESPN video, I melt into a puddle of tears.
With all of the ESPN people roaming around, what's the over/under on questions they ask about deflated footballs?
AJ: Oh the NFL PR machine? Nothing beats journalism that isn't held accountable to anything. I don't wish ill on anyone, but Christ Mortensen can....nevermind....need to stay professional...
Finally Dan, weather is going to be beautiful on Friday night, does anything beat a warm late summer evening?
Dan: For me, I always defer to the cool, fall weather just because I love wearing hoodies. Nothing better than warming up with a hot chocolate and some good old fashioned yelling at a football game.