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Preview 2023: Boston College Football vs Florida State

BC’s toughest test of the season

Syndication: Tallahassee Alicia Devine/Democrat

Following both Northern Illinois and Holy Cross, Boston College hosts its third straight home game in taking on Florida State. FSU is undoubtedly the toughest team on BC’s slate this year and the game will have the heightened distinction of serving as BC’s Red Bandana Game honoring the late Welles Crowther.

When: Saturday September 16th at 12:00pm ET

Where: Alumni Stadium, Chestnut Hill, MA

Florida State Preview:

When these teams faced off last season, BC was clearly less talented on both sides of the ball, fell behind early, and ended up getting blown out 44-14 in Tallahassee. Boston College will have to be at their very best to avoid a similar outcome again.

Florida State enters Year 4 of the Mike Norvell Era with more hype and expectations than FSU has seen in a long time. Norvell oversaw a breakthrough campaign last season which saw FSU finish 10-3, with all three losses coming against Top-25 opponents. Moreover, many of the stars who were instrumental to the breakthrough are returning to Tallahassee. The two biggest names are quarterback Jordan Travis, who emerged as an elite option under center with 3,214 passing yards and 31 total touchdowns to only 5 interceptions, and Edge Jared Verse, who dominated to the tune of 47 tackles and 9 sacks. However, the list does not end there: 990-yard rusher Trey Benson returns, alongside freak 6’7 junior WR Johnny Wilson. The icing on the cake is FSU’s elite transfer class, which recruiting site 247 has ranked 4th in the country. Ex-Michigan State WR Keon Coleman bolsters the offense with experience and explosiveness, while lockdown CB Fentrell Cypress comes in from UVA to strengthen the Seminole secondary.

All told, FSU’s roster is loaded. It is not surprising, then, that this team is being heralded as a major threat to win the ACC and potentially make the College Football Playoff. A win for BC could be their biggest in years, but it will be difficult to do.

How Does BC Match Up?

Boston College comes into this game already knowing they are at an athletic and talent disadvantage. In order for them to emerge on top, then, are a couple keys:

  • Limit Travis, especially in the passing game. BC has faced multiple dual-threat QBs in the past few seasons, such as Louisville’s Malik Cunningham. In last year’s contest, Cunningham scored multiple rushing touchdowns but struggled throwing the ball, and the Eagles ended up with their first ACC win of the season. Travis is flat-out better than Cunningham, but I think BC’s D-line is a strength of the team and can give Travis some problems if the secondary holds up. Limiting the explosive plays will be crucial to BC hanging around.
  • Establish a running game. Offensively, the Eagles don’t have the same firepower as the Seminoles. In order to keep the game close, BC will want to chew clock and keep Travis and Co. off the field. With BC’s newly-revamped O-line, expect the return of BC’s running attack — I think Alex Broome, Pat Garwo and Co. will have major roles in this game. If BC finds success rushing the ball, that will open up the field for Morehead to find the likes of Joe Griffin Jr., Ryan O’Keefe and Jaden Williams.

Preseason Prediction:

Before BC men’s basketball’s win over Wake Forest last season, I called myself an optimist before picking the Eags to win 71-68. They won 71-69. On Red Bandana Night? Give me Boston College, 27-21.