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Boston College Vs. Florida State: Talking Tonight's Game With Mack Brown

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The former head coach of the Texas Longhorns is now an analyst with ESPN and will be on the call tonight with Dave Fleming from Chestnut Hill, MA

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Dan Rubin: Coach, Thanks for taking the time out of your game preparations to speak with me. It's going to be an exciting night in Chestnut Hill. What are your thoughts in getting ready for Boston College and Florida State and what are your expectations out of tonight's game?

Mack Brown: I've known both coaches for a long time and there's probably three or four coaches either coached for me or played for me - I have to laugh because I probably hired Steve Addazio for 30 minutes, and as soon as he walked out of my office (at Texas), Temple called him and offered him a head coaching job so he was a coach at Texas for a few minutes. I watched what he did at Florida and obviously at Temple and what he's doing at Boston College and I think he's absolutely the perfect fit for BC.

Well we have two inexperienced teams tonight, two young teams and inexperienced offensive lines. At quarterback we have a guy in Darius Wade that hasn't played against big competition and doesn't have a ton of experience on the Boston College side. And on the other side is Everett Golson who has really only been (at Florida State) for about a month because he's a four-year transfer. He actually played against Boston College one time here for Notre Dame, so he's played a lot more against BC for Notre Dame than he has for Florida State.

So I think the storyline is which team can run the ball well enough to protect with young, inexperienced offensive lines to let those quarterbacks get started.

DR: When you look at this game, you mentioned the inexperience of the offensive lines. How much of a role is the defense going to play in making the offense uncomfortable? I know Coach Addazio said that early in the season the defense is further ahead than the offense, so how much of a role is the defense going to play in making the offense's lives miserable tonight?

MB: I think they'll be key. Charles Kelly, the defensive coordinator at Florida State, has to be able to stop the power running game and the off tackle stuff and force Boston College into third and long. And honestly Boston College is going to have to do the same thing. Coach (Don) Brown's a guy that has a defense that comes from everywhere with one look that's disguised and it comes from another place, so what they're going to do is stop Dalvin Cook. They're going to have to put FSU into third and long and put enough pressure on Everett Golson with their young offenseive line, and the number of blitzes they use will have to make some turnovers.

Everett didn't turn the ball over early in the year last year with Notre Dame until his defense started getting deflated and he had to start making some plays. I think that's the big question. He hasn't had a turnover in two ball games (for FSU), so will he fill the need tonight to make some plays he hasn't made the first two weeks, and will they get enough hits on him from different blitzes and different looks that Boston College brings to make him make some poor throws.

DR: When it comes to atmosphere, tonight's going to be a special night at Boston College with the Red Bandanna Game. It's turning into an annual tradition. You're no stranger to big games or big atmospheres in your coaching career. How much does that play into the players and the coaches and how much, if you're not used to it, can it be a distraction?

MB: There's such a buzz on campus all week when you're playing a Florida State and such an emotional story with the hero (Welles Crowther) and the Red Bandanna Game and especially with 9/11 being last week, all of the publicity of that. Then they have Tom O'Brien and the 10 year reunion of Boston College first joining the ACC. So it's going to be a very emotional night, and I think that it will make a difference.

Florida State's used to this - going on the road and into an environment like this. It's a huge ball game, and Florida State's going to have to handle the rush that Boston College will start the game with. They've got to get things back down to Earth, and then they've got to get into the flow of the game. But they've got to expect a tremendous amount of emotion coming from the Boston College team to start the game.

DR: In a game like this, is this the type of game where profiles can be elevated or deflated in terms of public or pro aspirations? Or is this simply one game in a 12 game slate?

MB: If you're Jimbo Fisher, you tell your team about Southern Cal's game last year. It's coincidental, but Southern Cal was #9 coming into the game last year and Florida State's #9 coming into the game tonight. You tell them that you only beat Boston College by three points at your place last year, 20-17, and the games have been close.

And at the same time, you don't want to convince your Florida State team that you can lose. So there's a fine line there in creating an edge to get their attention for Boston College but not put doubts in your team's mind that they can lose because they're very young.

For both teams, you've got to say you've got a national TV audience so everyone that's watching college football tonight is watching you. Every pro scout is going to watch you because you're going up against very good competition.

Florida State's played a tougher non-conference schedule so far than Boston College, but Coach Addazio's been working ones-against-ones in scrimmages the last two weeks because games against Maine and Howard couldn't give them near the obstacles they'll have to overcome that Florida State will tonight.

Now on the other end Coach Addazio can use anything that's he's saved offensively or defensively for tonight that he didn't use to win the first two ballgames, and there's some good stuff there I'm sure.