Previewing 2018 Football: Florida State

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After Boston College football had its ACC title hopes crushed by Dabo Swinney and Clemson, the Eagles now travel to Tallahassee to face a Florida State team in turmoil. BC (7-3, 4-2 Atlantic Coast) was on a roll heading into its College GameDay-featured matchup, but the Tigers clamped down on defense, and Trevor Lawrence marched seamlessly down the field to help the Tigers prevail over the Eagles.

FSU (4-6, 2-5) comes into Saturday’s matchup riding a three-game losing streak. Head coach Willie Taggart announced that Deondre Francois would start the rest of the season despite his shaky performance against Notre Dame last week. For BC, the Seminoles are a much weaker opponent than Clemson, but with both Anthony Brown and A.J. Dillon a bit shaken up, this is not a cupcake matchup. Head coach Steve Addazio has already locked up bowl eligibility for the Eagles, but with the hype surrounding this BC team, he wants to secure a better bowl placement and avoid yet another seven-win season.

Who is BC playing?

Florida State

When is BC playing?

Saturday, Nov. 17, 3:30 p.m.

Where is BC playing?

Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, Fla.

How to Watch:

This game will be broadcasted on ESPN2.

By the Numbers:

BC:

1) Quarterback E.J. Perry was thrust into the game after a hard hit from Christian Wilkins knocked Anthony Brown out of the game on BC’s first drive of the night. Perry was tasked with leading a very conservative offense, as he rarely took shots down the field and only averaged 4.7 yards per attempt. Despite Brown being transported to the hospital during the game, he has practiced all week and is expected to start on Saturday.

2) Clemson’s defensive line was hailed as one of the best units in the nation, and it played up to that level this past weekend. Hampered by his left ankle injury, A.J. Dillon often had little to no room in the backfield and rushed for just 39 yards on 16 carries.

3) Michael Walker scored his first punt return touchdown of his career against Clemson. The senior wide receiver had been close to breaking off a touchdown on a countless number of occasions, but it finally came on the biggest stage. His return put the Eagles up, 7-3, igniting Alumni Stadium in the process.

FSU:

1) Once heralded as one of the best quarterbacks in the nation, Deondre Francois has fallen on harder times. Last week against Notre Dame, the junior only completed 23 of his 47 passes and threw a costly interception on just the second play of the game.

2) FSU’s ground attack has been stuck in the mud. The Seminoles are 127th in the nation in rushing. Cam Akers and Jacques Patrick—FSU’s two leading rushers—have combined to record just 863 yards on the season. To put that in perspective, this number is lower than A.J. Dillon’s total of 936 rushing yards, which has come during an injury-plagued season.

3) The Seminoles are a team with many issues, and one of those is their inability to convert on third down. On the 158 third downs that it has faced, FSU has only moved the chains 49 times. This results in a conversion percentage of only 31 percent, six points lower than its opponents’ mark of 37 percent.

Last Meeting:

These teams last met on Oct. 27, 2017, when BC blew out FSU, 35-3. The matchup served as the fourth iteration of the Red Bandana Game, an event that honors Welles Remy Crowther. During the Red Bandana Game, special things are known to happen on the field, such as BC’s upset over No. 9 USC in 2014. This game was no exception, as the Eagles dominated the Seminoles on both sides of the ball.

Outlook:

Coming off a tough loss to Clemson, the Eagles want to get back on track with a win over a struggling Seminoles team. With Brown behind center, BC will likely have the upper hand, at least in terms of personnel.

The story for this FSU team is falling behind early and being unable to recover. The key for BC is to get off to a quick start and not look back. The Eagles’ defense has the skill set to stymy an uninspiring Seminoles offense, and with creative play calling, the offense can carve holes in FSU’s defense. A win here would only further vault the Eagles up the national rankings and give them confidence, heading into a tough regular season finale against No. 12 Syracuse.

Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Senior Staff