FSU Football: Top 5 Things To Lookout For In Boston College Game

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Sep 21, 2013; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles fans cheer on their team during game against the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

FSU football will take on the Boston College Eagles on Friday night for the second year in a row. We take a look at the top five things in the BC game.

FSU football became bowl eligible for a record 35th consecutive time with its come from behind victory over NC State Saturday night.

The ‘Noles now turn their attention to the Boston College Eagles who are one game under .500 on the season. However, they did capture their first ACC win in two years this year.

Boston College always plays FSU tough regardless of the talent disparity or the points spread.

FSU football comes into this game as three touchdown favorites. We take a look at the top five things to be on the lookout for on Friday night.

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Sep 5, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles wide receiver Travis Rudolph (15) catches the ball and runs it in for a touchdown against the Mississippi Rebels during the first half at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Another Offensive Slow Start?

Another game and another offensive slow start in FSU’s last outing at NC State. What’s even more concerning is the FSU defense was able to get stops on NC State’s first two possessions, but the FSU offense could do nothing with their possessions.

The Boston College defense is not a stout was it was under former defensive coordinator Don Brown, but it’s still an impressive unit against the run.

Boston College is awful on offense, so the FSU defense should be able to create short field opportunities for the FSU offense to exploit.

Will FSU finally be able to score a first quarter touchdown against a Power 5 team? I

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Oct 15, 2016; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Deondre Francois (12) during the game against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

FSU Passing Game

The FSU offense will likely have to use a strategy similar to what was used against NC State. Like the Wolfpack, Boston College is one of the best run defenses out there.

NC State held Dalvin Cook to under 75 rushing yards by stacking the box with eight man fronts and forcing Deondre Francois to beat them with his arm.

That’s exactly what happened as Francois passed for 330 yards, and threw the winning touchdown with about three minutes to go in the game Saturday night.

Boston College will likely play a lot of man on man coverage which should bode well for FSU receivers.

The key to it all will be whether or not the FSU offensive line will be able to protect Deondre Francois or not.

Boston College is among the national leaders is sacks, and Francios will to continue to make good decisions while getting rid of the ball quicker.

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Oct 31, 2015; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminole fans react during the game against the Syracuse Orange at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

Penalties

FSU football is among the worst teams in the nation when it comes to penalties. It’s No. 127 in the nation and averaging 8.6 penalties per game for 81.1 yards.

That’s awful.

FSU did decrease their penalties in their last outing against NC State, but was still flagged six times during the game.

Most of the penalties are of the false start and holding variety on offense. Defensively, it’s usually personal fouls for unnecessary roughness( #coughs Ermon Lane).

These are penalties that can largely be avoided with proper coaching and football IQ. It’s concerning that they are consistently an issue this late in the season.

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Oct 29, 2016; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles running back Dalvin Cook (4) outruns Clemson linebacker Korrin Wiggins (15) at Doak Campbell Stadium. Clemson won 37-34. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

Dalvin Cook

Cook only needs 192 yards to become FSU’s all-time leading rusher over Warrick Dunn. That record is unlikely to fall this weekend against the great run defense of Boston College.

NC State was able to hold Cook to 3.6 yards per carry on 18 carries, and Cook barely touched the ball in the second half mainly due to staring at eight man boxes.

The same will likely take place on Saturday, but may see Cook become more involved in the passing game to become a factor.

He had two receptions for 17 yards against NC State.

Cook has already surpassed all of his passing totals from 2015, proving he’s a complete running back that can contribute it’s tough sledding running the ball.

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Oct 3, 2015; Winston-Salem, NC, USA; Florida State Seminoles offensive lineman Roderick Johnson (77) lines up during the second half against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at BB&T Field. Florida State defeated Wake Forest 24-16. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

FSU Offensive Line

This will be the biggest battle during the game. How will the FSU offensive line perform against the Boston College front?

As we mentioned, they are among the best at getting at opposing quarterbacks and are No. 4 against the run on standard downs.

The NC State game was a bright spot for the FSU offensive line as they only allowed one sack all game. They have been very good at run blocking over the course of the season, it has been the pass blocking that’s been the biggest issue.

The FSU offense can negate some of these issues by winning on first and second downs to create third and short.

Jimbo Fisher will likely look to pass on first down to loosen up that Boston College defensive front.

Nov 5, 2016; Raleigh, NC, USA; Florida State Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher watches his team during the first half against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at Carter Finley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 5, 2016; Raleigh, NC, USA; Florida State Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher watches his team during the first half against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at Carter Finley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Conclusion

The FSU defense has started to take shape over the last couple of games. We’re not seeing anything close to the number of coverage busts we saw earlier in the year.

One part of that is the FSU defenses not facing anything close to the top offenses they had earlier in the season outside of Clemson.

The other part of that is younger players in the FSU secondary beginning to assert themselves. Also, the emergence of true freshman linebacker Dontavious Jackson has been a bright spot.

The FSU offense is ranked as the No. 7 offense in the nation according to S&P + metrics. However, if you’re a FSU fan it’s kinda of hard to believe that based on the number of slow starts the team experiences each game.

If the FSU offense can take advantage of some short field opportunities created  by the FSU defense, it should bode well for FSU’s ability to cover the 21 point spread.

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