FSU Football: Why Boston College Is Such a Hard Win For The Noles

Historically, FSU Football has struggled against the Boston College Eagles. Will that trend continue in this weekend’s matchup?

This Friday night, the Florida State Seminoles play host to the Boston College Eagles. Though the two teams don’t have what could be constituted as a rivalry, the matchup has given fans an unexpected level of excitement ever since Boston College joined the Atlantic Coast Conference back in 2005.

Way Too Close For Comfort

For the decade-plus the Eagles have been a member of the ACC, Florida State has usually resided at or near the top of the conference and national standings. With the exception of 2006 and 2007, when Boston College reached No. 2 in the country, the Seminoles have always been ranked higher than BC. But that hasn’t played out on the field, where the latter has given the former a great bit of difficulty these past 12 years.

The two teams meet once each season now that they reside in the same division. In 2005, BC’s inaugural season in the ACC, Florida State was a top-0 team in the country, yet BC gave it all it could handle in an 11-point victory. After that, the Eagles won three of the next four years when the two teams met – 2006 and 2008 were both road victories for Boston College in Tallahassee.

After another win for the Eagles in 2009, Florida State righted the ship on the win-loss ledger, but never seemed to feel overly comfortable in the game. Outside of a couple blowouts for the Seminoles, this series’ final scores have been incredibly close over the years.

In the past two seasons, when FSU ranked first (according to the Associated Press) in the nation in 2014 and then No. 9 last year, BC hung with it each time. 2014 was just a three-point victory despite FSU playing at home and in 2015, FSU was held to 14 points.

That 2014 match was one for the books. Top-ranked Florida State, led by quarterback Jameis Winston, was undefeated entering the contest. They had won 25 consecutive games with another national championship in their sights. Yet the juggernaut was tied at 17 with BC entering the fourth quarter.

The game remained tied until three seconds left. After Winston led the offense down the field, Roberto Aguayo was given a field-goal attempt for the victory. Having an All-American kicker helps in situations like that. Aguayo nailed it, giving FSU the narrow victory.

A New Story in 2016?

Fast forward to 2016 and the Seminoles enter the game this game as 21 point favorites. The No. 18 Seminoles need help, but they still have a path to a New Year’s Day bowl game if everything falls their way. For a team that entered the season with the goal of a national championship, this comes as a disappointment.

The common thread that has kept Boston College in these games (after the Matt Ryan era ended, that is) has been a powerful defense. Even this season, as BC struggles through a 1-5 campaign within the conference, it has one the elite rush defenses in the entire country and a highly competitive defense overall.

That may not be enough to come out with a victory on the road in Tallahassee, but it always seems to keep BC in the game in this matchup. Like many opponents, Florida State often struggles to consistently move the ball against the Eagles. Games like 2012, when FSU won 51-7, are the exception – and that is interesting in a “rivalry” that seems overwhelmingly one-sided historically.

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