02 November 2011
Thursday night, the Florida State Seminoles (5-3) will take on the Boston College Eagles (2-6) in Chestnut Hill. The Seminoles come in riding a three game winning streak in which they have outscored their opponents 116-32 and outgained them each by at least 2.5 yards per play. The hope is that the focus can continue, despite playing on just five days rest against a team that often gives Florida State trouble. As the Seminoles continue to work their way into a comfort level that allows them to play at the level most people predicted they would in the preseason, the dreaded Thursday night contest is just the type of curveball that those same people will want to see FSU handle with relative ease. In their favor, the Seminoles have the fact that the Eagles are also playing on just five days rest after winning their first game against an FBS opponent on Saturday. Let's hear what our resident fans have to say about this short week turnaround and how the Noles will fare.
Harry Homer says: So by this time, I guess you guys are starting to see what I've been saying all along about this team huh? These guys are clicking on all cylinders right now and getting better every week! Holding NC State to 2.7 yards per play, just 166 yards total on the day? That's flat out nuts! The Florida State defense is going to come out with much of the same tomorrow I'm sure. Now it's going to be a bit cold out, but not bitterly freezing like it could be, so I don't believe this will be a huge issue. We escaped last week without any major injuries and everyone is starting to gel together.
On offense, EJ Manuel continues to play very well and if not for a drop last week, he would've gone without throwing an interception. He threw 35 passes and completed 73.5% of them. The kid is starting to get it and the Florida State offense is benefiting. Now for Boston College, this is going to be a tough game. The Eagles have struggled all year with Duke, UCF and Northwestern being among their six losses on the season. This isn't the team that typically gives the Noles fits, nor are these the Noles that normally struggle with Boston College. Chase Rettig is the starting QB for BC. Against Maryland, his longest completion was for 13 yards and he finished the day completing under 42% of his passes. The Eagles benefited from a heroic 243 yard rushing performance from Rolandan Finch and that's something they can't count on against this Seminole defense. I'm expecting this to be another big win for FSU and this time, the entire country will watch it happen. Florida State 38, Boston College 13.
Pete Pessimist says: I still have my gripes and doubts about this Florida State team, but I can say for sure they're working hard on erasing them lately. This Boston College squad usually plays really good defense, but have struggled this season so they may not be the biggest threat. What I am uneasy about is the fact that we're playing on a Thursday night on the road. These always have a way of being kind of tricky and more competitive than they need to be. The additional challenge is that this game is being played without a bye week preceeding it, which is absolutely ridiculous to be honest. Physically and mentally, the kids on both teams will be worn out and as a result, this game is likely to be pretty sloppy in the early going. The fact that this game is on the road and in the goal means that could spell disaster for the Noles, but we will see how they handle it.
The biggest thing I've noticed about this three game winning streak is that FSU jumped out early. With they be able to do that under these circumstances? We will see. My guess is that despite the disparity in talent and play thus far in 2011, this game is going to be kind of ugly. Regardless, Florida State should win this game, otherwise the issues that we thought were gone have probably come back to haunt us. Florida State 24, Boston College 10.
Randy Realist says: Here we are, set for the dreaded Thursday night game. I must admit, despite the short week and traveling for a Thursday nighter, there isn't much here that the Seminoles shouldn't be able to handle. Starting BC quarterback Chase Rettig has not enjoyed a very good season thus far. Overall, the Eagles struggle to move the ball consistently through the air and despite a huge day on the ground in terrible conditions against Maryland this past Saturday, they are not a good team on the ground. Rettig is completing just above 50% of this passes on the year.
The Seminole's front four has been on a roll in the past few weeks and could make it a very long night on a big stage for Chase Rettig and the BC offense. One of the main reasons things haven't gone too well for Rettig is that his receivers haven't been all that consistent and it's showing in the box score. Boston College has struggled to reach the end zone all year, ranking 107 in the nation in scoring and their team high receiving touchdowns being just two by Colin Larmond, who has trouble running correct routes at times. The obvious bright spot for Boston College is junior LB Luke Kuechly, who has an insane 130 tackles on the season to go along with two interceptions. Kuechly is going to make his plays without a doubt, but he cannot be a one man defense. The Eagles have their work cut out for them. Florida State 35, Boston College 14.
Players to Watch
FSU QB EJ Manuel: Manuel's play continues to improve from week to week and this is a formidable test, more so because of the circumstance than the opponent. The BC defense may not be as daunting as usual, but the main thing to look for out of EJ Manuel is consistently good performance on a game to game basis.
FSU DT Tim Jernigan: The true freshman phenom has been a disruptive force for the Seminoles all year and his share of snaps played continues to increase. He has accounted for 1.5 sackes and several QB hurries in the last two weeks, as well as a big fumble recovery against NC State.
FSU WR Kenny Shaw: The sophomore receiver is coming into form and stepping up as perhaps the most reliable target among a talented and deep bunch at the position. After Shaw's horrific hit suffered against Oklahoma, he has bounced back in outstanding fashion. In the past two weeks, he has recorded 13 receptions for 122 yards and two touchdowns.
BC RB Rolandan Finch: The RS Sophomore back enjoyed a career day last tweek against Maryland as the BC offensive line dominated the Terps. He rushed for 243 yards on 39 carries and scored two touchdowns. Is this a new life for the BC offense, or will they be shut down by the much more stout Florida State defense?
BC LB Luke Kuechly: Easily the best linebacker in the ACC and one of the best in the nation, expect Kuechly's name to be called all day long. He will make his plays. The question is how much he'll be able to disrupt the Florida State offense. Keep an eye out for #40.
Time: 8:00 pm
Location: Chestnut Hill, MA. Alumni Stadium.
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