Watch it: FSU coach Willie Taggart talks BC
Wayne McGahee III, Tallahassee Democrat
Florida State hosts No. 22 Boston College at 3:30 p.m. Saturday for its final ACC game of the season.
The Seminoles (4-6, 2-5 ACC) are a 1.5-point underdog against the Eagles (7-3, 4-2 ACC).
FSU leads the all-time series 11-5 over BC and has won seven of the last eight meetings. FSU won the last meeting in Tallahassee 45-7 in 2016.
The Eagles’ only win in that span came in 2017 with a 35-3 thumping of the Seminoles.
FSU comes into the game needing two wins to get to a bowl game for the 37th straight season and needing a win over BC to avoid the worst ACC record since the Seminoles joined the ACC in 1992.
Why Florida State can win
FSU has found success this season throwing the ball down the field.
The Seminoles are 26th in the country with 41 passes of 20 yards or more. Boston College hasn’t been great at stopping downfield passing attacks allowing 32 passing plays of 20 yards or more (65th).
If FSU can hit some big plays in the passing game, it has a chance to keep the game close late.
Why Boston College will win
BC dominated the 2017 game by being more physical than the Seminoles and I don’t expect that strategy to change for this game.
FSU’s run defense has fallen off a cliff the past two weeks with North Carolina State rushing for 177 yards and Notre Dame rushing for 365.
The Eagles have a dominant offensive line and A.J. Dillon is one of the most talented running backs in the country. Both Dillon and quarterback Anthony Brown are expected to play.
On the other side of the ball, BC has one of the most opportunistic defenses in the country with 23 forced turnovers this season, which is sixth in all of college football.
FSU has been one of the worst teams in the country at committing turnovers and giving the BC offense a short field — as FSU has done for opposing offenses all season — would eliminate any chance FSU has of getting a win.
Stat of the Game
BC safety Hamp Cheevers — out of Trenton, FL — is tied for the most interceptions in college football this season with six. BC as a team has the fifth most interceptions with 15. FSU is 75th in college football with nine interceptions this season.
The FSU-BC game will be broadcast on ESPN2 and will be available on 103.1 FM in Tallahassee.
Key to the Game
If FSU wants to have any shot of winning this game it has to find a way to stop the run.
The Seminoles were one of the best run stopping teams in college football through the first eight games, but have given up 542 yards rushing to N.C. State and Notre Dame.
If FSU can make the Eagles one-dimensional, BC’s passing offense hasn’t been stellar this season, but that’s a tall task for a reeling FSU defense.
Wayne McGahee III
I don’t have much faith that FSU can put the last three weeks behind it and get the win against BC. FSU’s struggled to deal with the physical rushing attacks the last two weeks and the Eagles’ offensive line dominated the FSU defense to the point that it quit during last season’s blowout loss.
I think FSU will score some points off of big plays in the passing game, but I also think FSU is going to turn the ball over too many times to have a chance to win the game.
I believe the Seminoles’ bowl streak will come to an end with a 31-21 loss to BC.
I believe this is the harder of FSU’s two remaining games to win. If the Seminoles manage to beat BC, the bowl streak and the rivalry vs. Florida next week motivates itself.
However, I just don’t see much leading into this game that leads me to believe FSU gets it done. Notre Dame and N.C. State exposed something in FSU’s run defense the last two weeks and the Eagles are maybe the most fit team on FSU’s schedule to take advantage of that.
Defending BC’s physical offense is a tough ask for a team reeling on a three-game losing streak, and I think Dillon is productive and ices FSU’s bowl streak with a late touchdown.
BC 27, FSU 14
Florida State vs. No. 22 Boston College
When: Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
Where: Doak Campbell Stadium
TV/Radio: ESPN2/103.1 FM