The Florida State Seminoles face off with the Boston College Eagles on Saturday, with both teams looking to bounce back from losses. For Florida State it was a shocking 17-16 upset to the North Carolina State Wolfpack, one that saw their explosive offense sputter. E.J. Manuel was sacked four times as the Seminole offense came in 150 yards below their season average.
SB Nation's Florida State blog Tomahawk Nation has a detailed preview of the game up, including exactly what to look for from BC's defense, and what FSU can do to counter:
Expect Boston College to try and blitz a bit. While this has not been a staple of the BC defense, FSU has struggled with blitz protection. E.J. Manuel's pre-snap reads are generally not all that good and he tends to struggle when under pressure. E.J. also tends to hold onto the ball too long. He either trusts his escape-ability too much or zeroes in on blitz instead of keeping his eyes down field. Either way, he takes too many sacks in this situation.
The hot read for most of these pressure situations is a bubble screen or quick slants so expect BC to try and take those away. If the Noles are able to keep the pressure off E.J., he will have a shot to make some big plays down field. He had opportunities against NC State but was unable to connect on most of them.
Boston College is giving up an average of 29 points per game, ranking them 84th in the FBS. If Florida State needs a week for their offense to find its feet, the week they play BC would be a good choice. FSU's defense is likely to have its hands full as well, as BC's passing attack is ranked 38th in the nation. Tomahawk Nation has some insight there as well:
FSU needs to get a good pass rush, especially from the defensive tackles. Bjeorn Warner and Cornelius Caradine were gassed in the second half of the NC State game. Will FSU play Giorgio Newberry,Toshmon Stevens, and Mario Edwards Jr. more? They would be smart to as those players need to start taking meaningful snaps and are not likely to get the experience they need sitting on the sidelines.
There's plenty more discussion on the game, so don't miss the full post.