November 2, 2007

Noles provide tough test

Florida State (5-3) vs. #2 Boston College (8-0) (ABC, Saturday 8:00PM EST)

After last week's improbable come-from-behind victory, BC returns home in front of what most assuredly will be a raucous atmosphere. In fact, it may arguably be the biggest home game in Boston College history due to the implications and prior week's performance. Another athletic and dangerous ACC opponent lies in waiting to spring the upset in the Florida State Seminoles…

Fast Facts:

Florida State returns to Alumni Stadium for the first time since 2005. In their 2005 meeting, FSU spoiled BC's inaugural ACC game by taking home a 28-17 victory. Since that loss, the Eagles have won 16 home games in a row. Florida State (5-3, 2-3) comes into the game with losses to Clemson, Wake Forest and Miami. Without question the 'Noles have one of the toughest schedules in all of college football highlighted by an out of conference schedule against Colorado, Alabama and Florida. FSU beat Colorado 16-6 in Boulder and beat Alabama (the third highest ranked SEC team) 21-14 on a neutral field in Jacksonville.

Last week Bowden's club defeated Duke 25-6, yet surprisingly, the Blue Devils held FSU to just 3 field goals in the first half. Drew Weatherford was 35 for 47 with 339 yards and 1 touchdown. Sophomore receiver Preston Parker caught one touchdown and ran for another. BC is coming off one its most memorable games in the program's history, a 14-10 victory over Virginia Tech in a monsoon at Lane Stadium. The Eagles kept their National Title hopes alive and Matt Ryan catapulted himself as a front-runner for the Heisman Trophy.

The BC defense continues to shine, ranking 2nd in rush defense and 1st in total interceptions with 18.

The last time Boston College hosted a game with a top 5 AP ranking was October 13, 1984 when the Eagles beat Temple 24-10. BC is 6-1 when ranked in the top 5 and playing at home, the one loss coming to Holy Cross in 1942.

Florida State leads the all time series 3-2. is telling us that that game time temperatures will be in the low 40's. Bundle up.

Players to watch:

Boston College: Matt Ryan. The Heisman campaign continues on National TV. These next two weeks give him an opportunity to showcase his skills in front of a large audience and pull ahead of Dennis Dixon in the race. More importantly, he's the centerpiece in BC's National Title hopes. Clif Ramsey. The O-Line struggled last week against a speed rush and they will have their hands full yet again. Ramsey replaced Ryan Poles after his torn Achilles against Notre Dame, and since then the O-Line has had its share of difficulties. The last two drives Ryan consistently left the pocket to buy himself more time against the pass rush. You gotta think that Coach Jagodzinski and Bicknell have been working all week on improving the issues with the line. Jeff Smith. Could this be the game that Logan puts Smith in the offense? Maybe. But either way Smith's kick return skills will be needed on Saturday night. Dejuan Tribble. Tribble and the BC secondary will have their hands full on Saturday; FSU has the best receiving trio in the ACC. Tribble should be a good for a pick against the shaky Weatherford but he's going to have to completely take Gregg Carr out of the game.

Florida State: Drew Weatherford - The junior signal caller is 1-1 against the Eagles and has a good deal of success averaging 284.5 yards and completing 60.5% of his passes. In the 2005 and 2006 meetings, the 'Noles scored six touchdowns and Weatherford accounted for four of them - throwing for three and rushing for another. Antone Smith. Florida State has averaged just 20.5 yards on the ground in the last two meetings against BC and this season BC has the 2 nd best rush defense. However, in his last two games Smith has gained 260 yards on 45 carries and BC gave up 97 yards on 20 carries to Branden Ore. Preston Parker. The sophomore receiver has gone over the 100-yard mark in all-purpose yards five times this season and currently leads the team in all-purpose yardage. When you consider that the last seven players to lead FSU in all-purpose yardage are currently in the NFL you can appreciate what type of talent Parker is. Parker continues to blossom as a top receiver in the ACC, over the last 4 games he has 24 receptions and 346 yards. Gregg Carr. Carr had six receptions for 84 yards in his previous two meetings against BC, but three of those receptions came for touchdowns. This season Carr has 28 receptions for 549 yards. Carr has a knack for finding the end zone: in his 32 career games, the junior receiver has 24 touchdowns. Parker and Carr alone pose a difficult task for the BC defense but when you also consider De'Cody Fagg and his 30 catches and 415 yards, this receiving corps just gets scary! Patrick Robinson. The sophomore cornerback has had an interception in each of his last four games. He will be looking to tie Terrell Buckley's FSU record on Saturday night when he goes for his 5 th straight game with a pick. Geno Hayes. The junior linebacker leads the 'Noles in tackles with 58, fourteen of which have come for a loss. Florida State currently ranks 5th in the nation with tackles for loss with 69. Everette Brown. This guy down right scares me. After seeing what Chris Ellis did to the BC line I can only imagine what Brown is capable of. The 6'4 240 pound end runs a 4.5 forty, leads the 'Noles in sacks with 5 and has accounted for the most negative yardage with -74. Look for BC to game plan against him.

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