This past Tuesday, ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit took to Twitter to state exactly how important he thought the Boston College game was for this Florida State squad.
This is the week we find out if FSU is a serious contender with Golson as their QB. BC always gives Noles a challenge at home. Physical Def— Kirk Herbstreit (@KirkHerbstreit) September 14, 2015
I can't say that I agree with Herbie on this one. The third game of the season (or any single game for that matter) does not define a team. Although Florida State has done nothing in the first three weeks of the season to outright prove that they are not a contender (read: lose), there is a sizable amount of room for improvement on this Florida State team. South Florida showed that pressuring Everett Golson can rattle him and severely shake his confidence while BC exposed how young and inexperienced the offensive line is and how dependent this offense really is on big plays.
Sure, the Seminoles are 3-0, having outscored their opponents 104-30 to this point, and are fresh off a 14-0 road shutout of BC, their first road shutout since 2003. However, as far as Florida State's schedule is concerned, the first three games were the tutorial levels of a video game. The bye week and Wake Forest games are the save point. (My apologies to a Wake Forest team that seems to be much improved this year but it just isn't happening.) On October 10th, the game gets a lot harder in a hurry and it appears like it will stay that way for the rest of the season.
With the first real test of the season in the rear view mirror, Florida State has a few weeks to work on its issues before the marathon stretch of the season begins. Starting on October 10th, FSU will face Miami, Louisville, Georgia Tech, Syracuse, Clemson, and NC State in six consecutive weeks. In truth, Boston College was only the first of seven lose-able games on Florida State's schedule.
Due to the inexperience that the Seminoles have across the offensive line, in addition to a few other positions, there is more room for improvement as the players gain experience and confidence. The third game of the season does not determine this team's ceiling but these next few weeks are the most likely time when improvements will be made. Once into the heart of the season, these Florida State players will be tested on a weekly basis and will need to rise to the occasion if they want to see continued success.
One level down, six to go.