Florida State is slated to face its two toughest opponents within the first four games of the season in LSU and Clemson. Squeezed in between these clashes are two games that Florida State should be expected to win, but scream “trap”. After a short week against Southern Miss, the Seminoles hit the road to face a familiar foe in Boston College.
Boston College is coming off a season riddled with injuries and disappointment. But Coach Jeff Hafley has shown his teams can step up when it counts, especially on defense. Can the Eagles pull off an early season upset or will FSU coast before the marquee matchup with the Tigers?
Let’s break down the ACC opener for the Florida State Seminoles.
Florida State vs. Boston College
Date, time: September 16th, 2023 at 12:00 pm EST (ABC)
Location: Chestnut Hill, MA
Previous matchup: Florida State took advantage of a depleted Boston College in a 44-14 blowout.
All-time series: FSU leads the overall series 14-5.
Boston College Eagles: Team Preview
2022 record: 3-9 (2-6 conference)
Two things to know:
- This could be the make-or-break season for head coach Jeff Hafley. Last year’s 3-9 season dropped his overall record at Boston College to 15-20. The coordinators are new at the positions, but are familiar names. Rod Chudzinski was promoted to associate head coach/offensive development and quarterback coach Steve Shimko jumped to offensive coordinator whereas Aazaar Abdul-Rahim (defensive backs) and Sean Duggan (linebackers) were promoted to co-defensive coordinators. One could argue familiarity is an advantage, our sister BC Interruption has other thoughts.
- Boston College’s offense is in a rebuild as Phil Jurkovec has transferred to the Pittsburgh Panthers) and electric receiver Zay Flowers was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens.
Three key players:
- Sophomore quarterback Emmett Morehead
Morehead took over the starting spot last season and for the year totaled 1,254 yards passing with 10 touchdowns and six interceptions. His best performance (330 yards passing) was in a 21-20 win over a ranked NC State team. The sophomore threw for over 250 yards in three of his four starts.
- Redshirt senior Christian Mahogany
At one time, Mahogany was ranked the second best guard in the NFL draft before an ACL tear derailed that path last season. The void he left on the line was evident as the Eagles were forced to rotate in non-scholarship players at times to piece together a playable line of scrimmage. His decision to return to Chestnut Hill provides a much needed presence for the position group.
- Junior defensive end Donovan Ezeiruaku
The All-ACC second team terror totaled 8.5 sacks this past season for Boston College. The defensive standout for the Eagles also led the team with 14.5 tackles for loss and three fumbles. Florida State lineman will have to know where number six is lined up at all times.
Florida State vs. Boston College: Game Preview
Florida State cruises to a large first-half lead and is able to rest their starters before the key matchup with Clemson. Ideally, the Seminoles escape without any injuries while also not showing any letdown on either side of the ball. By the second half, key reserves gain valuable experience against conference competition preparing them for the future.
Florida State plays well but not great with Clemson on the horizon. Boston College maybe finds early success matching FSU before the Seminoles' talent and depth eventually win out in convincing fashion. While the score has potential for a blowout, the emotions of the Eagles plus the chance of a sleepy noon game could make this closer for longer than fans enjoy.
The dreaded “Bandana Game” ignites the Eagles to an emotional victory that ends Florida State’s playoff hopes. While the significance of this special game for the Eagles should be celebrated, the confidence and boost that it has provided Boston College in the past has proven to be the Seminole’s downfall.