Welcome to the Line of Scrimmage, where ahead of each game this football season, we’re giving you insight into Florida State’s opponents from those in the know.
This week, we welcome Curtis Flannery from our SB Nation sister site BC Interruption to give us some insight on the Boston College Eagles. BC is 1-2 on the season, having secured a 38-17 win vs. Maine but falling to Rutgers 22-21 and Virginia Tech 27-10.
While the Eagles return big names on offense in quarterback Phil Jurkovec, receiverZay Flowers and running back Pat Garwo, they’ve struggled to adjust along the trenches on both offense and defense.
Before the start of the season, the quarterback gauntlet that FSU had to face was a major topic of conversation — one circled was Boston College’s Phil Jurkovec. Obviously, the season hasn’t started out how BC fans hoped, but he’s still a special player. What sets Jurkovec apart from some of his QB peers? What’s an area he still needs improvement in?
I’d say the number one thing he’s great at is just standing tall in the pocket, reacting to pressure being able to get the ball out. And then the short to intermediate passing game, he can really laser it. He injured his hand and his grip strength and throwing accuracy on the long ball just hasn’t been what it used to be. He’s missing receivers deep down the field, whether it’s over their head or under thrown a lot more often than he used to. We thought that’d be fixed for this season, but it still seems to be one of his struggles. He has a real shot at being drafted in the NFL, maybe not so high as we were hoping a few seasons ago before his injury, but he does have a shot to play on Sundays.
The Eagles’ current offensive line situation reminds me of where FSU has been for several of the past few years. Starter Christian Mahogany tore his ACL and he was the only BC lineman who entered the season with starting experience. Another one of those is injured Ozzy Trapilo. Can you give a state of Boston College’s offensive line heading into Saturday’s matchup?
They knew offensive line was going to be a weakness, because they lost four of five starters, and then Mahogany went down and they lost five of five. So they came into the season thinking it would be a weakness, but it has absolutely become kryptonite. It’s throwing the entire offense off their game and it’s making it impossible for them to win games because of it. They’re now starting preferred walk on on the offensive line. It’s just been a complete disaster. And it’s definitely going to be the biggest problem for BC moving forward.
I think most are familiar with star wide receiver Zay Flowers and running back Pat Garwo. Could you take a minute and tell everyone other players of note on offense?
Notre Dame transfer tight end George Takacs — he’s a really big bodied senior guy who’s can really grab passes in the short and intermediate game. There’s a pretty deep receiving corps and then running backs as well, the offense really has a lot of pieces to make things work if the offensive line can hold up a bit better, but obviously that’s a big question mark.
On the defensive side of the ball, Boston College was one of the top pass defenses in the nation last year but so far has struggled against the run due to injuries up front. How would you compare the defense’s performance to last year?
The defense is a really consistent unit, because they’ve returned almost every single guy they had last year. Jeff Haffley is a secondary guy first and foremost. And FSU transfer, Jaiden Woodbey has been a real crucial part of that defense as well, along with cornerback Josh Deberry. In the front seven, that’s mostly where their weaknesses lie on defense. They’re returning a lot of production but that production last year was just mediocre at best. I think they could hold FSU to a lower amount of points — not really low, because the offense may give them pretty good field position but it will be a struggle for FSU to score a bit even though they’re going to be on the field a lot.
Finally, FSU enters this game with some potential injuries of their own. Do you feel that Boston College is healthy enough to take advantage and pull out the win Saturday night?
BC is definitely a healthy team outside of the offensive line — there really no major injuries to report. I think the key to a BC win would have to be having a big defensive day with the front seven because I know FSU has a very strong backfield. And BC’s weakness has generally been their running defense, but if they’re able to keep the running game a bit tied down, they should have a good day because that pass defense is very strong.
And then on the offensive side of the ball, you’re just going to need big plays day to make some big plays because the running game is not going to get going. I’m not super confident, but I wouldn’t count them completely out.
Everything Florida State Seminoles, all the time.
The Tomahawk Nation podcast channel, presented by SB Nation, features insider Seminoles recruiting, football, basketball, baseball, softball, and soccer analysis and commentary, featuring shows hosted by staff writers Tim Alumbaugh, Matt Minnick, Michael Rogner, Brian Pellerin, and Ben Meyerson, featuring contributions by Joshua Pick, David Stout, Jon Marchant, Max Escarpio and the entire Tomahawk Nation staff, produced by managing editor Perry Kostidakis.