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What went right, what went wrong on defense for FSU vs. Boston College

The Noles smother a depleted Eagles offense

Florida State was back in Tallahassee for its fourth game of the season, and its second ACC clash. After starting the season 3-0, the Seminoles were scheduled to play a depleted Boston College team. The Noles were going against a talented quarterback, but it wasn’t enough to face a deep defense like the one FSU was fielding.

The highlight of the Seminoles' win was their explosive offense, but the Noles’ defense held down the fort on every occasion where the Eagles tried to get back in. Their linebackers had a great game yet again, and their depth on the defensive line was shown.

Florida State held the Eagles to 235 yards of offense, advancing to 4-0 with a 44-14 victory.

First half

The Seminoles took the Eagles' kickoff to the house to put them up 7-0, just 13 seconds into the game. FSU’s defense took the field with a lead, and their momentum carried through to force an interception from Boston College on third down. Defensive back Omarion Cooper recorded the third career interception of his career. The offense extended the lead to put the Noles up 14-0, giving the defense an even bigger cushion.

BC was unable to move into Seminoles territory on their second drive, after hard-hitting tackles from linebacker Kalen DeLoach and defensive back Renardo Green. Another star from the secondary, Shyheim Brown got the first sack for the Noles with five minutes remaining in the first quarter, forcing the Eagles offense back to the sideline. FSU had aggression in their tackling and they were clearly aware of the exhausted BC offensive line.

With four minutes left in the opening quarter, the Noles were up 21-0. With another three points on the board for Florida State, FSU’s defense was facing a desperate BC offense. Despite the Eagles' need to put points on the board, they were stopped relatively fast. One of the biggest strengths of the Seminoles' defense was keeping the receivers in front of them and making the early tackles that don’t result in extra yardage.

The Noles went for a fourth and five with less than 10 minutes remaining and their scoring streak finally came to an end. After an eight-yard run from the Eagles, defensive back Jarrian Jones stopped the extended play for BC, but they were rewarded a first down after further review. Linebacker Tatum Bethune was a menace against the run to keep the first down chances within long range. The Eagles had a chance to get into Seminoles territory for the first time midway through the second quarter, but defensive back Greedy Vance forced the second interception of the game from BC.

Boston College was able to find a seam in the defense when they hit tight end Spencer Witter for a 22-yard gain. But, they still couldn’t get across the 50, after hard hits from the Noles defensive line. With a minute left in the first half FSU was leading 24-0. It was 31-0 heading into halftime after the offense connected on another touchdown.

Second half

Florida State started the second half defending the Eagles, which led to a first down on the opening play. Boston College was clearly more urgent to get the ball downfield. They got two straight first downs and finally pushed their way into Seminoles territory. BC found a rhythm in the run game, but FSU kept blitzing their way into open gaps. With 10:58 remaining in the third quarter, the Noles offense took the field.

Quarterback Jordan Travis and the Seminoles recorded another touchdown to put FSU up 37-0 with less than 10 minutes remaining in the third. The Eagles were moving the sticks with some solid runs, gaining their best field stance of the game just within the 50-yard line. Boston College was forcing the Noles back into the end zone, flirting with their first score of the game late in the third quarter.

Following a pass interference call on safety Akeem Dent in the end zone, BC scored its first touchdown of the game. The Noles’ defense was playing safe, leaving gaps open in the middle. FSU led 37-7 with 3:31 left in the third. At the start of the fourth quarter, the Seminoles forced a three and out showing constant aggressiveness in the run stop.

It was the defense's turn to get back on the gridiron midway through the fourth quarter after another touchdown from the Noles. It was 44-7 with less than nine minutes remaining. The rotation started to veer toward second and third-string players late in the quarter, leading to the Eagles' second touchdown of the game. With most of their starters already on the sideline, the Seminoles closed out their second ACC win.

Standout players from FSU vs. BC

Linebacker Kalen DeLoach

The Seminoles linebacker room has turned into an incredible strength for their defense, which has to be extremely refreshing for the coaching staff and fans. Their lead man, DeLoach has been such an important piece to defending the pass. He showed his quick play ability and athletic twitchiness against BC, leading to short gains for the Eagles. He finished the game with two pass breakups and seven tackles.

Linebacker Tatum Bethune

Yet another linebacker in the top defensive performers, Bethune has been an all-around nightmare for every offense he’s faced. His stats don’t jump from the stat sheet, but he’s been a stable piece as a safety blanket for the defensive line. Bethune ended the night with four tackles.

Defensive back Greedy Vance

The Louisville transfer snagged the first interception of his career early in the game. After the hit from an interception and an early deficit, the Eagles' offense was in despair. Vance has been consistent for the Noles and his efficiency this season was definitely displayed tonight.

Defensive backs Shyheim Brown & Azareye’h Thomas

Both of the young studs were tasked with playing all over the field, having to rush the quarterback and play in coverage. Thomas finished the game with two tackles for loss and Brown had one sack to go along with one and a half tackles for loss. They showed a fire their game that really brought out their versatility.