TALLAHASSEE -- After its first three games of the season, No. 8 Florida State has noticed a pattern in the way opposing offenses have tried to attack it this year.
“Run the ball — it’s been the same now these first few games,” senior linebacker Telvin Smith said. “Everybody’s been running the ball. We ended [last] season that way, and I guess we’re starting off that way, everybody running the ball, running the ball.”
So far this season the Seminoles (3-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) have blown out Pittsburgh, Nevada and Bethune-Cookman. All three have tried to use a power running game to control the clock, wear down the Seminoles defense and keep FSU’s fifth-ranked scoring offense off the field.
Saturday’s game at Boston College (2-0, 1-0 ACC) figures to be no different.
“They’re very physical on offense — very good offensive line. Probably one of the best ones we’ve seen,” coach Jimbo Fisher said. “[Running back] Andre Williams is averaging over 100 yards a game, is very physical, big, 230-pound guy that breaks tackles — strong.”
Fortunately the Seminoles should be well prepared for the Eagles’ ground attack.
Florida State enters Saturday’s contest ranked second in the nation in total defense while allowing just 3.3 yards per carry. Starting defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. is likely to be available after missing last week’s game with a hand injury. And — as Telvin Smith alluded to — the Seminoles have seen this all before.
“You definitely get used to playing on the blocks and taking things on and being physical,” Fisher said. “And we do ‘good-on-good’ every day [at practice] and try to be physical. From that standpoint, it does help.”
Boston College should be well-rested. It was off last Saturday and had two weeks to prepare for Florida State. BC coach Steve Addazio even moved this week’s schedule up a day to ensure his team was as fresh as possible come kickoff.
“That’s not very nice, is it?” Fisher said in jest Monday. “It gives teams more time to plan on you and watch film and learn tendencies and things like that. You have to be aware of those as a coach and make your adjustments and do the things you’ve got to do, but they’ll be rested up and healed and they’ll bring their ‘A’ game, there’s no doubt.”
Provided Florida State’s defense can make its stops and keep the BC offense from controlling the game’s tempo, the Seminoles offense should be able to put up points.
So far this season it has put them up in bunches — averaging 52 per game. And despite the early buzz generated by redshirt freshman quarterback Jameis Winston, the Seminoles are getting it done on the ground. FSU is averaging 266 yards per game and has scored 11 rushing touchdowns this season.
Saturday will be the first of seven consecutive conference games for Florida State. Their outcomes will go a long ways toward determining the Atlantic Division of the ACC.
The Seminoles, however, are not looking that far ahead.
“Boston College will be ready. They’ll be rested, and they’ve had two weeks to prepare for us on film. They’ll definitely be ready for us,” Fisher said. “I feel good about where we’re going.”