Boston College Eagles (4-5 SU, 3-5-1 ATS) vs. No. 22 Florida State Seminoles (6-3 SU, 4-5 ATS)
College Football Week 11
Date/Time: Friday November 11th, 2016. 7:30PM (EST)
Where: Doak Campbell Stadium Tallahassee, F.L.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: BC +21.5/FSU -21.5
Over/Under Total: TBA
The no. 22 Florida State Seminoles avoided their 2nd straight loss last week with a clutch 19 yard touchdown pass from Deondre Francois to Travis Rudolph to give the Noles a 24-20 victory over North Carolina State in Raleigh. The close finish has become the new norm for Jimbo Fisher’s Seminoles considering the last 3 of their 4 games have went down to the very last play. This week Florida State looks to make things a little easier as they will be 3 touchdown favorites when they host the Boston College Eagles inside Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee for a Friday night ACC showdown.
The Eagles were pummeled by no. 7 Louisville on Saturday 52-7 in a game where Heisman Trophy frontrunner Lamar Jackson added to his impressive Heisman campaign with 7 touchdowns against a Boston College defense that was among the best groups in the ACC. Instead Jackson ripped Boston College apart with 4 touchdowns through the air for 231 yards and rushed for another 185 yards and 3 scores. Now Boston College searches for answers as they have dropped 3 of their last 4 games and Head Coach Steve Addazio is staring down the barrel of his 2nd straight losing season.
For Boston College to become bowl eligible, they are going to have to find a way to win 2 of their last 3. The good news is that the games against Connecticut and Wake Forest are winnable whereas this week’s battle on the road at Florida State is not favorable. As shown last week, Boston College just does not have the talent to contain speed on their defense despite being a very sound group overall. The speed factor will be in question again this week when the Eagles look for a way to contain running back Dalvin Cook who has posted 5 touchdowns in the last two games. Cook was actually held in check against the Wolfpack defense last week to some degree with 18 carries for just 65 yards. However, the junior tailback had rushed for 841 yards in the 5 games prior.
Cook will test the edges of this Boston College defense and keep their linebackers close to the box. Boston College will likely to choose to keep their linebackers close to avoid getting slashed in the running game like they did last week against Jackson. If that happens, Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois will have the opportunity for a big outing. The freshman quarterback has averaged over 300 yards passing in the last 5 games with 5 scores and 2 picks. However, the offense has remained heavily tilted to the running game during that stretch as a result of Cook’s hot hand. I expect Boston College to pull out all stops in this game against the run and force Francois to throw the football.
It is hard to guess if a quarterback will rise to the opportunity or not. However, Francois has shown the poise to get the job done and he has the talent in the receiving corps that should beat their matchups against Boston College’s secondary. Therefore, I don’t think the Seminoles offense was struggle too heavily in this game. The really big question is can Boston College score enough to keep this game within the number?
The Eagles have averaged just 14.5 points over their last 4 contests. Quarterback Patrick Towles continues to struggle and wither to those high expectations this offense had for their transfer to begin the year. Towles has thrown just 8 touchdowns with 6 picks on the year while completing just 51% of his passes. To make matters worse, Boston College has not been able to do much of anything on offense. They have averaged just 3.7 yards per carry and they do not have a single receiver with more than 300 yards receiving. The good news is that Florida State has had all kinds of troubles on defense this year meaning there is an opportunity for some matchups to be exploited. The bad news is that I just do not see who can exploit the matchups for the Eagles.
Jay's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Florida State -21.5
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