Florida State Seminoles (5-3 SU, 4-4 ATS) vs. Boston College Eagles (2-6 SU, 3-5 ATS), 8:00 p.m. College Football Week 10, Thursday, November 3, 2011, Alumni Stadium, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, TV: ESPN
by Scotty L, College Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: FSU -14.5/BC +14.5
The Florida State Seminoles make the trip to Alumni Stadium on Thursday to take on the Eagles of Boston College in an ACC Atlantic division battle. After a pair of season-opening perfunctory wins, Florida State lost 3 straight and appeared to be in the midst of a downward spiral. A trio of consecutive wins have righted the ship and they head into Thursdays game with a head of steam. Boston College beat Maryland on Saturday, to stop a skid that saw them lose 6 of 7 games.
The Eagles beating Maryland was a nice win, with an 11-point win playing as 7-point underdogs. It signaled their first win win over a Div. I team this season, with their sole other triumph coming against UMass. Its worth noting that in the past 6 years where BC-FSU has been an annual game, the Seminoles have never beaten the Eagles by the margin being asked of them this week. In fact, Boston College has won 3 of those games.
The Eagles, however, hold only one win over a Div. I school this year for a reason. Their defense has not been robust against either the run or pass. Sophomore QB Chase Rettig has not shown much growth from his freshman campaign, barely completing over 50% of his passes for 7 touchdowns in 8 games. The blame doesnt fall on Rettigs shoulders entirely, with inconsistent play from the offensive line and the pass catching crew.
On Saturday, however, Boston College broke the mold with a sound whipping of Maryland. Rettigs stats were anemic (5-12-32-0-1), but it didnt matter with RB Rolandan Finch running wild for 243 yards rushing with a pair of touchdowns. RB Andre Williams chimed in with a nice game. If Williams and Finch can continue to develop as a nice 1-2 punch out of the backfield, it could give a floundering Eagles team some wind in their sails. And while Maryland is no great shakes, a conclusive road win over a conference rival is just what this team needed.
It gets more difficult this week, though the Eagles are at home. Florida State is playing exponentially better than Maryland at this point–cooking after 3 straight wins over conference teams. Losing consecutive games to Oklahoma, Clemson, and especially Wake Forest had to be disheartening. It certainly was for Florida State backers. But in the past three weeks, they have restored confidence with 3 straight covers, beating ACC teams by an average of 28 points. Now they only have to win by half as much against one of the worst teams in the conference.
Florida State has been winning despite missing top WR Rashad Greene for the past 3 games. Greene is listed as questionable for Thursday, but as is always the case at Florida State, there is a deep list of talented pass catchers available and they havent missed a step in Greenes absence. QB E.J. Manuel has been efficient, completing over 70% of his passes in the past 3 games. The FSU passing game is 12th in the nation in yardage. BCs passing D is ranked 96th.
The Eagles might just have a positive feeling which could result in a heightened spirit than what weve seen most of the year. This will be their first home game in over a month, following a rigorous stretch against Clemson, Virginia Tech, and Maryland. In a year without much to get excited about, coming home after over a month following a nice win could make them the best team they are capable of being.
Scotty Ls Pick to Cover the Point Spread: After a series of beatings over ACC bottom-feeders, Florida State now faces their 4th straight similar game. They commendably elevated their play to get their season to 5-3 and one shouldnt assume they will give away that good momentum without a fight. And while BC is a dicey team to back, the stars just seemed lined up for them to put up some stiff resistance at home. Look for the Eagles to keep it within reason to get the cover. Take the Boston College Eagles plus 14.5 points.
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