Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#345 Boston College vs.
#346 Florida State (FSU)
Saturday, September 24, 2022 at 8:00pm EDT
Written by Mark Ruelle

The Boston College Eagles head south to Tallahassee, FLA to take on the Florida State Seminoles in ACC action on Saturday. The Eagles come into the game 1-2 overall and are already 0-2 in conference play. The Seminoles are 3-0 on the season and 1-0 in ACC play heading into this matchup. The opening kick is set for 8:00pm EST on Saturday night.

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Eagles Need to Fly in ACC

It has been a difficult start to the season for the Boston College Eagles. BC began the season with such high hopes with the return of quarterback Phil Jurkovec and star wideout Zay Flowers after both flirted with entering the NFL Draft last spring. Unfortunately, two straight losses to Rutgers and then to ACC rival Virginia Tech. Last Saturday night, at home, the Eagles picked up their first win of the season in a 38-17 win over Maine.

"We won a game," BC coach Jeff Hafley said. "Are there things that we probably could have done better? Definitely. Are there some really good things we did? We improved in a lot of areas."

Jurkovec had his strongest game of the season as he threw for 320 yards on 25-of-37 completions with two touchdowns. The other part of the Eagles' star tandem, Flower, finished the night with eight catches for 89 yards and a touchdown. Tight end George Takacs also had a big game with seven catches for 66 yards and a touchdown. The Eagles finished with 431 total yards against the Black Bears. They finished 6-of-14 on third down and won the time of possession battle, 33:17 to 26:43.

Defensively, the Eagles were led by their secondary as Jason Maitre and Kam Arnold each had an interception on the night. Vinny Depalma led the Eagle with eight tackles and Josh DeBerry and Jaiden Woodbey each chipped in with seven tackles. BC held Maine to 378 yards of total offense and just 89 on the ground.

The Eagles will need to up their play this week as they get back to playing ACC football and go up against one of the best in the conference at the moment, the Florida State Seminoles. Through three games, BC is averaging a meager 23 points per game and giving up 22 points. The Eagles' ground game has been a significant sore spot with the team averaging just 1.7 yards per carry. An inexperienced offensive line has struggled through the first third of the season both running the ball and giving Jurkovic time to throw. They are converting 33% of their third downs this season and the team has allowed eight sacks. The BC kicking game has been shaky as well thus far, making just 2-of-5 field goals while the opposition has been a perfect 4-0f-4. BC has a net zero turnover differential thus far and has been giving up an average of 328 yards of total offense while averaging 299 themselves.

Seminoles Uprising

Don't look now but Florida State Seminoles football may be relevant once again. The long-time national power has suffered through some lean years but things are looking up amidst this season's 3-0 start including Friday's thrilling 35-31 win over Louisville on the road. The win was the team's first in ACC play and featured a fourth-quarter comeback against a Louisville team that has had their number in recent years.

“I’m so very proud of our football team,” said Head Coach Mike Norvell. “We’ve talked about it since we started back in January; it’s about the investment, the work, the relationships. We’ve got a very confident football team in times of adversity because they know they’ve invested work. I thought, tonight, even with the adversity that showed up, our guys willed themselves to victory.”

The Seminoles truly had to fight through adversity as they lost Jordan Travis to a knee injury in the second quarter. Backup quarterback Tate Rodemaker came off the bench to lead the Seminoles to three second-half scoring drives, including two touchdowns to WR Johnny Wilson. Rodemaker finished the game 6-of-10 for 109 yards and two touchdowns. Wilson caught seven ball for 149 yards in the win.

The Seminoles defense also played the game shorthanded as defensive tackle Damian Lovett missed his second straight game and then they lost another defensive tackle, Malcom Ray, along with defensive end Jared Verse during the game, both to lower leg injuries as well. Defensive back Kevin Knowles made the play of the game with an interception with 37 seconds left to prevent a go-ahead score from Louisville.

The Seminoles are outscoring the opposition by an average of 35-20 thus far this season. They have gained an average of 495 yards per game compared with 335 for the opposition. FSU has been most effective on the ground, averaging a whopping 242 yards per game with an average of 5.7 yards per carry. The Seminoles have a net zero turnover differential thus far and are winning the time of possession battle by nearly six minutes per game. The Seminoles have proven to be far more efficient on third downs than Boston College, converting on 54% of their third down tries.

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Full-Game Side Bet

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If you can get this line early, take it. As it stands now, the Seminoles will be down to their backup quarterback as Travis will likely miss time with a high ankle sprain. Rodemaker is inexperienced and the Seminoles will likely rely on their ground game to take the pressure off of him. FSU's ground attack is that much better with Travis in the game, who is a far more mobile quarterback than Rodemaker. I expect the Eagles will load the box and force the young QB to beat them through the air. The BC defense has held up against the run thus far, holding teams to 3.8 yards per carry. This could force the Seminoles to more of a passing game, which could shift in the Eagles favor. On the defensive side of the ball, the Seminoles are still listing all three defensive lineman first on the depth chart despite the lower leg injuries.

The presence of that trio could impact the defense nearly as much as the possible absence of Travis will effect the offense. If the trio is hampered in any way, BC may finally be able to gain a foothold with their running game. In addition, it could afford Jurkovic some time in the pocket if they are out or restricted. Last season, he struggled against the fast, aggressive Seminole defense so he will certainly benefit from a depleted defense. The Eagles secondary has allowed 10.8 yards per pass play which will be critical to maintain or even lower against Florida State since they rank 3rd in the ACC in passing yards per completion. I like the Eagles to keep this game manageable against FSU's depleted defense and an offense that will be compromised with either a hobbled Travis or inexperienced Rodemaker.Β  Jurkovic has the weapons to move the ball against the Seminoles secondary given time, time that he will have with their banged up defensive line.

Take BC with the points.

Prediction: Boston College +17.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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The Eagles' best chance of winning this game is through ball control and limiting turnovers. Jurkovic has been somewhat restricted this season, particularly on the ground, often forcing balls in rather than take the yardage given to him. I expect the gloves to come off in this game and to see more of a return of the quarterback that reminds scouts of a young Ben Roethlisberger. Last season, against FSU, Jurkovic carried the ball 17 times for 53 yards. I expect similar totals in this game as the Eagles look to limit turnovers. The Eagles' defense will keep the depleted FSU offense at bay and limit their ground game enough to be in this game late. It will be close and the score will be down.

Take the under, 48.5.

Prediction: Under 48.5

Written By Mark Ruelle , "Mark Ruelle"

Mark has been a sports fanatic since childhood. He is also an avid follower of sports analytics and has used it in his own betting analysis for over two decades. Now we have Mark on our team here at Stat Salt. He holds degrees in marketing, broadcasting, and English and uses this vast array of assets to dissect and analyze game matchups. Mark will provide you with a wide variety of statistics to consider and a strong opinion in each matchup that he covers. Please follow him daily for an up-to-the-minute analysis of all the important games.