Upon Further Review: FSU-Boston College

On Friday, Florida State traveled north to Boston College on short rest to face the stingy Boston College Eagles and left Chestnut Hill with a 14-0 victory. It was the ACC opener for both teams and FSU got it done with the running game and good defense. After reviewing film, here’s what went right and what didn’t:

What Went Right:
F/+, the college advanced stat metric designed by the people over at footballoutsiders.com currently has FSU as the sixth best team in the country. Why? Because it plays good defense and doesn’t turn the ball over. The defense forced two turnovers, including the game-clinching fourth quarter fumble return to go up by two touchdowns. FSU shut out Boston College on the road and earned defensive coordinator Charles Kelly his first spiked baseball. It did that by stifling the Eagles’ attack all night long, holding them to 3.2 yards-per-rush on 43 combined carries and a ridiculous 5-for-15 for 56 total yards passing.

The FSU defensive front was disruptive and the secondary was solid. Boston College never seriously threatened to score. It may not be a good offensive team and it has the youngest offensive line in the country, but one has to give credit where it’s due. The FSU defensive line is deep and can rotate at least eight guys, who can all give quality snaps, which is rare in college football. The individual hero of the game however was the much-maligned punter Cason Beatty who somehow stole the soul of Ray Guy and punted seven times for a ridiculous 52.3-yard average, consistently changing field position in FSU’s favor. He even pinned the Eagles inside the 20 four times. He’s capable, but consistency will be the key for him this year. Still, what a monumental showing in a defensive battle.

What Went Wrong:
The offense continues to remain a work in progress but it doesn’t beat itself with mistakes. The Seminoles looked dominant in what may have been a scripted opening drive and then failed to do anything else the rest of the game. This offensive line is the second youngest in the country, but as we saw, Derrick Kelly is a much better option at right tackle than Brock Ruble and should start from now on. But what about Cole Minshew and Chad Mavety? If they were available to play center and tackle respectively, this line could be even better, but there’s no guarantees either player will see significant time soon. Running back Dalvin Cook struggled to get anything going against an underrated Boston College front seven and might not have been 100 percent after his monster performance against South Florida.

Quarterback Everett Golson was somewhat efficient, but certainly less than stellar with a 5.0 yards-per-attempt average, which is one of the lowest of any Jimbo Fisher coached quarterback at FSU. He’s still not comfortable with the offense and is making more mistakes than he should, missing open guys and other mental errors but the hope is that he improves from week to week. Not that Sean Maguire is or isn’t a better passer, but behind this offensive line, Maguire would take a lot more negative plays. The real issue here is there are several teams left on the schedule that have better defensive talent up front than Boston College. The offensive line needs to come together quickly or this offense could be overwhelmed. It is important to note that because this line is so young, it isn’t as physically ready for this level of football as it could be, but that’s not something that’s going to change in the middle of the year. This is less of “wrong” and more about inexperience and growing together. How quickly they do that will determine how many wins — and yes, losses — this 2015 squad will earn.

FSU has the weekend off before facing another tune-up against Wake Forest on October 3rd, essentially giving it three weeks to prepare for the meat of the schedule. Undefeated rival Miami looms on October 10th.

About Jon Marchant

Jon Marchant is a writer for Noled Out and a rational die-hard FSU fanatic. He believes in cheesecake and Jimbo Fisher. Jon graduated from Florida State in 2010 with a double major in Political Science Social Science and a minor in International Affairs. Jon currently resides in West Palm Beach, Florida with his wife Laura and their lazy dog Mack. Jon can be followed on Twitter @MrWarchant.