You probably don’t think about offense when you think about Boston College football. And if you do, you most definitely don’t think about proficiency in the passing game. Yet here we are, once again previewing a Seminoles-Eagles matchup in which BC enters as the favorite.
Why? Because FSU is a rudderless ship staring down dire straits, while Boston College has found itself and is riding the current quite nicely. Excepting the other weekend’s lopsided loss at Clemson, the Eagles have averaged 47.3 points per game in their last three ACC games, against Louisville, NC State, and Syracuse, with two of those being road games.
The big-picture, SP+ numbers:
Overall: FSU 51st, BC 60th
Offense: FSU 58th, BC 25th
Defense: FSU 57th, BC 100th
Special Teams: FSU 98th, BC 99th
Much has been made of BC’s return to its roots, and that means a power running game behind AJ Dillon. Dillon comes in averaging 142.89 YPG, second in the FBS. Overall, the Fighting Addazios average 5.6 yards per rush, excluding sacks, 35th nationally. That’s not gaudy, but it’s efficient— and that’s the name of the game for the Boston College offense.
Because the Eagles’ offense boasts top-25 stuff-rate and havoc-rate allowed numbers, it’s able to stay on schedule. The result: the country’s No. 44 third-down conversion rate.
But they don’t result in the aforementioned point production; a dynamic passing game does. Excluding sack yardage, Boston College comes in ranked 21st in yards per passing attempt, with an explosiveness rate of 26th. BC also does very little to hurt itself, as it’s whistled for the ninth-fewest penalty yards in the FBS. And the Eagles have lost just eight turnovers all season.
In case you’re keeping score, all of these BC ranks are better those of FSU.
But back away from that ledge— because Boston College is quite vulnerable on defense. That’s writer-talk for saying the Eagles suck on defense. It’s 95th or lower in all the categories included below, with two important caveats.
BC is 17th in stuff rate and comes in with a top-40 red-zone TD percentage. Stuffs and penalties (FSU is rotten with both, coming in 122nd in the latter) should be a major issue in this one. The ’Noles have been awful when opponents know they’re going to pass, so first-down attempts, especially at stretching the field and shooting for the big play, could prove pivotal.
Six not three— you’ve heard us say it before. If the Seminoles can’t pull this off, the possibility of a six-win season, and a return to the postseason, are likely to freeze amid frigid Boston temps.
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