BOSTON (AP) – Florida State stomped over the competition on the way to its most recent national championship, winning all 14 games by an average margin of nearly 40 points.
And then there was Boston College.
A year later, the Seminoles were still led by Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston and heading for a second straight unbeaten regular season. Again, the Eagles gave them trouble.
So when the ninth-ranked Seminoles arrive in Chestnut Hill for Friday night’s Atlantic Coast Conference opener, there’s little chance they will take BC lightly.
“I’m sure they’ll have something,” Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said this week. “That’s what good coaches do. They’ll do something there.”
Here are some things to look for when the Seminoles (2-0) play BC (2-0):
In the past two seasons, Florida State has won one national championship and lost in the national semifinals. Boston College has twice gone 7-6, losing in a pair of December bowl games.
But BC has played the Seminoles tightly.
In 2013, the Eagles led 17-3 in the first half before Winston led Florida State to a 48-34 win. The 34 points were the most allowed by the Seminoles on their way to the NCAA title, and the 14-point margin was by far the smallest in the regular season.
In the rain in Tallahassee last year, BC tied the game 17-17 and missed a 42-yard field goal to take the lead. Roberto Aguayo kicked a 26-yard field goal with 3 seconds left to give Florida State a 20-17 victory.
If Boston College coach Steve Addazio thought he was catching a break when Winston went to the NFL, the relief didn’t last long.
The 2013 Heisman Trophy winner was the No. 2 pick in the draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But the Seminoles brought in Everett Golson.
Golson has some experience in Chestnut Hill: He led the Fighting Irish to a 21-6 victory over BC in 2012. He was 16 for 24 for 200 yards and two touchdowns; he also ran for a 2-yard score.
So, what was Addazio’s reaction when he heard Golson was coming to the ACC?
“I was like, ‘Oh boy,'” the BC coach said with a sigh. “They lost a great quarterback and now they are replacing him with a quarterback who has a great game experience and in big-time games. … But that’s the way it is. You just keep rolling.”
Boston College is coming off a 76-0 victory over Howard University in which Tyler Rouse ran for three touchdowns and reserve quarterback Jeff Smith had three TD runs. The coaches decided to shorten the second half to 20 minutes to limit the damage. Addazio said he was frustrated during the game against the FCS school – a late schedule change because New Mexico State backed out – thinking: “This game is not helping us get ready for our next game.”
Cook rushed for 266 yards on 30 carries and three touchdowns in the Seminoles’ 34-14 victory over South Florida – the second-best rushing game in school history. Florida State scored on all five of its second-half drives. But Golson struggled, completing only one pass in the first half and finishing 14 of 26 for 163 yards and a touchdown.
“Everett looked like two different people,” Fisher said.
ONE ON ONE
Addazio said he wanted to pick up the intensity in practice to make up for the lack of it in the game against Howard. So he lined up his first-team offense against his first-team defense so they could play at something close to full speed.
Usually the first string practices offense against the second-string defense, and vice versa, but Addazio has gone “ones vs. ones” for other big games before.
“You can’t be shocked by the speed of the game,” he said. “I think you’re just kidding yourself if you don’t do that.”
When word filtered out of the World Trade Center after the Sept. 11 attacks that a man in a red bandana had helped usher people to safety, the folks at Boston College had a good idea who was the hero.
Former BC lacrosse player Welles Crowther, who was working as an equities trader on the 104th floor of the South Tower, was known for carrying a colorful kerchief with him at all times. He helped others escape during the attacks, but he didn’t make it out.
In his memory, Boston College will hand out red bandanas to the first 25,000 fans. Crowther’s parents will be recognized during the second quarter, and Minneapolis firefighter Jake LaFerriere will receive the first Red Bandana Hero Award.
At last year’s Red Bandana Game, BC upset No. 9 Southern California 37-31.