BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston College Eagles are 2-0 to start the 2015 season, but a big test is just a day away.
The Eagles will play under the lights at Alumni Stadium Friday night, as the 9th-ranked Florida State Seminoles come to town for a big ACC showdown. After starting the season with wins over Maine and Howard, BC head coach Steve Addazio sees Friday night’s matchup as a great measuring stick for his young Eagles squad.
“We’re talking about playing a Top 10 opponent in Florida State here in an ACC matchup, at home on Friday night. The atmosphere will be electric and the stadium will be alive,” he said on Wednesday night’s 30-minute edition of Inside BC Football on myTV38. “I can’t wait. I want to see our guys play; this is what they came here for. They came to BC to play in these games, because you want to be in the brightest of lights in that atmosphere, and you want to be at competitive excellence. That’s what we talk about all the time.”
Matchup Breakdown: Boston College vs. Florida State
With a pair of wins over FCS schools to start the season, including a 76-0 blowout over Howard last Saturday, the Eagles are flying pretty high. But Addazio is confident his team isn’t getting ahead of itself, because they know the schedule is about to get a lot tougher.
“That’s not where we are right now. We know what the challenges are going to be against a quality opponent,” he said. “No one is sticking their chest out after Week 1 or Week 2, because quite frankly, we haven’t done anything yet.”
Last season, the Eagles put up a fight against the Seminoles in Florida, falling 20-17 on a last-second field goal. Florida State needed Jameis Winston to lead them on a 66-yard drive to set up the game-winning boot, as they finished the regular season a perfect 13-0 before falling to Oregon in the Rose Bowl.
Winston is now in the NFL but the Seminoles are not lacking at quarterback with Everertt Golson, who brings five touchdown passes and a 173.5 quarterback rating to the Heights. Running back Talvin Cook is also off to a great start, rushing for 422 yards and five touchdowns in the first two games behind Florida State’s stout offensive line.
“Florida State always has a really good offensive line and they have a marquee tailback,” Addazio said of Cook. “He is legit with great speed, great burst and he has power. Golston has experience leading a team to a National Championship. He has been in all those spotlights with all that pressure on his shoulders, and he’s performed unbelievably well. This is a tough challenge for our defense.”
Addazio said they’ll be leaning on Don Brown’s defense, the most experienced group on such a young team, throughout the season, but especially on Friday night.
“It needs to be [our strength this season], it’s the most experienced unit,” he said of his defense. “I love a great defense. I may be an offensive guy, but I love a great defense because I love to run the football. It’s a great alignment and a great match.”
It should come as no surprise, but the Eagles have plenty of runners to choose from on offense. Junior Tyler Rouse is leading the pack with 117 yards and five scores in the first two games, while Marcus Outlow, Myles Willis and Jon Hilliman have combined for 228 yards and a pair of touchdowns so far this season.
“We’re going to roll downhill at them. We’re not going to run just east-west, we have to play some smash mouth football too,” Addazio said of his offensive game-plan. “We’ll have to be diverse in our approach, in terms of attacking the whole field. You need to control the ball against a team like this too.”
Friday night will pose the first big test for junior quarterback Darius Wade, who has completed 17 of his 30 passes this season for 185 yards, two touchdowns and no turnovers.
“This will be the first real challenge for him in terms of that pressure-packed atmosphere, but we’ll tell him to go play his game,” said Addazio. “That’s why we create such an intense atmosphere at practice, so we have a chance to put you in such competitive excellence. Practice great and you’ll play great, just rely on your training.”
The measuring stick will be out under the national spotlight on Friday night, and Addazio can’t wait to see how his players handle the hype.
“This will be a great test to where we are right now, and wherever we are, we’ll build from that point and keep building forward,” he said. “We’re not just playing another ACC team or another Power 5 team, we’re playing an elite team. So we’re going to extremes right now, but it will be a great test to get an account of where you’re at.”
Tune in to Inside BC Football every Friday night throughout the BC Football season on the WBZ-TV News at 10 on myTV38!