Sep 28, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston (5) runs the ball against the Boston College Eagles during the first half at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports[/
While Florida State has looked mighty impressive through four games, the numbers may be a bit skewed.
The Seminoles haven’t exactly played the toughest schedule around. Obviously, this case can be made for Maryland as well. However, it’s foolish to think that Florida State will run away with this game, like many seem to believe.
Florida State opened up the season with a road game at Pittsburgh. As we’ve seen in recent years, the Panthers haven’t posed much of a challenge to high-profile teams. The game was the coming out party for Seminoles freshman sensation quarterback Jameis Winston. The contest was decided by halftime with Winston accounting for four touchdowns. Any way you slice, Winston has been nothing short of phenomenal. The redshirt freshman has proved to be an early contender for the Heisman trophy and that type of potential can’t be taken away from him.
Regardless, the next two games were absolute laughers with the Seminoles slaughtering the likes of Nevada and Bethune-Cookman by a combined score of 116 to 13. Obviously, Maryland played two very similar games when they opened the season with Florida International and Old Dominion, but these two games that Florida State played were just as much of a pair of one-sided affairs.
Let’s start off with Nevada. This is not Colin Kaepernick’s Nevada squad. The Wolf Pack have given up 35.6 points-per-game which is good for 106th in the nation. Let’s keep in mind that this is a five-game sample and they have faced Florida State and UCLA. On the contrary, they’ve faced the likes of UC Davis, Hawaii, and Air Force who are not great teams. If you’re looking for a comparison, Maryland’s game against Connecticut qualifies as a similar opponent. UConn is obviously a worse team, but not by much.
Bethune-Cookman is obviously an even lesser opponent than Nevada. The Wildcats are impressive for what they are, which is a strong MEAC team. However, their resume includes wins against Tennessee State, Virginia Union, and Florida International (who the Terps thrashed as well). Much like Nevada, it’s not a game that you can put much stock in if you’re analyzing the Seminoles. However, it is worth noting that Winston had his worst game statistically against the Wildcats.
Now that brings us to Florida State’s most recent victory in Boston College. Many expected this game to be a rout from the opening kickoff, but it was much closer than that. The Eagles jumped out to a 17-3 lead in the second quarter with running back Andre Williams having a monster afternoon (149 yards on 28 carries). But then, Winston decided to show up. In the blink of an eye, Florida State scored 21 unanswered points courtesy of their mobile signal caller’s three touchdown tosses. Two of those touchdowns came in the last 1:49. The Seminoles seemed to cruise to victory from that point forward.
So looking at the statistics, how should Boston College be looked at in terms of being a worthy opponent of Florida State? Well, it came as a surprise to see the Eagles put up 34 points on the Seminoles. They are not exactly an offensive juggernaut. Boston College only averages 173 passing yards per game (106th in the country) and surrender 22.3 points-per-game (95th). To put that into perspective, senior quarterback Chase Rettig only has 688 passing yards on the season. Terps signal caller C.J. Brown has passed for 1,043 yards in the same amount of contests.
Personally, it’s a toss-up between Boston College and Pittsburgh as far as Florida State’s strongest opponent goes. At least Maryland’s toughest test was West Virginia, who scored a pretty nice bounce back win last week against 11th-ranked Oklahoma State. Neither team’s schedule thus far is tremendously impressive. We’ll see how it all plays out on the gridiron.