Previewing 2021 Football: vs. Florida State
Despite enduring a rough stretch of the season going into ACC play without starting quarterback Phil Jurkovec, the Eagles have rebounded with wins against Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech. Jurkovec’s performance in the latter contest earned him Pro Football Focus’ Quarterback of the Week honors.
BC will look to continue its winning streak now that the Eagles’ offense has regained its early-season rhythm with Jurkovec back under center. The Eagles are now bowl eligible after their most recent win, but head coach Jeff Hafley said he wants to ensure that they play in a prestigious one. With just two games left in the season, BC will welcome Florida State to the Heights on Saturday.
Who is BC playing?
When is BC playing?
Saturday, Nov. 20, 12 p.m.
Where is BC playing?
Alumni Stadium, Chestnut Hill, Mass.
How to watch:
The game will air on ACC Network.
Florida State (4–6, 3–4 Atlantic Coast) has dominated BC (6–4, 2–4) since the Eagles joined the ACC prior to the 2005 season. The Seminoles have won 12 of the teams’ last 16 meetings. They did not face off last year, but their 2019 matchup resulted in a 38–31 win for Florida State. Dennis Grosel started that game as a replacement for an injured Anthony Brown and delivered 227 yards and two scores through the air as well as one on the ground. Both teams look a lot different than they did two years ago, and Hafley will get his first crack at the Seminoles since he took over at BC ahead of last season.
What to expect from Georgia Tech:
The Seminoles have had a forgettable season on offense that has been muddled by a quarterback competition. Sophomore Jordan Travis has thrown a team-leading 1,086 yards on the year, but UCF transfer McKenzie Milton has added 781. Travis has started five of the last six games. He is coming off a win against Miami in which he led his team in both passing and rushing, so containing him will be the top priority for the Eagles’ defense.
Along with Travis, the Seminoles have two other significant rushers in Jashaun Corbin and Treshaun Ward. Corbin leads the team in ground yards with 815, good for fifth in the ACC. Ward has 465 and has added three scores. BC has not allowed a 100-yard game for any running back since a loss to Louisville.
Florida State doesn’t have a significant downfield threat at receiver. The Seminoles’ receiving production has been spread evenly across their receiving corps.
The Seminoles have had a middling statistical offensive season, averaging 28.4 points per game. They’ve had some recent struggles, averaging 21.7 points across their last three, going 1–2 in that stretch. Florida State’s rushing offense has been a big struggle in those three games, with its best rushing performance in that time coming from Travis against Miami with 62 yards and two touchdowns.
The Florida State defense has been in the middle of the pack all year. The Seminoles’ 27.1 points allowed per game ranks seventh in the ACC and 74th in the country, and their strength lies in the secondary. The team has combined for 10 interceptions, good for second in the ACC. Over Jurkovec’s career on the Heights, interceptions and inaccurate passes have been some of his greatest weaknesses, so he will have to be careful against Florida State’s ball-hawking defense.
The Eagles will need a defensive performance more like the one they displayed against Virginia Tech than the one they flashed against Georgia Tech. The secondary should be able to lock down the Seminoles’ passing attack without a big game receiver to stretch the field. As a result, BC’s focus will need to be on stopping the run game, specifically when Travis scrambles out of the pocket. As long as Jurkovec can avoid bad turnovers, the Eagles should be able to have a productive showing on offense.
Featured Image Courtesy of Danny Karnik / AP Photo