Tallahassee, FL - Coming off consecutive road victories at Virginia and Miami, the 16th-ranked Florida State football team returns home to Doak Campbell Stadium Saturday to face Boston College on Parents Weekend.
It’s another chance for Jimbo Fisher’s club to reassert itself on home soil, where “Take Doak Back” has become a rally cry for the first-year coach and his players. The Seminoles (5-1, 3-0 ACC) have already authored a 3-0 home record, and as modest as that mark may seem, a victory over the visiting Eagles would be significant.
The Seminoles have not won four consecutive home games in a single season since 2005, when they won their first five on the way to the ACC Championship.
“So far, so good,” Fisher said, following Wednesday’s practice. “Our guys have done a good job of coming out and playing well and hopefully we’ll continue that trend.”
FSU has seized control in wins over Samford, BYU and Wake Forest, but now faces a BC team that is 2-0 on the Seminoles’ home field since joining the ACC.
“I think they’re ready to play at home,” Fisher said. “I think they like playing at home at Doak. I think they’re all excited. Anytime we walk in that stadium we’ve got to have our A-game on. …
“They want to play well at home and that’s their stadium and they’ve tried to take ownership of it. That’s something that they decided was a team goal.”
A victory over the Eagles (2-3, 0-2), who have dropped three consecutive games, will strengthen the Seminoles’ hold on the ACC Atlantic Division lead heading into an open week on the schedule. To that end, Fisher and his staff are taking nothing for granted in preparation.
Grinding and pushing through Wednesday’s 2 ½-hour workout, the Seminoles spent much of the practice working on red zone and third down situations.
“It was a tough day,” Fisher said. “There’s a lot of thinking and they [BC] bring a lot of blitzes and do different things on offense.
“To me, that’s where your hay’s made and we worked those situations. Our guys did a good job – both sides. The offense got some, the defense got some. You could see the guys competing and having fun doing what they’re doing.”
It was the second day of practice in full pads this week, after Fisher lightened the physical load on the ‘Noles during Monday’s session in shorts and helmets. He said he has been pleased with the way the team has responded.
“We give them a lighter day physically – the banging – but not mentally (on Monday),” Fisher said. “We still got all of the work in which we needed, we just let the body heal, and their minds got all they needed. They’ve responded very well.
“Today was a good day. We had everybody out there practicing and they were banging and clanging. They were getting after it a little too much; they were having fun bouncing.”
The Seminoles should have their full complement of tailbacks ready for the Eagles. Both Jermaine Thomas (toe) and Ty Jones (ankle) were running at full speed, along with Chris Thompson. It will be the first time since the Wake Forest game on Sept. 25 that all three will be in the lineup.
“That’s the plan, but don’t jinx it,” Fisher joked.
FSU’s ground game, which is off to its best start in 15 seasons, will be tested by a Boston College rushing defense which ranks 12th nationally against the run – seven spots behind the Seminoles. And while the Eagles have struggled to move the ball on the ground – they rank 110th out of 120 FBS programs – junior tailback Montel Harris has a proven track record against the Seminoles.
The Jacksonville, Fla. native has rushed for 300 yards on 50 carries against FSU over the past two seasons. Of his three touchdowns, Harris’ 42-yard with four minutes remaining in last season’s 28-21 BC victory was the game-winner.
“They’ve got a good line and he’s a good player,” Fisher said. “He’s very effective. He can make you miss, pushes the pile, has got wiggle, has got good speed. He’s a great balance and body-control athlete.”