Tallahassee, FL - It was back to business on the Florida State football practice field Tuesday. One day after Seminoles’ coach Jimbo Fisher gave his squad a chance to recover with a workout in shorts, they were back in full pads preparing for what many expect will be another physical battle with Boston College.
The 16th-ranked Seminoles entertain the Eagles Saturday at 12 p.m. (ESPN) with a chance to build on their ACC Atlantic Division lead. FSU (5-1, 3-0 ACC) begins the second half of the regular season a full game ahead of NC State in the division.
It is a bit of a familiar spot for Fisher and the veteran Seminoles who were around in 2008 when Boston College made its last visit to Doak Campbell Stadium. That BC handed FSU a 27-17 defeat, which denied the Seminoles a division title and a place in the ACC Championship game.
“They came in here and played their tails off and whipped us,” said Fisher, who was in his second season as FSU’s offensive coordinator. “They made more plays than we did, controlled the line of scrimmage and ran the ball very well on us. They stopped us from running the ball. They had those two inside guys who were high (NFL Draft) picks, (linebacker Mark) Herzlich. … They were a dominant group now. They played as a team.”
Boston College is still boasts a physical squad and Herzlich, the ACC’s 2008 Defensive Player of the Year, is back after missing last season as he battled cancer. The Eagles still managed to pull out a 28-21 win last season in Chestnut Hill, Mass..
This time around it is the Seminoles who are bigger, stronger and more physical; assets that have paved the way for the program’s best start since 2005, when it last played for a league championship. Fisher hopes the added size and strength will pay dividends this time around.
“I hope so because they are still big and strong up front,” Fisher said. “They’re still a physical football team, but not only that, they’re very well coached. They’ve got great technique. They really understand their defenses and offenses … and they’re strong on top of it, so we’ll have to battle.”
Fortunately for the Seminoles, hobbled tailbacks Ty Jones (ankle) and Jermaine Thomas (toe) were back on the practice field after earning a reprieve on Monday. Coupled with Chris Thompson, they have helped FSU average 233.5 rushing yards a game behind a veteran offensive line. The ‘Noles are on track to post their best rushing season since all-time rushing leader Warrick Dunn was the featured back on the 1995 squad.
The Seminoles have been able to control both sides of the line of scrimmage in each of their wins, which will once again be key against Boston College (2-3, 0-2), which lugs a three-game losing streak into the contest.