Here are five things to watch for this afternoon when Florida State visits Boston College.
1.) How quickly can FSU toss a wrench in BC's offensive plans?
Boston College wants to control the tempo of the game by pounding the ball with Andre Williams and keeping the Florida State offense off the field. That's a great plan if the game is close but if things start to get out of hands it becomes untenable. That means Florida State defense needs to make its stops on third downs, get off the field and the Seminole offense needs to put up points early.
So far this season, FSU has not been what you would call a "first-half team." That's not to say they've played poorly but things have taken a drive or two to get going on both sides of the ball this year. If that happens today, BC could really agitate Florida State. But if FSU can put a few scores between themselves and BC early, the entire complexion of the game changes.
2.) Fans of Wild and Free may soon be screaming 'Free Wilder'
To say Karlos Williams has come on strong at running back would be an understatement. Since switching sides of the ball following the Pittsburgh game Karlos has scored three touchdowns and gained 193 yards on just 17 carries. On Monday Jimbo Fisher admitted he was testing his new back to make sure that he knew what he was doing. But if this week is any indication the training wheels are about to come off and Williams is about to get a bigger share of the carries.
That's not going to bother Devonta Freeman much, he's become the de facto number one back and will still get his share of carries. It could be bad news for James Wilder though. Both backs employ a very physical brand of running, but Williams has looked more explosive early and could start stealing Wilder's carries.
3.) Jalen Ramsey at Safety
Jalen Ramsey has already had a year of firsts. He made his first start of the season in the Seminoles' season opener - marking the first time a true freshman had started at corner since 1985 and in a season opener since '77. On Saturday - with Tyler Hunter out this week following a neck injury in the second half of the win over Bethune-Cookman - Ramsey will be starting the first game of his career at safety.
"He’s done it all week. He’s practiced there since two-a-days and cross-trains there all the time," said Jimbo Fisher on Thursday. "It’s like our receivers – one guy’s an X, a split end, a flanker or a slot. You learn to play all the positions you move around in, and they understand the total concepts of what’s back there in the secondary. He’s done a great job. He’s very intelligent.
4.) Jameis on the road, part deux
Last time Jameis Winston played on the road he was 25/27 for 356 yards and four touchdowns. I doubt he emulates that today but he has said that he almost prefers road games because of the 'us vs. the world' mentality they evoke. Winston has been solid through the first quarter of the season, throwing for 718 yards, 8 TD's and just one pick so far this year. BC's defense is talented but was also hurt through the air two weeks ago by USC. That means Winston should see plenty of opportunities to stretch the field given the speed of some of his receivers.
5.) Kermit on Kickoffs
Levonte "Kermit" Whitfield will now be the Seminoles' kick returner, replacing senior Lamarcus Joyner. Joyner didn't lose the job, he's just too valuable to risk injuring on a kickoff. That opens the doors for Whitfield who - according to many - is the fastest player on the Seminole roster.
"You’ve got all those guys doing so much that it’s good to give them a break and I think Kermit is very natural at it," said Fisher last Monday. "He’s very good at it and I think he’s mature enough and been around long enough to understand what we want. I’ve been very pleased with his progress; he made a very nice catch in the game. I think he’s progressing nicely and he’s very explosive and has a chance to make big plays.”
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