Boston College defense faces challenge vs. Winston
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston has thrown just one touchdown in each of his last two games after failing to throw for multiple scores in a single game just once in 2013. This is the first stretch of his career where he's tossed just one touchdown in consecutive games.
That could end against a Boston College pass defense ranked No. 65 in the nation with a secondary thin on cornerbacks.
The Eagles (6-4, 3-3 ACC) lost starting cornerback Bryce Jones to a violation of team rules in early October and his replacement, John Johnson, has missed the last three games due to a wrist injury. Safety Justin Simmons moved to corner with Johnson out, who is considered questionable to return this week.
''Their challenge is going to be to stay aggressive and to be able to contest throws, and that's going to be really important,'' Boston College coach Steve Addazio said. ''You know, they've got fast, talented, gifted receivers, but they also have the best quarterback in the country, who can stand in that pocket and get it there.
''So that'll be a challenge. We've got to do a good job up front. We've got to disrupt timing, and we've got to play very aggressive.''
That's where coach Jimbo Fisher expects the top-ranked Seminoles (10-0, 7-0 ACC, No. 3 CFP) to be challenged. The Eagles are a blitz-heavy team defensively that gives multiple looks up front to confuse quarterbacks. Boston College was able to sack Winston four times last season with that same strategy, but he still threw for 330 yards and four touchdowns.
''Tons of blitzes. Tons of pressure,'' Fisher said. ''They are very multiple in the backend. They will make it tough for our quarterback and the front guys. They caused us a lot of problems up there last year with different looks and how they rush. We will have our hands full.''
Some things to watch Saturday when No. Florida State hosts Virginia:
IN REMEMBRANCE: Florida State plans to wear ribbon decals on its helmets after an alumnus and attorney shot three people at the school's library early Thursday. When police arrived, Myron May had wounded two students and an employee. Police opened fire and killed him after May refused to put down the gun. ''Our kids have dealt with a lot of things,'' Fisher said. ''I mean, nothing like this but at the same time I hate to say this but its life. You have to learn to push forward and move through things and carry your role in what maybe you can do to help the community.''
RECORD BREAKER: Florida State receiver Rashad Greene will set the school record at 40 consecutive games with a reception if he catches a ball against Boston College. The senior is also one catch behind his career-high of 76 in a single season. He set the mark in 2013. Greene, who leads the ACC with 104.2 receiving yards per game, is 92 yards shy of setting the school career record. Ron Sellers holds the current record of 3,598. Greene is also four short of Peter Warrick's school record 31 career receiving touchdowns.
CLOSE CALL: Florida State has made a habit of falling behind in the first half this season, a strategy the Seminoles seemed to test out last year against BC. The Eagles opened a 17-3, second-quarter lead in Chestnut Hill before Florida State won 48-34 - the most points it allowed and its smallest margin of victory until a 34-31 victory in the national championship game. ''We got momentum and we gave momentum back before the half,'' Addazio said.
BOWLING: BC is perfect on the road so far this year, with wins at North Carolina State, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech (along with UMass, a game that was played in Foxborough, Massachusetts). But to finish that way the Eagles would need to beat the Seminoles at Doak Campbell Stadium, where they last won in 2008. ''I sure wish we were playing them up here and it was about 10 degrees,'' Addazio said.
AP Sports Writer Jimmy Golen contributed to this report.