Skip to main content

Jeff Hafley, Boston College players speak on Florida State atmosphere and quarterback situation

The Eagles discuss the upcoming matchup with the Seminoles.

Boston College (1-2) has lost 10 of its last 11 meetings versus Florida State (3-0), but head coach Jeff Hafley and the Eagles enter Tallahassee on Sept. 24 with an opportunity to hand the Seminoles their first loss of the season. 

READ MORE: Mike Norvell provides injury updates on Jordan Travis, Jared Verse, others during Monday presser

Quarterback dynamic 

Florida State may start redshirt junior quarterback Jordan Travis or turn towards redshirt sophomore quarterback Tate Rodemaker depending on the latter's injury status. Rodemaker filled in after Travis left against Louisville on Sept. 16 and threw for two touchdowns in the 35-31 win.

Hafley spoke about each quarterback and made positive remarks regarding both, specifically noting Rodemaker's arm strength. 

"[Travis is] much improved," Hafley said. "I think he's playing as well as any quarterback in the ACC right now. 18 [Rodemaker] came in and looks like he has good size. On third down, he took the edge and looked pretty fast, so obviously, we got to prepare for him running as well. [He has] maybe the strongest arm that I've seen so far this year on tape, just watching him throw the ball and release it."

The Eagles have eight sacks through three games, and sophomore defensive end Donovan Ezeiruaku is tied for a team-high two sacks. Ezeiruaku is third in tackles (19) and said Boston College wants to create havoc regardless of which quarterback starts.

"It doesn't really matter which quarterback is playing, we plan on sending some pressure, making sure we get some guys to the quarterback's lap and get some sacks this week," Ezeiruaku said. 

Impact of defensive line 

Hafley didn't detail Boston College's plans to combat Florida State's defensive line but emphasized their play style as a strength and mentioned redshirt sophomore defensive end Jared Verse.

"[They have] athleticism, speed," Hafley said. "The one defensive end who transferred in, No. 5 ... he's an impressive guy. Their defensive tackles are very active, very athletic, we saw that last year. It's a solid group and we're very aware of that."

Redshirt junior running back Pat Garwo III leads the Eagles backfield with 41 carries for 118 yards and two touchdowns. The 1,000-yard rusher from a year ago also credited the Seminoles' defensive line for their effort.

Scroll to Continue

No image description

"They're good, they're relentless," Garwo III said. "I don't think I've ever since I started watching football, seen a bad FSU defensive line ... it seems like they're a pretty confident group.

Florida State atmosphere

The Eagles lost 27-10 in their only road game against Virginia Tech, but Ezeiruaku said his familiarity with the war chant helps him in this matchup.

"I definitely am looking forward to hearing that chant," Ezeiruaku said. "[I've] been hearing it since I was a kid watching college football, so I'll definitely be using that to my advantage."

Boston College has won twice in Doak S. Campbell Stadium (2006 and 2008), and the players understand the challenge of Florida State's atmosphere.

"We know they're going to do the chant, we know how rowdy it gets down here, junior linebacker Kam Arnold said. "Our biggest thing is to just quiet the noise and go down there and execute."

The kickoff between the Seminoles and Eagles is Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. on ACC Network.

To access each of the four press conferences, click here.

READ MORE: Florida State knocks out Louisville, advances to 3-0 for first time since 2015

Stick with NoleGameday for more coverage of Florida State football throughout the season.

What's next for the Florida State Seminoles? Join thousands for FREE to not miss out on any breaking news or recruiting latest by clicking this link or texting our number (850) 616-8661!

Follow NoleGameday on Twitter and Facebook