Coming into this season, there were many questions about Florida State’s defense. However, after last nights 14-0 victory over Boston College, it is evident that a defense that was FSU’s weakness last season has now turned into its strength.
At first, Florida State’s offense came out hot and seemed as if they were going to have a great night. Quarterback Everett Golson was 5-5 for 50 yards and a touchdown pass on the opening drive that went 83 yards. The rest of the game turned out differently as FSU only amassed 134 more yards and failed to score again. Star tailback Dalvin Cook had trouble finding space to maneuver behind FSU’s offensive line as he only rushed for 54 yards. Fortunately for the Noles, their defense was able to carry the team to a victory in their first conference game of the season.
Led by a tenacious defensive line, the Seminoles shut out Boston College, the first shutout since 2013 when FSU defeated Maryland 63-0. The Seminole defense only allowed Boston College to cross the 50-yard line on offense twice, and the closest the Eagles got on any drive was FSU’s 39-yard line. Boston College relies on their power running game to help fuel their offense, but the Seminoles held the Eagles to only 139 yards rushing on 43 carries. The secondary also held Boston College to only 56 yards passing as well.
Defensive linemen Derrick Nnadi, Niles Lawrence Stample, Demarcus Christmas, and Giorgio Newberry were very effective on Friday night. Nnadi had three tackles and a sack while Stample had five tackles with 1.5 of those tackles being for loss, including a sack. Stample actually knocked Boston College’s quarterback, Darius Davis, out of the game when he sacked him. Defensive ends DeMarcus Walker, Josh Sweat, and Jacob Pugh effectively set the edge as well. Overall the defensive line did a good job of applying pressure on the quarterback and they dominated Boston College’s young offensive line.
The linebackers and defensive backs also played well. Terrance Smith and Ro’Derrick Hoskins played fast and instinctively from their linebacker position. On the outside, corners Jalen Ramsey and Marquez White shutdown the opposing wideouts. Ramsey made the biggest play of the game in the fourth quarter when he scooped up a Boston College fumble and returned it 36 yards for a touchdown to make the score 14-0 FSU. At safety, Lamarcus Brutus proved his worth yet again as he did a great job of directing the defense and he also pulled down an interception in the first half.
On special teams there was a role reversal. Kicker Roberto Aguayo missed a 42-yard field goal, which was only his fifth miss out of 56 attempts. Much maligned punter Cason Beatty however, had arguably the best performance of his career. On seven kicks, Beatty averaged 52.3 yards per punt. This was extremely important because due to FSU’s struggles on offense, the Seminoles needed to pin Boston College deep to make it more difficult on Boston College.
For 45 percent of FSU’s roster, this was their first road game. Even though it wasn’t the sexiest performance, this was still a good win for this young FSU team. The Seminoles have a bye week next week, and they will then take on Wake Forest on the road on October 4th.