It’s nice to see what your defense can do when the opposing offense isn’t starting drives in plus territory, let alone barely past their own 20. Boston College’s average starting position was their own 21-yard line and started 4 drives inside the 20, three inside of their 15, and one drive on their own goal line.
Cason Beatty had the best game of his career, much to the surprise of everyone not named Mack Brown, who actually labeled Beatty as a “very good punter.” Hey, if that’s how Beatty responds to praise, Mack Brown can call all of FSU’s games from here on as far as Noles’ fans are concerned.
The FSU interior line breached BC’s front consistently all night. Two players stood out above the rest as Sophomores DeMarcus Christmas and Derrick Nnadi justified the excitement they generated on National Signing Day two years ago. Nnadi was his consistent self, logging a sack and 3 solo tackles but the story of the night was DeMarcus Christmas’s break out performance. The hulking sophomore DT raided the Eagles’ backfield all night. In the third quarter, Christmas swatted down a Darius Wade pass, thrown in a panic as the young interior lineman was bearing down for a sack. He also racked up 3 solo tackles, one of which was for a 5-yard loss that helped forced a BC fumble, which Jalen Ramsey scooped and ran into the end zone. That scored put the game out of reach. Other Noles’ front men stood out as well. Niles Lawrence-Stamples logged a sack on an unfortunate play that saw Darius Wade go down with a scary knee injury and DeMarcus Walker had a huge stop on fourth down to end the game. The resurgent Gio Newberry played well again, occupying blockers and allowing LB Terrance Smith to clean up to the tune of 5 tackles, half of which occurred behind the line of scrimmage. Josh Sweat and Jacob Pugh consistently set the edge against Boston College, forcing the action back inside, allowing the middle of the FSU defense to limit BC to 3.2 yards per carry. Steve Addazio’s offense played conservatively and kept the ball on the ground for 70% of their plays, making the front seven’s performance even more impressive.
Boston College only crossed midfield twice last night. The FSU secondary wasn’t tested often, but when tested they shut the airways down and Lamarcus Brutus came up with a huge interception that killed BC’s best drive at the FSU 39. The only other Eagles’ drive that crossed the fifty was ended by the aforementioned Walker stop on 4th down, at the Noles’ 40.
Charles Kelly’s unit turned in its most dominant performance ever as it forced five three & outs, surrendered only 12 first downs, 6 in each half, and forced two timely turnovers. For those that have been clamoring that Charles Kelly should be on the hot seat, it’s time to chill out.
It appears that Jimbo Fisher has put training wheels on Everett Golson until he develops a firmer grasp of the playbook in an effort to avoid offensive turnovers and let his defense keep the ‘Noles in games. So far so good as FSU has yet to turn the ball over on offense and stands at 3-0. Next week’s bye couldn’t come at a better time as Jimbo will get an extra week of practice to sort things out before the ‘Noles take the field against Wake Forrest in Winston Salem on October 3rd.
We still don’t know a lot about this offense as it was shutdown against its first Power 5 opponent. What we do know, is if the defense and punting unit can continue to play like it did in Chestnut Hill, they are good enough to carry this team for a few more weeks before Jimbo gets the offense fixed. If there is one thing FSU fans can believe, it’s that Jimbo Fisher will do just that.