After a pair of dominant performances to start the season, Florida State finds itself among the top three teams in the nation for the first time in six years.
But the third-ranked Seminoles believe they haven’t reached their ceiling just yet, and they will look to continue climbing the ranks on Saturday when they face Boston College in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener in Chestnut Hill, Mass.
Florida State (2-0) rose to No. 3 in the AP poll thanks to a 66-13 shellacking of Southern Miss last Saturday. It marks the Seminoles’ highest ranking since 2017, when they started the season as the third-best team in the country.
Through two games, FSU has outscored opponents 111-37. The Seminoles kicked off the 2023 campaign with a 45-24 victory over LSU on Sept. 3.
Although he is pleased with the progress his team has made just two years removed a stretch of four straight losing seasons, Florida State coach Mike Norvell is focused on avoiding complacency.
“Somebody says that we’re highly rated or highly ranked, whatever you call it, or not. None of that matters,” Norvell said. “It’s about what we’re willing to do when we show up and when we go to work.”
Norvell is eager to begin ACC play with a victory, but he knows that it won’t be easy.
“We understand what we want to achieve and what we want to do. This is a first step when it comes to coming into conference play,” Norvell said. “This is a big game up at BC.”
The Eagles (1-1) will have plenty to play for against FSU.
Saturday marks Boston College’s annual Red Bandanna Game, which honors alumnus Welles Crowther.
Crowther died during the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. He was in the South Tower, where, with his red bandanna covering his nose and mouth amidst the smoke, he helped others evacuate the building before it collapsed.
“We talk to our players about 9/11, about Welles, about the Red Bandanna Game,” BC coach Jeff Hafley said. “We teach them about … why we wear those jerseys. It’s not just to put on a new look. It’s way bigger than that.”
Boston College is bracing for its toughest opponent yet, as the Eagles opened their season with a 27-24 overtime loss to Northern Illinois before bouncing back to pull off a gritty 31-28 win over FCS Holy Cross last Saturday.
“They’re as deep as they’ve been,” Hafley said of the Seminoles. “They’re deep at wide receiver. … Every time you turn on the film, there’s a new guy who looks just as big and just as fast. They’ve got depth at running back.
“And then the quarterback. He’s just gotten better and better. If you turn on the tape from when we played him two years ago, he was young, then he got better and now he’s probably one of the best players in all of college football.”
That quarterback Hafley speaks so highly of is Jordan Travis, who has already thrown for 517 yards with six touchdowns against one interception.
Florida State has won 15 of its 20 all-time meetings with BC.
–Field Level Media