Boston College needs to shut down Florida State’s ground game

Boston College and Florida State are at opposite ends of the ACC spectrum when it comes to running the football.

The Seminoles are the ACC’s locomotive with a league-best 242.3 rushing yards per game while the Eagles occupy the conference’s caboose with 48 yards per game.

FSU has accumulated 727 yards and eight touchdowns on 129 carries (5.6 yards per rush, while BC has just 144 yards and three TDs on 87 rushes (1.7 yards per rush). The BC running game saw improvement in last Saturday’s 38-17 win over Maine powered by tailback Pat Garwo’s 79 yards and two scores.

The Eagles (1-2) will need sustained drives on offense and three-and-outs on defense to shrink the chasm when they engage the Seminoles (3-0) at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla., on Saturday night (8 p.m.). The unbeaten Seminoles are not ranked in the top 25 despite wins over LSU and Louisville.

“It is with their running backs and I think it is also with their quarterback,” said BC head coach Jeff Hafley, who will be making his first visit to the Doak. “He is a very athletic quarterback who will get involved in quarterback called runs.

“Their O-line is big and physical and they have good backs. They want to set up the run but they also have guys on the perimeter and they want to get the ball in their hands. But I certainly believe it begins for them by running the football.”

The quarterback Hafley referred to is 6-1, 201-pound junior Jordan Travis, who is a prototype ACC dual-threat field general. Travis has completed 44-of-65 passes for 624 yards and four touchdowns. Travis suffered a leg injury last Saturday against Louisville, but he was back on the practice field by Wednesday and is expected to play.

The Seminoles featured ball carrier is 5-10, 189-pound tailback Treshaun Ward, who has rushed for 302 yards and two TDs on 40 carries this season.

“He is a strong guy with good acceleration and he’s fast,” said Hafley. “They do a good job on offense spreading you out and doing a lot of misdirection and make you defend the whole field.”