Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Colleges

Freshmen at forefront of FSU-BC matchup on Friday

Florida State and Boston College have experienced youth movements on offense this season.

When the teams meet tonight in an ACC matchup at BC’s Alumni Stadium, freshmen will once again play major roles for each squad.

Quarterback James Blackman and running back Cam Akers have had to become starters for the Seminoles (2-4, 2-3 ACC) due to injuries. For the Eagles (4-4, 2-3), quarterback Anthony Brown won the job during the preseason while AJ Dillon has taken over as the lead running back the past two weeks.

Boston College coach Steve Addazio said the goal for the Eagles now is to "make as many plays as we can and continue to develop." But he says everyone needs to understand when you have young players, "don’t think your roller-coaster ride is over. That’s why they’re still young guys."

Each team is currently on opposite ends of the roller coaster.

The Eagles have won two straight and have scored 40 or more points in consecutive ACC games for the first time since joining the conference in 2005. The Seminoles have lost two of their past three and are in danger of missing a bowl game for the first time since 1982.

Blackman, who is making his sixth start after Deondre Francois suffered a season-ending knee injury, is tied for third in the ACC in interceptions with six. After not throwing one in his first 71 attempts, Blackman has six in his past 65. Blackman also had a fumble late in the fourth quarter that led to Louisville’s game-winning field goal.

"His energy has been good. He’s had better attention to detail. He’s responded just like I thought he would," FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said of Blackman’s preparation this week.

Akers moves into the lead role with Jacques Patrick sidelined due to knee injury. Akers, who was splitting carries with Patrick, is eighth in the ACC in rushing (75.7 yards per game) and has gone over 100 yards in two of the past three games.

BC is the only Division I-A school to have freshmen lead the team in passing, rushing and receiving. Addazio said he has been surprised with how quickly his freshmen have made an impact and has not had to wait until next season or longer.

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