There isn't a such thing as an ugly win, even though that's exactly the result Florida State football persevered to escape with last week on the road against Boston College. Despite entering the game as the third-ranked team in the AP Poll, Florida State was barely able to survive and escape with a 31-29 win last week. They were outgained 457 to 340 and lost the turnover battle two to one. Against most other teams, playing like that would've resulted in a loss for Florida State.
Maybe it was just a narrative and human nature thing. After all, Florida State does play a Clemson team on the road at Death Valley that was ranked ninth in the AP poll to begin the season next week. Florida State football stomped LSU in the second half of their season opener and cruised to a 66-13 win over Southern Miss the week after. Maybe they just overlooked Boston College and thought they could cruise to another win. Maybe they have legit causes for concern. This week will tell all.
But there are two things to watch out for that could impact their matchup with Clemson this week.
2) The health of Jordan Travis
Jordan Travis didn't play up to his standards in this game; he merely completed 15 of 24 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns. He also did run for 38 yards on just four carries. But his performance, while not up to par with how he played against LSU, is not the concern here. It's his health. He took some big shots in this game and momentarily left the game against Boston College.
Star FSU quarterback Jordan Travis lands awkwardly on the sideline and looks like he’s got pain in his left arm/shoulder. He just left medical tent and isn’t returning for final kneel downs in last seconds of the half. FSU leads 17-10.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) September 16, 2023
Jordan Travis was able to tough it out and finish the game, but that injury did linger and haunt Travis in the second half. That's at least what head coach Mike Norvell indicated when discussing Travis' injury while confirming that Travis should be able to continue playing without it being an issue, per Warchant.com. This could be nothing. But if Travis gets hit again and re-aggravates this injury, things could get tenuous again for the Noles.
1) The health of Florida State football's offensive line
One big reason why Jordan Travis took the hits that briefly knocked him out of last week's game against Boston College was the fact that Florida State football was down two offensive linemen. Robert Scott and D'Mitri Emmanuel were unable to play for the Seminoles and their absences had a profound impact. Travis' 212 passing yards were a far cry from the 342 he put up on LSU in Week 1. Travis also only had 175 passing yards against Southern Miss when Scott didn't play but Travis didn't play that whole game. He did, however, go 15 for 29 as a passer, meaning Travis has completed only 30 of 53 passes without Robert Scott in the lineup.
At least Florida State was able to run the ball on Southern Miss. In that game, they ate up Southern Miss' defense on the ground to the tune of 306 yards and four touchdowns on 37 carries. That was good for over eight yards per carry. Against Boston College, however, Florida State ran for only 128 yards on 34 carries. Three less carries, but 178 fewer yards and a 3.8 yards per carry average. That's not going to get it done. Not against a Clemson defense that is currently averaging 246.7 yards allowed per game this season. That mark ranks second in the ACC.
Florida State football won't apologize for a win no matter how it comes, but surely they'd love for those wins to be more clean than last week's was. Jordan Travis took some shots playing behind an offensive line missing a couple of starters. If they can get those players back, that would be a tremendous boost. They have shown they can win without them, but that task becomes more difficult to accomplish. The status of Robert Scott and D'Mitri Emmanuel is one of much concern and attention that will bear monitoring in the days to come as Florida State prepares for Clemson.