NEWTON, Mass. -- Though they’ve played only a fourth of their 2013 schedule, members of the Boston College football team were glad to have a bye this past week. They flew home from Southern California, licked their wounds from the 35-7 beatdown that dropped their record to 2-1 and began to prep for the next test.
With No. 8 Florida State coming to Chestnut Hill (3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, ABC/ESPN2), it’ll be a big one.
“It’s huge to get our legs back,” co-captain Ian White said after practice in Alumni Stadium on Monday. “It’s just three weeks into the season but it’s still nice -- [after] coming through camp and into the first three weeks -- to get our legs back, feel fresh, get out here and bounce around a little bit.
“We got to work on all the mistakes we made in the USC game and find our weaknesses and work on them. It was a good work week. We came out and played hard, played fast all week and I think we got a lot better.”
Fellow captain Kasim Edebali echoed that sentiment, saying he thought the game week got off to “a great start” with the session Monday.
“The bye week was definitely helpful,” the fifth-year senior said. “The young guys could get better during that week, the older guys could recover their body a little bit. So we’re just fresh. We’ve got a good motor going on.”
Without a game to play, BC coach Steve Addazio said he spent a lot of time in front of the TV on Saturday, flipping back and forth among multiple matchups. Then he watched some of the coaches’ copy, to get more detail.
“We’re anxious to get playing,” he said. “You have a bye week, you try to capitalize on the bye week but you miss playing. You watch everyone else play and you’re anxious to get back at it.”
While the Eagles did use the off week to work on themselves some, stressing fundamentals and cleaning up mistakes in execution, they looked ahead too.
“I wanted to get a big jump on Florida State, so that I could back off this week,” Addazio said. “As this week goes by, I want to back off because I want to make this a very physical football game. So I felt like we need to get a lot of our work done early so that we can prepare for a real physical game. We’ve got to make it a physical game.”
Addazio said the bye week has allowed the Eagles to be a day ahead of where they’d usually be in their prep, and he was pleased with the work his team put in Monday.
“I thought we had a really good day today on defense and offense,” he said. “I thought the kids came out today really sharp and hard. And that has to happen. But make no mistake about the fact that we have to play at the highest level that we’ve played at. We have to do that.
“What I mean by that is we can’t make a bunch of mistakes. [The mistakes] just show up really awkwardly against really talented teams. Where sometimes you don’t see them against some of the matchup teams, but teams like this expose it really quickly.”
The Seminoles (3-0, 1-0 ACC) hammered FCS foe Bethune-Cookman 54-6 on Saturday, flexing their muscles a bit as they prepare for ACC play to commence in earnest with the trip to Chestnut Hill.
Led by redshirt freshman sensation Jameis Winston at QB, the Noles are averaging 52.3 points per game, good for first in the ACC and fifth nationally. They are allowing only 8.7 points per game, first in the ACC and tied for third nationally.
“It’ll be a great challenge for us and our kids are looking forward to it,” Addazio said. “We’ve got a great attitude. We had a great bye week, very physical. We’re anxious to get going.”
“Those are two good guys,” he said. “Sinkovec will be ready to go this week. I think Lifka might still be one week away but almost ready to roll, which is great.”
The time off also helped backup strongside linebacker Josh Keyes recover from an injury suffered in the USC game, a muscle spasm in his neck.
“The bye week allowed us to shut him down a little bit and get him ready,” Addazio said, “because had we had to turn that thing back around that would’ve been hard.”
Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.