It was The Red Bandanna Game, Senior Day, and the 1984 Cotton Bowl team was on hand. Suffice it to say there was a lot going on at Alumni Stadium for Boston College’s home finale against Florida State. And in what amounted to a must win game, BC lost 38-31 to a reeling Seminoles team that just fired their head coach.
Each team’s strategy was apparent from the start, and wavered little as the game progressed. Florida State would spread it wide with James Blackman at the helm, looking to exploit BC’s porous secondary, while BC would lean heavily on their excellent rushing attack.
The Eagles got off to a great start, putting together a methodical, run heavy opening drive that covered 75 cards in 5:38 seconds. Dennis Grosel fumbled deep in FSU territory, leaving BC with 3rd and goal from the 17, but a blown coverage left Kobay White wide open in the endzone for his fourth touchdown on the year.
There were some big plays in the first half, but none bigger than when Doug Flutie trotted out in a 1984 replica jersey and did his best to reproduce the most memorable play in college football history. Flutie uncorked a beautiful, arcing spiral from around the 30, and members of his old team mobbed the recipient as the crowd roared its approval.
Alas, it’s not 1984.
BC took advantage of a woeful 12 yard FSU punt that came to rest at the punter’s feet, covering 60 yards in just six plays. After a 20 yard David Bailey carry to the FSU 11, BC went right back to him, and Bailey picked up his 8th touchdown of the year to make it 14-3.
Florida State wasted no time coming up with an answer. James Blackman connected on a 74 yard bomb to Tamorrion Terry, exposing a Boston College secondary that has struggled all season. Perhaps that sounds familiar? Terry was the man who caught a 74 yard touchdown against BC last season to steal a win for the Seminoles in Tallahassee.
As the first half wound down, the Eagles (more specifically the head coach) squandered a chance to add to their lead. Facing 4th and 4 at the FSU 28 with two timeouts in his pocket, Coach Addazio chose to let the clock run down and attempt a long field goal, which predictably missed.
The Seminoles marched down the field on their first drive of the second half, and took a 17-14 lead on a 26 yard rush by Jordan Travis. They struck again a few minutes later, when a Cam Akers rushing touchdown capped off a 63 yard drive, making it 24-14.
A thirty yard field goal by Aaron Boumerhi made it a one score game. FSU faced a 4th and 1 in BC territory, but a false start moved them back, and they elected to punt it away. BC then put together their best drive of the game, mixing in an effective passing game as they marched 90 yards over 13 plays. Grosel showed poise, at one point scanning through his reads and deciding to tuck it and run, gaining 24 yards and putting BC inside the 5. A few plays later Grosel kept it on a bootleg and tumbled into the end zone for a game tying touchdown.
But the Boston College defense lapsed once again, conceding a 59 yard touchdown pass from Blackman to DJ Matthews on the second play of the ensuing drive, perfectly encapsulating a frustrating season for the Eagles. BC’s bid for a game tying drive ended on a Grosel interception. To add insult to injury, Jordan Travis scampered in from 66 yards out. Grosel found Kobay White in the endzone for the second time to make it 38-31, but FSU corralled the onside kick to seal it. Florida State’s 526 yards of offense were par for the course, as the Eagles dropped to 5-5 (3-4).