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Florida State 48, Boston College 34: Eagles Jump Out Early, Fade Late

The Eagles jumped out to a 17-3 lead against Florida State, but couldn't hold on in a 48-34 loss to the Seminoles.

Jim Rogash

You couldn't have scripted a better start for Boston College. After forcing a three-and-out and getting great field position from a Spiffy Evans punt return, the Eagles offense needed just eight plays and 4:05 of clock to put it in the end zone when Rettig found C.J. Parsons on the other end of the field for six.

BC held Florida State to a field goal on the next possession and followed up their first drive with a 10 play, 75 yard drive that ended with a 3-yard strike to Jake Sinkovec. Before you knew it, the Eagles were up 14-3 after one quarter and flying high. Pun intended.

If things couldn't have gone better for BC in the first quarter, things couldn't have gone worse in the second. After a Freese FG made it 17-3 early in the second quarter, the Eagles D gave up a quick strike, 56-yard pitch and catch from Jameis Winston to Rashad Greene to make it 17-10. After two straight 3-and-outs from the offense, Florida State needed just 7 plays and 2:55 of clock to march 80 yards and tie the game at 17.

The Eagles got the ball back with 1:49 on the clock. The coaching staff conservatively called three running plays for a net 2 yards and gave the ball back to the Seminoles with 50 seconds left on the clock. After a Kasim Edebali sack, Devonte Freeman rushed for 14 yards and a first down. With the clock winding down to 0:00, Winston got the play off just in time. And this happened:


There are no words, as "backbreaking" or "demoralizing" don't do this play justice. The coaching staff elected not to use its final timeout, hoping that FSU wouldn't get the play off. But the defense wasn't set up and a blown coverage resulted in Rositano in 1-on-1 coverage on a Hail Mary to end the half. Just ... wow.

BC went into the locker room trailing 24-17, the Seminoles first lead of the game.

The Eagles came out strong to start the second half, with Myles Willis returning the opening kickoff 71 yards to the Florida State 25. But the BC offense stalled and could only pick up 3 points on a 24-yard Nate Freese FG. Florida State responded with drives of 75 and 60 yards, both of which resulted in TDs, to put the game well out of reach at 38-20.

Boston College kept the game close with touchdown strikes to Myles Willis (52 yards) and C.J. Parsons (17), but a pair of late Chase Rettig interceptions foiled any hopes of a comeback.

Overall, you have to like the way BC came out firing in this game -- jumping out to a 17-3 lead and managing to stay within two scores of the 7th ranked team in the nation. I'm not one for "moral victories," but I think we all need a bit of perspective here.

Both the talent and depth gaps are obvious, and each of the previous two meetings with the 'Noles have been over by halftime, so credit the team for hanging in there and playing a decent game. There's an intensity and an effort level with this team that just wasn't present throughout much of last season. That much is obvious.

Still, BC had to play a near-perfect game to pull off the upset and they didn't. There are some very glaring weaknesses -- third downs on both sides of the ball, pass defense (all of it), QB decision-making -- for the team to work on in the coming weeks. I expect the team to do just that and rebound nicely next week against Army.

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