CHESTNUT HILL, Massachusetts -- In its first Atlantic
Coast Conference game, Boston College showed remarkable resiliency. Florida State showed BC how far it still has to go.
The eighth-ranked Seminoles started quickly on defense, overcame a long lull and awoke on offense in the second half as they rallied for a 28-17 victory over the 17th-ranked Eagles.
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"It was a game of two halves," FSU head coach Bobby Bowden said. "They out-fought us the first half, then we hung on and they lost their quarterback."
Linebacker A.J. Nicholson had a monstrous game with two interceptions - including one for a touchdown - and 18 tackles (17 solo). Improving Drew Weatherford threw a pair of TD passes for the Seminoles (3-0, 2-0 ACC Atlantic), the measuring stick for all
other ACC teams.
Since entering the conference in 1992, Florida State has won the league title 11 times, also claiming a pair of national championships. It improved to 98-8 all-time in the ACC and provided a somewhat rude introduction for the Eagles (2-1, 0-1 Atlantic).
One year after the Big East exodus by Miami and Virginia Tech,
Boston College also departed for the ACC, which now has 12 teams, including seven in the top 25.
A pair of interceptions thrown by Quinton Porter put the Eagles in an early 14-0 hole, but they pushed around the Seminoles for most of the next three quarters and took a 17-14 advantage into the final period.
However, Porter had to leave with a right ankle injury in the fourth quarter, when FSU's offense finally started clicking.
Weatherford capped a 10-play, 63-yard march by finding Greg Carr on a crossing route for a five-yard touchdown and a 21-17 lead with 10:13 remaining. That was Carr's second TD of the game and fourth of the season.
"We decided to go ahead and start playing him after the first ballgame and he has caught several touchdowns since then," Bowden said. "So, that was a good move. I wish we could have played more of our young guys, but we had enough drops out there to scare us today. We tried to go to the older guys."
Backup Matt Ryan's second straight three-and-out possession was
followed by FSU's third smothered punt in as many games. This one was blocked by freshman Darius McClure and led to Lorenzo Booker's four-yard TD run with 3:53 to go.
Ryan quickly drove the Eagles to the Seminoles two-yard line, where the
defense led by Nicholson and fellow linebacker Ernie Sims stuffed seven straight plays to preserve the lead.
Things couldn't have started worse for Porter. His first pass was picked off by Nicholson and returned 19 yards for a touchdown.
On BC's second possession, Porter again was intercepted by
Nicholson, whose 40-yard return set up a 20-yard TD pass from Weatherford to true freshman Greg Carr for a 14-0 lead.
But the Eagles dominated the rest of the first half. In the opening quarter, they ran 36 plays to six by the Seminoles, cashing in with a 31-yard field goal by Ryan Ohliger and a
seven-yard TD run by L.V. Whitworth.
Dominating the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, BC finally took the lead on a 14-yard TD pass from Porter to Will Blackmon with 10:36 before halftime.
FSU will get an off-week and will host Syracuse the following Saturday.