Dashed hopes for BC, big win for FSU
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - For 59 minutes, Chestnut Hill felt like Blacksburg. Boston College was down ten and the ball was in Matt Ryan's hands.
First, a one yard touchdown to Ryan Purvis. Then, Ryan took control of the offense at the BC seven-yard line, the rain-soaked fans in Alumni Stadium almost assuming their quarterback would pull out a victory like he had done against Virginia Tech.
But it wasn't to be tonight for Ryan or his Eagles, who fell 27-17 at home against Florida State. Stuffed in the red zone one too many times - BC got just three points on its first three red zone visits - and unable to capitalize on several big pass plays, BC fell into a hole each time it seemed poised to climb out.
It's an apt picture of college football in 2007 that mighty Florida State beating little Boston College would be such an upset, and the Seminole's biggest win of the season. Not to mention the fact that FSU was still worried even as the game seemed in hand.
"I though we were going to make enough mistakes to lose it at the end," said FSU head coach Bobby Bowden.
But linebacker Geno Hayes alleviated his coach's fears with a 38-yard touchdown return after jumping a Ryan pass. It was the Seminoles third pick of the Heisman Trophy candidate, perhaps putting a dagger on his hopes for the award.
But ultimately, the story was the Seminoles tonight. BC put itself in position to go ahead several times, but FSU put the stops on defense each time. Credit offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher for not playing things conservative with a three-point lead in the fourth quarter: the decision to throw deep gave the Seminoles a quick touchdown and proved too much for Ryan's late game heroics.
Player of the game: Weatherford. The oft-maligned junior threw for 354 yards and two touchdowns in perhaps his best game of the season. Xavier Lee may be suspended, but Weatherford might win the starting job back on his own.
Play of the game: Hayes' interception. With the big plays Ryan had pulled out all game - not to mention last week - no FSU fan could have felt safe, even with 70 yards to go in just over a minute. Hayes ended any question that FSU would pull of its biggest win of the season.
Next for BC: The road doesn't get much easier for the Eagles, who now have to worry about simply winning the ACC's Atlantic division. A trip down to Maryland should be a win for the Eagles, but they follow that up with trips to Clemson and a visit from Miami.
Next for FSU: The Seminoles are all but out of the Atlantic race with three losses and games against Virginia Tech and Maryland coming up - but stranger things have happened across the country. But FSU has certainly announced itself as a contender for a top bowl game, a prospect that looked unlikely a few weeks back.