Chestnut Hill, MA —Boston College pushed the Florida State to the brink on Saturday. No. 3 Florida State scored four unanswered touchdowns to build a 21-point lead but almost blew the game, survived a late Boston College surge to win 31-29 at Alumni Stadium.
Linebacker DJ Lundy picked off a pass to set up a touchdown from the 1-yard line, the Seminoles (3-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) scored four unanswered touchdowns to make it 31-10 before surviving a late BC charge for their ninth straight victory.
Jordan Travis completed 16 of 24 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 38 yards for Florida State. The Seminoles had its first close game of the season after winning its first two games by a combined 74 points.
“We dug our own hole,” running back Rodney Hill said after Florida State closed with three punts and a fumble, then managed to run out the clock only because BC committed its 18th penalty of the game — a face mask after a third-down stop that would have forced a punt.
Kye Robichaux scored from 1-yard out for the Eagles to trim the lead to 31-16 with a minute left in the third quarter, but Connor Lytton’s extra point kick failed. BC recovered a squib kick and advanced to the Seminoles 5-yard line before getting stopped on fourth down.
Khari Johnson recovered Toafili’s fumble and took it in to pull the Eagles within nine points; BC went for two points and came up short, then stopped FSU for the third straight time — the Eagles did that only once in the entire first half. They drove to the 7-yard line before Castellanos put the defense on skates with a stutter step and ran it in on a fourth-and-2 to make it 31-29.
But BC’s last possession stalled after Castellanos was sacked. FSU needed a first down to kill the clock, and they got it on a face-mask penalty after Toafili was stopped three yards short of the markers.
“Our standard is for us to get better every time we take the field,” Florida State coach Mike Norvell said. “That did not happen today.”
Boston College (1-2, 0-1) set a school record for penalties, missed an extra point, went for 2 after another touchdown and failed, and opted not to kick a field goal from the Seminoles 5-yard line when trailing by 15 points early in the fourth quarter. But the Eagles still trailed by only 2 points, with the ball, in the final three minutes before Kalen DeLoach sacked Thomas Castellanos on third down to stall BC’s last possession.
BC’s last possession stalled after Castellanos was sacked. The Seminoles needed a first down to kill the clock, and they got it on a face masking penalty after Lawrance Toafil was stopped three yards short of the sticks.
Castellanos threw for 305 yards and one touchdown and ran for 95 and another score for the Eagles, and Khari Johnson recovered a fumble and ran it in to pull the Eagles within nine points with about 11 minutes remaining in the game. BC went for 2 and failed, then failed to convert a fourth down at the Seminoles 5-yard line, leaving it a two-score game.
“Just self-inflicted wounds,” said BC quarterback Thomas Castellanos, who threw for 305 yards and one touchdown and ran for 95 and another score. “We’ve just got to clean it up. Can’t have it.”
The Eagles would have gotten the ball back with about a minute left after stopping Florida State on third down, but they were called for face masking on the tackle — their 18th penalty of the contest.
BC fell to 4-6 in the annual Red Bandanna Game that honors graduate Welles Crowther, who died in the Sept. 11 attacks. The Eagles wore uniforms trimmed with a bandanna theme and the name on each jersey was “FOR WELLES.”
BC beat No. 9 Southern California in the first Red Bandanna Game, in 2014.
Florida State: Visits Clemson next Saturday.
Boston College: Visits Louisville on Saturday.