FSU bounces back to rout Boston College
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State played like it was on a mission. Or just plain angry.
The No. 11 Seminoles suffered a one-point loss to N.C. State a week ago, and on Saturday night they took out their frustration on Boston College.
Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel passed for a career-high 439 yards and four touchdowns, the Seminoles ran for 201 yards and a game-opening, goal-line stand sparked the defense in a 51-7 rout of Boston College.
"They were locked from the get-go," Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said. "You could sense it. They had a chip on their shoulder."
Granted, the win came against Boston College, which still doesn't have a win over a Division I program at midseason. But on offense, defense and special teams, Florida State dominated.
The Seminoles handed BC its worst loss since a 52-6 rout by Miami in 2000.
Florida State passed and ran at will. Lonnie Pryor ran for two touchdowns, and James Wilder caught two touchdown passes from Manuel.
Florida State's senior quarterback also bounced back after a hit-and-miss night against the Wolfpack. Manuel tossed two interceptions on Saturday against BC, but he completed 27 of 34 passes and distributed the ball to nine receivers.
"The receivers did a great job," Manuel said. "The o-line did a great job of pass blocking, giving me opportunities to sit back there and throw the ball. It was a good feeling."
And it was a good feeling from the start. The Seminoles opened with a 77-yard touchdown pass from Manuel to Kenny Shaw, scored on four of their first five possessions and led 31-7 at halftime.
Florida State (6-1, 3-1 ACC) also held Boston College to just 225 yards. The Eagles couldn't punch it in on a game-opening drive that began with first-and-goal from the FSU 1.
"That goal-line stand set a tone, definitely, being able to go down there and stop them on the first drive," FSU defensive tackle Everett Dawkins said.
Florida State never backed down on defense, holding Boston College (1-5, 0-3) to just 122 passing yards and 96 rushing yards on 32 carries. The Seminoles allowed just a Chase Rettig to Bobby Swigert 18-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter, forcing BC to punt nine times. Rettig completed just under 50 percent of his passes (15 of 31).
And the Seminoles got the job done on special teams, too. Place-kicker Dustin Hopkins made a 51-yard field goal as time expired in the second quarter, helping him break two scoring records.
Hopkins became the Seminoles' all-time scoring leader and grabbed first place on the ACC's scoring chart. He made three field goals and six extra points on Saturday and now has 402 points.
"Being mentioned with guys' names that have done so much for the university and the ACC, I'm just humbled by the whole thing," Hopkins said. "I knew that I was close. But I had no idea numbers-wise where I was."
From a numbers standpoint, Florida State put up some impressive statistics against BC. But the most important aspect of the Seminoles' win is that they bounced back.
Florida State struggled with that last year – albeit against tougher opponents – but the loss to Oklahoma in 2011 multiplied with defeats at the hands of Clemson and Wake Forest. And Florida State made sure that didn't happen Saturday night.
"A lot of teams have goals of winning a national championship and they lose a game, some teams can't bounce back," Wilder said. "We just made sure we didn't have that taste in our mouth anymore. We just got in there and got after it."