Though not without a number of bright spots, it was another tough day for the Boston College Eagles against their division rivals from Tallahassee, as the #8 Florida State Seminoles came to Chestnut Hill and won, 48-34.
With the loss, the Eagles drop to 2-2 (1-1) on the season and have now lost four straight games against Florida State.
Boston College rocketed out to a 17-3 lead over the Seminoles in the first half, shutting down Jameis Winston and finding ways to beat the FSU defense, but watched their lead quickly evaporate as halftime approached. In fact, in what was a substantially deflating outcome, the Seminoles hurled a Hail Mary of their own as time expired to take a 24-17 lead into the break on a drive that lasted only a handful of seconds.
In the second half, despite some responses by the Eagles, the Seminoles were mostly in control and rode the wave to a two-touchdown win.
From the Eagle perspective, it is hard to be upset about the defeat. In the previous two meetings, Boston College lost by 31 and 44 points, respectively. A result such as this during a rebuilding year is hardly unexpected, though this one was arguably much better played than either of those two. Boston College was not the best team on the field on Saturday and the Seminoles’ talent won the day, but from a motivational perspective, the Eagles hung with a top-ten team for most of the afternoon and scored 34 points against a very good defense.
The bright spots included several of the following:
• The Eagles didn’t quit. When Florida State hit them hard, the Eagles kept playing like there was something for them to prove. In the absence of a sports psychology degree, it appeared that they as a whole seemed legitimately unintimidated. Ultimately, it didn’t work out, but the desire to play tough even when the outcome seemed clear was refreshing. There is no “roll over and die” in their hearts.
• The offense did some nice things. Was it perfect? No, but they scored 34 points, which is more than they had scored against Florida State in the last three meetings combined. The execution for the most part was far better than against USC.
• Myles Willis. The freshman running back has some pop and can be a nice change of pace from Andre Williams.
Of course, seeing as how they lost, there was at least one negative:
• The conservative play before halftime. The Eagles were playing for halftime in taking three runs and making the Seminoles use their timeouts. Boston College did not want to make any mistakes, but as it turns out, the mistake they made was letting FSU get the ball back. The coach has said it himself: you cannot beat top teams without taking chances. Had the Eagles run a two-minute drill and stayed aggressive, yes, it might have still turned out to be a 24-17 Seminoles lead at halftime, but you have to be in it to win it, and Boston College was not trying to do anything there but hope to kneel out the half. It backfired.
The effort was not good enough to win for the Eagles, but it was nevertheless a noble attempt and one from which they can build. Aside from Clemson, there is not one other scary team on Boston College’s schedule. Games like the one BC played on Saturday could get them some good results, though there is still a long way to go to rebuild.
The Eagles return to the field next Saturday for the Homecoming game against the Army Black Knights.