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Game story: Florida State holds off Boston College’s second half comeback for road victory

One win from bowl eligibility.

Florida State v Boston College Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images

Chestnut Hill, MA- Florida State football is one win away from bowl eligibility after a 26-23 win over Boston College on Saturday afternoon. The Seminoles started quick, opening a 26-3 lead early in the third quarter. Penalties and missed assignments on defense allowed the Eagles back in the game, but FSU made the plays late in the fourth quarter for the second straight week. Florida State’s belief and will to battle for a full sixty minutes has won them two close games over the last two weeks. Now, after starting 0-4, they sit one win away from bowl eligibility with only the Florida Gators left on the schedule.

Moments that mattered

Wilson dives to pylon for early lead

Florida State’s offense moved with ease early. Miscues held them out of the end-zone in their first drive. Jordan Travis was sacked on third down to move the ‘Noles out of field goal territory to end the first drive. After Alex Mastromanno pinned a punt at the one, the FSU defense forced a second BC punt in as many drives. FSU took over at the 50 after a decent return by Ontaria Wilson.

Travis converted on third-and-seven as he broke out of the pocket for a nine-yard scramble. Two plays later, he scrambled for another first down. A face-mask penalty moved FSU into the red-zone. On second down, Travis climbed up in the pocket and found Wilson over the middle. Jordan Wilson laid a massive block on a BC defender to pave a way for the WR, who dove to the pylon for six.

Questionable (putting it nicely) penalties gift BC three points

FSU’s defense kept BC silent through their first two drives. The Eagles got some help from the refs to get moving. On a third down, Omarion Cooper was in perfect position on a fade to grab an INT, but he was held by a tight end. Despite that, Cooper was the one called for pass interference. A few plays later, QB Phil Jurkovec looked to scramble for a third down conversion. He slid well short of the first down. Jammie Robinson dove to tackle him before the QB slid, but Robinson was called for unnecessary roughness and was ejected for targeting. BC finished the drive with a 46-yard field goal. Their drive totaled 39 yards, with 30 yards coming off penalties.

‘Noles drive the down with ease for another TD

The Seminoles’ offense responded with a statement drive. The ‘Noles drove down the field with ease. Travis found Jashaun Corbin over the middle for a twenty yard gain. Corbin then ripped off an 18-yard run to move FSU across midfield. Ward and Travis followed with back-to-back first down runs. Another Corbin run of 10+ gave FSU first-and-goal. Lawrance Toafili punched it into the end-zone off a screen pass. FSU ran for 50 yards on four rushes on the seven-play, 85-yard drive.

Defense stands tall, OL infractions cost FSU points

The Eagles offense looked like it would add more points on the following drive, but FSU’s defense wouldn’t break. Jurkovec converted three straight third downs with his legs. Finally, the Seminoles came up with a run stop on third down. Malcolm Ray surged through the middle for a TFL on third-and-one. BC stayed on the field on fourth-and-two and ran the ball again. Jarrian Jones stood up Patrick Garwo just passed the line of scrimmage to force a turnover on downs.

Travis capitalized on FSU’s momentum on the first play of the drive. The QB dropped a deep ball In Wilson ‘s bread basket for a 41-yard gain. A handful of miscues forced the stall to drive after that. On third-and-one, the ‘Noles ran a QB sneak but couldn’t get any surge. FSU looked like it was going to go for the sneak again on the next play, but Dillan Gibbons false started. The offense stayed on the field on fourth-and-six, but Maurice Smith had a snap infraction, leading to a punt.

Deloach blows up safety for screen, offense tacks on three before the half

For the second time of the day, Mastromanno pinned the Eagles within their 10. Keir Thomas, with the help of Jermaine Johnson and Robert Cooper, sacked Jurkovec on second down. On third-and-long, Boston College looked to catch FSU off-guard with a screen, but Kalen Deloach quickly diagnosed the play. The linebacker looked like he was shot out of a cannon as he triggered on the running back and kept him on the goal line for a safety, giving FSU a 16-3 lead.

A 26-yard completion to Camren McDonald set up a field goal for Ryan Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald converted a 36-yard field goal. FSU led 19-3 at the half. The ‘Noles out-gained the Eagles by 136 yards and held them to 2.7 yards per play.

Teams trade TD’s out of the half

FSU received the second half kick and the offense came out of the locker room with a purpose. Corbin ran for 26 yards on the first two plays of the half to move the ‘Noles across midfield. Travis found McDonald up the seam for a 15-yard gain. Ward mossed a Boston College linebacker to move FSU into the red-zone. Travis then looked for Malik McClain in the corner of the end-zone. McClain high-pointed the ball and caught it at full extension for a spectacular TD catch. Travis threw for 51 yards on the drive.

Boston College had an immediate answer to keep the game from getting out of hand. Jurkovec scrambled for 17 on third-and-11 to keep the drive alive. Patrick Garwo gave them first-and-goal with a ten yard rush. On fourth-and-three, Garwo dove into the end-zone for the Eagles’ first TD of the day.

Overturned fumble results in BC TD

The Seminoles’ were able to sustain a long drive on the following possession, but penalties slowed them down again. Two illegal formation penalties forced a punt from BC territory. Once again, Mastromanno was able to pin the Eagles within their 10.

But FSU’s defense couldn’t take advantage of the long field. Zay Flowers’ first catch of the day was a big one. Flowers caught a short pass over the middle and juked three defenders out of their shoes to turn it into a 44-yard gain. On third-and-15, Jurkovec burnt the ‘Noles with his legs again for a first down. On third-and-goal, Jermaine Johnson got to Jurkovec and knocked the ball out of his hands. On the field, it was ruled a fumble recovery by FSU, but review called it an incomplete pass and put the ball on BC’s three. The Eagles then punched it in on fourth down again, as Jurkovec leaped into the end-zone on a keeper. BC couldn’t convert a two-point conversion, as the Eagles trailed 26-16 with 12:57 remaining.

Another phantom penalty call leads to another BC TD

FSU’s offense responded to the TD with a three-and-out. On the ensuing punt, an FSU defender was pushed in the back into the punt returner. Instead of block in the back on BC, it was kick-catch interference on the Seminoles. BC’s offense didn’t take long to respond. Flowers beat Jarvis Brownlee in one-on-one coverage for a 36-yard touchdown to make it a three-point game with over 10 minutes remaining.

FSU finally gets crucial stop, Dent picks off Jurkovec to ice game

Once again, the Florida State offense couldn’t put together a drive due to penalties. Travis moved the Seminoles near midfield with a 13-yard pass to Douglas. On fourth-and-one, the ‘Noles stayed on the field, but a delay of game offset a first down and FSU was forced to punt. Mastromanno pinned BC inside their 20 again, this time with a 49-yard punt.

The pressure was on the defense for the second straight week to come up with a stop. They had to have it, for the first time in the half. Jurkovec used his legs again to convert on fourth-and-two and move across midfield. Malcolm Ray came up with a second tackle for loss to force third-and-nine. Keir Thomas got quick pressure to force an incompletion. BC stayed on the field on fourth-and-nine from FSU’s 37. Thomas forced quick pressure again, which led to a prayer thrown by Jurkovec. Akeem Dent out-leaped a BC wide receiver and intercepted the pass.

The interception basically iced the game, as BC had just one timeout left and 1:42 was left on the clock. Travis heaved the ball out of bounds as the clock ran out to end the game and move FSU one win away from bowl eligibility.

FSU notables

Travis: 20-34, 251 yards, 3 TD

Wilson: 3 rec, 60 yards, TD

Corbin: 13 rush, 62 yards, 1 rec, 20 yards

Thomas: 7 tot tkl, 3 tfl, 2 sacks, 5 QBH

Johnson: 3 tot tkl, 1 tfl, 2 QBH

Up next: Florida State will head a couple hours south of Tallahassee next week to take on the Florida Gators. Kickoff on Saturday is scheduled for noon and will be televised on ESPN.