In the first half Florida State was untouchable. The Seminoles outgained Boston College by 198 yards of offense by the end of the first half. Veteran reciever Bert Reed had chemistry with QB E.J. Manuel all night long and the Seminoles had posted 28 points before Boston College had a first down.
Boston College did not find a first down until there was five minutes left in the second quarter. Until then the Eagles had run 14 plays for -2 yards. Star sophomore runningback Rolandan "Deuce" Finch, who ran for a career-high 243 yards last week against Maryland, carried the ball 12 times in the first half for 5 yards and fumbled twice, at the Boston College 7 and the Florida State 2. By the end of the night he was limited to 59 yards on 28 carries.
Quarterback Chase Rettig was so completely ineffective that he was replaced by redshirt freshman Josh Bordner. Making his season debut midway through the second quarter, it was Bordner who led the Eagles to their initial first down and gave the offense their first scoring opportunity before Finch fumbled. (Truly, it was a bad handoff, but the record books blame Finch). All in all, the Eagles had four turnovers on the night, including two interceptions. FSU's defensive end Bjoern Werner and linebacker Telvin Smith, both sophomores and both visually dominant on the D-line.
Tomahawk helmet stickers will certainly be given to the Florida State offensive line as well. Devonta Freeman, FSU's freshman runningback, had much support this week as the O-line created running lanes across the line of scrimmage and give him huge opportunities in the red zone. The O-line struggled early this year, and safety blitzes from the outside corners was a problem all night, but this week continued to show vast improvement for the Noles.
Most notably for the Seminoles, we saw freshman Nick O'Leary step up. FSU has played without a tight end all year, and O'Leary could be the answer. He had three receptions for 87 yards to double his season total, one of which was a bomb down the right side of the field for 58 yards. His mobility was clear as he weaved the line of scrimmage and found gaps, distracting the Eagle defense quite well. The Seminole offense didn't really try in the second half, but the defense kept up their energy, allowing a mere seven points.
With this victory, Florida State has qualified for a bowl game for the 30th consecutive year. Contrariwise, Boston College's loss removes them from bowl contention for the first time since joining the ACC and ends a 12 year run.