CHESTNUT HILL - E.J. Manuel threw for 180 yards and one touchdown on 12-of-16 passing as the Florida St. Seminoles crushed the Boston College Eagles, 38-7, in a nationally televised affair in front of nearly 40,000 fans on Thursday night at Alumni Stadium.
"We are disappointed that we lost," said Eagles head coach Frank Spaziani. "We're not discouraged. We're disappointed. We know exactly who we are and where we have to go. We'll move forward from this and build on it. There's a lot of football left to play."
Boston College fell to 2-7 (1-5 in the ACC) and had its hopes of a 13th consecutive bowl berth dashed in the process, as the best the Eagles can finish this season is 5-7 overall. FSU (6-3, 4-2 ACC) notched its sixth win, making it bowl eligible, and out-gained BC by 100 yards, racking up 307 total yards (180 passing, 127 rushing) while holding the Eagles to 207 yards (113 passing, 94 rushing).
FSU scored 28 unanswered points to open the game and took that lead into halftime. Manuel tossed an eight-yard touchdown pass to Bert Reed with 9:07 left in the opening quarter, putting the Seminoles up 7-0. Devonta Freeman (12 carries, 62 yards, 2 TDs) rushed for the Noles' second touchdown, a 12-yard scamper, to put FSU up by two scores with 13:09 to play in the second quarter. Manuel rushed into the endzone for the third FSU score with 10:24 to play before halftime and Freeman rushed for his second touchdown, this time from three yards out, with 4:51 left before halftime.
BC had a pair of costly turnovers in the opening half that ended up burning them early.
"When you are playing a team like that, that caliber, we have to play error free football," Spaziani said. "We have to be darn near perfect. We can't afford to have those things and overcome them against a good football team like that. They hurt."
The Eagles opened up the second half with their first and only touchdown of the game, as sophomore quarterback Chase Rettig (11-for-18, 76 yards, TD, INT) found Bobby Swigert (three catches, 61 yards) for a 12-yard score with 9:56 left in the third quarter.
But that was the only offense the Eagles could muster, as FSU tacked on a 47-yard field goal from Dustin Hokpins with 4:43 left in the third and scored its final touchdown on a one-yard run from Lonnie Pryor with 10:16 left in the fourth quarter.
"It's frustrating," said Eagles junior linebacker Luke Kuechly, who had 20 tackles and extended his streak of games with 10 or more tackles to an FBS-leading 31 games. "We had a good game plan going in. We knew what they were going to do, even when they were running and having success with that. We were inconsistent. We came out in the first series and played well and then at points in the second half. But we couldn't put it all together. It needs to be consistent every series."
Boston College hosts N.C. State next Saturday in its final home game of the season.