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#8 Florida State improved to 4-0 with a win at Alumni Stadium that turned out to be much more hard-fought than the Atlantic Coast Conference-leading Seminoles had bargained for. The fourth highest-scoring offense in the nation successfully overcame some first-quarter jitters, but the 34 points allowed were more than twice their average for the first three games.
The Boston College defense forced a three-and-out on the opening drive, and the offense capitalized with a 36-yard touchdown drive that ended with a six-yard pass from quarterback Chase Rettig to tight end C. J. Parsons. Kicker Roberto Aguayo responded for FSU with a 40-yard field goal, but Rettig recorded his second TD pass before the end of the first quarter, a three-yarder to TE Jake Sinkovec, to make it 14-3.
Nate Freese booted a 24-yard FG to give BC a 17-3 lead early in the second period, but it was all Florida State for the rest of the first half. QB Jameis Winston threw three TDs in four second-quarter possessions: a 56-yarder to wide receiver Rashad Greene, a 10-yarder to fullback Chad Abram and a 55-yarder to WR Kenny Shaw. The long TDs were the kind of big plays that would ultimately be the difference in the game, as the ‘Noles took a 24-17 lead into halftime.
But the Eagles weren’t about to give up despite allowing 21 unanswered points, and Freese kicked a 24-yard FG to make it a four-point game early in the third. Winston and Greene connected again on a 10-yard TD, and running back Karlos Williams scored from one yard out to make it 38-20. Rettig bounced back before the end of the quarter with a 52-yard TD pass to RB Myles Willis to keep BC in the game.
In the fourth quarter, Aguayo hit his second FG of the game from 20 yards, and any hopes of an Eagles comeback were dashed when defensive back P. J. Williams picked off a Rettig pass and returned it 20 yards for a score, giving Florida State a 48-27 lead. Rettig recovered with a 17-yard TD pass to Parsons, and DB Dominique Williams picked off a Winston pass on the next drive, but Rettig threw his second INT to DB Nate Andrews with just 1:15 left on the clock to end it.
Winston finished with 325 passing yards on 17-of-27 attempts, 103 of them to WR Kelvin Benjamin, and added 67 rushing. Rettig was 18-for-28 for 197 yards. Boston College RB Andre Williams had 149 rushing yards on 28 carries.
The Eagles dropped to 2-2 overall, 1-1 in ACC play, putting them in third place in the Atlantic Division. With two of their next four games against teams with losing records, it’s all but guaranteed that Steve Addazio’s vastly improved team will comfortably surpass its win total from last season, when they went 2-10.
Next Eagles game: October 5 vs. Army (2-3), 1 pm ET