for this game

Florida State ends Boston College's home winning streak at 16

Nov 4, 2007 - 6:55 AM By Mike Petraglia PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

CHESTNUT HILL, Massachusetts (Ticker) -- With a Nor'easter pounding Boston with rain and high winds, it was Florida State that took the wind out of the national championship sails of second-ranked Boston College on Saturday night.

Led by a defense that intercepted Heisman Trophy candidate Matt Ryan three times, Florida State held Boston College to two touchdowns on its home turf and came away with a 27-17 Atlantic Coast Conference win at Alumni Stadium.

"That was a great football game for us," Florida State coach Bobby Bowden said. "About as good a game as you can get, really. It's the first time we've beat, upright, a high-ranked team like that in years."

Following a 40-yard field goal by Gary Cismesia that gave Florida State a 10-0 lead with 5:41 remaining in the third quarter, Ryan finally got the Eagles on the board. The BC quarterback drove the team 70 yards in just 63 seconds, finishing off the drive with a 30-yard touchdown strike to Brandon Robinson.

Florida State nearly gave BC a huge turnover when Parker fumbled a punt early in the fourth, but the Seminoles recovered at the BC 40. FSU converted six plays later when Cismesia connected a 29-yard field goal to extend the lead to six.

Facing a 3rd-and-4 at the Florida State 44, Ryan connected again with Robinson on a 38-yard pass. But with 1st-and-goal at the 6, the drive stalled, as BC settled for a 35-yard field goal, cutting the deficit to 13-10 with 8:52 remaining in the fourth.

The Seminoles needed only two plays and 41 seconds to respond, as Drew Weatherford connected with De'Cody Fagg on a 42-yard crossing pattern for a touchdown, making it 20-10.

"Give credit to Florida State," BC coach Jeff Jadogzinski said. "They played a good football game. One of the things you can't do, I don't care whatever level you're on, you can't turn the ball over. We were minus four today in turnover ratio and you can't overcome that."

Ryan pulled the Eagles to within 20-17 with a one-yard pass to Ryan Purvis with 7:15 remaining in the game. After the BC defense forced the Seminoles to punt, Ryan tossed an interception to Eugene Hayes, who returned it 35 yards to seal the win.

"I thought we had a real good chance," said Ryan, who engineered two touchdown drives in the final five minutes of a win nine days earlier at Virginia Tech. "I thought we were going down there and score, and it just didn't work out that way."

Florida State was the last team to win here on September 17, 2005.

Boston College (8-1, 4-1 ACC Atlantic), which lost for the first time at home in 16 games, hurt itself with two first-quarter turnovers. Ryan connected with Kevin Challenger on a 19-yard completion over the middle, but Challenger fumbled when he was hit by cornerback Patrick Robinson. Safety Myron Rolle recovered at the BC 40.

Robinson was again at the heart of a bigger momentum swing on Boston College's next drive.

With the Eagles at the Florida State 15, Ryan lofted a pass to the left corner. Robinson jumped up and picked off the pass at the 2-yard-line to thwart the BC threat.

"We were able to get down in the red zone and move the ball pretty good," said Ryan, who threw for 415 yards in the loss. "We just left it down there and it hurt. We were never able to punch the ball in with some good opportunities. It's all forgotten if you can't put it in the end zone, and we just didn't do that tonight."

"We had a lot of opportunities," Jagodzinski said. "We were inside the 5-yard line twice and we didn't get in. We didn't make the plays that we needed to make to win a ballgame like that."

Robinson tied the school record with an interception in his fifth straight game, equaling the mark set by Terrell Buckley in 1991.

Once again, Boston College appeared ready to break the scoreless tie when Ryan found Andre Callender in the right flat. The Eagles running back turned the screen play into a 52-yard gain down to the FSU 5.

But a holding penalty on Boston College on the next play pushed them back to the 15. The drive yielded nothing when Steve Aponavicius missed a 32-yard field goal wide right.

Florida State (6-3, 3-3 Atlantic) broke the scoring drought late in the second quarter when Weatherford found Preston Parker over the middle from 23 yards. Parker appeared to get his hands just under the ball before hitting the ground and rolling into the end zone.

With 175 yards passing in the first half, Weatherford moved up two spots, to third, on the school's all-time passing yardage list, moving past Danny Kanell (6,372).

The game began in heavy rain with winds gusting to 40 miles per hour, with the rain diminishing in the second half.

"We felt like if we came up here on a pretty day, we'd be able to open it up and everything, we might have a chance to beat Boston College," Bowden said. "Then it started raining and the wind started blowing. Seeing them play in that last week and win, I didn't know if we would."