FSU's defense ends BC's bowl hopes

Florida State’s defense was like a giant on Thursday night, and BC was swinging at its knees, hitting nothing but air for four quarters.

It’s still hard to believe this same Florida State team lost three games this year, though in retrospect, it can be rationalized. What’s done is done, and the Seminoles continued to state their case as one of the best teams in the ACC, regardless of their place in the standings.

For the fourth straight week, the Seminoles flat-out dominated, smothering Boston College from the very start with its pass rush in a 38-7 win. With a 2-7 record the Eagles will have their streak of 12 consecutive bowl games snapped, but after watching them play on Thursday night, it was clear that this year’s team isn’t bowl worthy. Florida State, though, earned its sixth win of the season and is guaranteed a spot in the postseason -- just not the one many had expected.

FSU quarterback EJ Manuel has received most of the attention for the Noles’ turnaround, but the defense has been simply outstanding. The Noles snagged four takeaways from BC, and three were very costly:

  • Rolandan Finch fumbled in the first quarter and Telvin Smith recovered it at BC’s 2 yard line. The Noles took the 7-0 lead three plays later.

  • With 43 seconds left in the half, it was second-and-goal from the 1 for BC when Finch was credited with another fumble and Bjoern Werner recovered it at his own 2. It wasn’t Finch’s fault, as inexperienced quarterback Josh Bordner bumbled the handoff.

  • In the fourth quarter, Rettig was intercepted by Werner at the BC 36-yard line. FSU scored on the following possession for a 38-7 lead. (Werner, by the way, is playing his way into the ACC's Defensive Player of the Year conversation).

It was an ugly performance by BC, which was completely overwhelmed by Florida State. The Eagles, aside from Luke Kuechly’s ridiculous 20 tackles, simply had no answer. Again. With three games left and no bowl hopes remaining, BC will be playing for pride and for 2012 in the final three games.

Florida State? The Noles look like they’re playing for another top 10 preseason ranking.