October 21, 2006
Eagles down FSU
The Boston College football team held on for a 24-19 victory in Tallahassee, Fla. over the Florida State Seminoles Saturday afternoon, a win that puts the Eagles back in the driver's seat for a berth in the ACC Championship Game.
BC built an 11-point halftime lead with a 21-point second quarter thanks to touchdown runs by Brian Toal and L.V. Whitworth and a 36-yard interception return for a score by DeJuan Tribble with just 20 seconds left in the half.
FSU's Greg Carr scored on a 22-yard catch to cut put the 'Boles up 10-7 at the 4:09 mark of the second quarter. However, the Eagles responded with a strong drive capped by Whitworth's touchdown run and Tribble jumped a Drew Weatherford pass to the flat for the defensive touchdown to end the half.
BC extended their lead to 24-10 on a Steve Aponavicius 26-yard field goal in the third quarter. The Eagles had a chance to make it a three score game but tight end Ryan Purvis fumbled what would have been a first-down catch inside the FSU 40-yard line to give the Seminoles life.
The 'Noles marked down the field on a drive highlighted by a great 16-yard catch by Chris Davis to the BC 1-yard line. Two plays later Weatherford scored on a quarterback sneak to cut things to 24-17.
Florida State made a final drive in an attempt to tie the game late in the fourth quarter. However, the 17-play, 69-yard drive ended when Toal tackled Weatherford on a 4th-and-4 to force an incomplete pass.
BC ran the ball three times in at attempt to kill the clock and head coach Tom O'Brien controversially had punter Johnny Ayers run out of the back of the end zone for a safety with 27 seconds left in the game, cutting the BC lead to less than a touchdown at 24-19.
Following the BC free kick from their 20-yard line, Weatherford hit Davis for a 13-yard gain to the BC 42. With 10 seconds remaining, Weatherford threw a Hail Mary pass at Carr but cornerback Larry Anam came down with the interception to end the game.
Quarterback Matt Ryan, who wasn't expected to play in the game due to ankle and foot injuries, finished 16-of-26 for 261 yards and an interception to lead the Eagles. Whitworth led BC rushers with 53 yards while Tony Gonzalez and Brandon Robinson combined for 127 yards in the air.
On defense, seldom-used defensive back Sulaiman Sanni and Toal combined to strip FSU tight end Caz Piurowski to lead to BC's first score. Freshman Wes Davis scooped up the fumble and returned the ball to the FSU 1-yard line setting up Toal's TD run.
Tribble and Anam recorded interceptions while Austin Giles provided steady pressure all day.
The win pushes the Eagles to 6-1 overall and 3-1 in the ACC. NC State's loss to Maryland earlier in the day puts BC back in charge of their own destiny in the Atlantic Division. BC faces out-of-conference opponent Buffalo next weekend.
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