'Noles Win Ugly

Florida State did not play their best offensive game on Saturday, but still walked out of Doak Campbell Stadium with a 24-19 victory over Boston College. The win is their fifth straight and FSU now sits at 4-0 in the ACC.

No matter how much the coaches, commentators, and fans talked about NOT having a letdown game.......FSU was going to have one today. It is just the stone cold reality of having such a big win the week before against rival Miami. It did not take long to see that was the case.

On BC's first play from scrimmage Montel Harris burst up the middle for a 72 yard gain to the FSU 13 yard line. The defense was able to step up and force a field goal(BC lost three yards).

On FSU's first possession it was a quick three and out. Christian Ponder hit Rodney Smith for four yards on first down, but then threw back to back incompletions. Shawn Powell did boom a 55 yard punt to back BC up deep in their own territory.

FSU allowed Harris to go for 5, 12, and then a second big run, this one for 48 yards and all of a sudden BC is in the redzone again. However, the defense once again stiffened and forced BC's second field goal, the Eagle's led 6-0.

Ponder immediately got to work with a 15 yarder to Bert Reed followed by completions to Willie Haulstead(5) and Smith(8). Three plays later, Jermaine Thomas went for 23 yards to the BC two yard line. Two plays later Ponder hit Lonnie Pryor for FSU's first TD of the game.

The defense forced a punt, but on the 'Noles first play of their drive Ponder made his first mistake as Donnie Fletcher made a play for an interception. The defense's both stepped up as both teams punted on their next two possessions.

FSU took over with 3:58 left in the half at their own four year line. It turned out to be one of the highlights of the day as Ponder twice allueded pressure and hit Taiwan Easterling for a pair of 23 yard gains. A perfect pass to Reed picked up 19 and then Beau Reliford got in on the action with a 10 yard TD catch off of play-action. The drive took only about three minutes to walk down the field. FSU led 14-6 at the half.

The third quarter was very ugly and it started from the get go. Ponder was intercepted for a second time on the half's first play, Jim Noel returned it 20 yards to the FSU 13 yard line. The defense was up to the task once again and forced a field goal attempt. 14-9 FSU. The teams traded punts before the 'Noles were on the march in good field position at the FSU 45 yard line.

Smith had a pair of receptions(16 and 6) and we had a chance to put the game away with a first and 10 from the BC 14. It was not to be as the BC defense stiffened and forced a Dustin Hopkins field goal to make it 17-9.

FSU forced another three and out and took over at the 36, but Ponder threw his third interception and Noel made matters worse by returning it for a TD and the ball game was on, 17-16 FSU.

Another Ponder mistake, this time a fumble, set BC up with good position and an opportunity to take the lead. They capitalized with their 4th field goal of the day and took a 19-17 lead. The 'Nole response was quick as Greg Reid set us up with good field position and four plays later Reed took a reverse 42 yards for a TD to put the 'Noles in the lead for good, 24-19.

The defense forced one more stop and FSU took over with 8:04 in the 4th quarter at their own 21 yard line. They salted it away like a great team does. 14 straight rushes, four first downs, and a critical 4th and 1 conversion showed what this rushing attack can do when called upon. Brilliant drive and an excellent way to end the game.

It was not pretty, but it is another win and FSU sits at 6-1 with five games to play in the regular season. They are off next weekend, but will travel to Raleigh for a key Thursday night contest in 10 days.

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