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October 13, 2012
Florida State doesn't let up in 51-7 win over Boston College
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For the second straight week Florida State took control of its opponent with a dominating first half performances.
But unlike last week, the No. 11 Seminoles didn't let up in the second half on Saturday against Boston College, cruising to a 51-7 victory at Doak Campbell Stadium.
FSU came out slinging as EJ Manuel attempted 20 passes in the first half and didn't let up in the second half as he connected on 27 of 34 pass attempts for 439 yards, four touchdowns and had two interceptions in the game. The Seminoles amassed 649 total yards of offense compared to the Eagles' 225 yards.
"I thought our kids did a great job all week of putting the last game behind them and not letting it drag on," said FSU coach Jimbo Fisher. "(We) showed a lot of maturity in our leadership, prepared very well, thought they played very well from the get go."
The Seminoles (6-1, 3-1 ACC) seemingly brought more of the same on the game's opening drive BC was able to move the ball down the field. The Eagles (1-5, 0-3 ACC) drove the ball 68 yards to FSU 1 for first-and-goal only to be stopped on four consecutive plays to come away with nothing.
"We have to come out stronger that," said defensive end Bjoern Werner who had a batted pass down on first down of the stand and hurried the quarterback on fourth down. "We stopped them when it came down to the point we had to stop them, we did. From there on we did a good job."
FSU responded with a 99-yard scoring drive thanks to a 77-yard touchdown pass from Manuel to Kenny Shaw.
FSU was scored three more touchdowns in the half, all set up by completions of at least 42 yards or more as Manuel continued to stretch the field.
It was a 42-yard catch by Jarred Haggins that set up a two-yard touchdown run by Lonnie Pryor, followed by a Kelvin Benjamin gain of 46 yards to set up a seven-yard touchdown grab by James Wilder Jr. for a 21-0 lead.
FSU pushed the lead to 28-0 with 7:27 left in the half as Manuel connected with Benjamin for a six-yard score. Once again the touchdown was set up by a big pass play as Shaw hauled in a 48-yard pass earlier in the drive.
Unlike last week against the Wolfpack, FSU never took its foot off the gas in the second half on Saturday night. FSU took a 38-7 lead on its opening drive of the second half on an eight-play, 75-yard drive, capped off by a three-yard Pryor touchdown run.
"We stressed when we came in for halftime - everybody was drinking up, rehydrating - but we made sure everybody came back with a punch to go out there and get a touchdown," Manuel said.
As the offense continued to put points on the board, the FSU defense swallowed up the Eagles' offense. Quarterback Chase Rettig was sacked just once, but was continually harassed throughout the game. Rettig finished the game just 15 of 31 for 122 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
BC running back Andre Williams had some success on the ground, rushing for 104 yards on 20 attempts, but as a team the Eagles finished the game with just 96 yards total rushing.
"We just kept shooting at them and tried to focus and limit the mental mistakes," Werner said. "It's what we did and it's why we got a couple stops."
The Eagles lone scoring drive of the night was a 12-play, 87-yard drive that was extended by three FSU penalties, included two straight pass interference calls, setting up a 18-yard pass from Rettig to Bobby Swigert to make it a 28-7 game with 1:49 left in the half.
Just four plays later Lamarcus Joyner came away with an interception of his own, and just narrowly stepped out of bounds at the FSU 44 yard line. Manuel was able to connect on two straight passes to Rodney Smith, who finished with a team-high nine catches for 108 yards, to set up a 51-yard Dustin Hopkins field goal as time in the half expired. Hopkins also connected on field goals of 26 and 38 yards in the game as he became the career points leader in the ACC.
In the fourth quarter FSU was finally took its foot off the gas a little offensively as second and third teamers got some quality reps. After being displeased with the way his team executed a week ago, there wasn't much for Fisher to be unhappy with after thrashing BC on Saturday night.
"Could have had another touchdown or two, could have executed a few things here and there, but overall, very proud of our kids and our coaches for putting that game behind them," Fisher said. "Did a tremendous job of focus and concentration and staying together. Leadership did a great job in the game and we were able to come out with the victory."