Florida State bounces back with 51-7 blowout of BC

The SportsXchange

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida State got back on track by throwing the ball all over the field.

Despite facing a Boston College defense that came into the game with a rushing defense that ranked 117th in the country, the Seminoles mostly eschewed the running game and instead opted for the arm of E.J. Manuel, who threw for a career-high 439 yards and four touchdowns in No. 11 FSU's 51-7 win.

"I thought our kids did a great job all week of putting that last game behind them and not letting it drag on," FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said, referring to a 17-16 loss at North Carolina State. "It shows a lot about our maturity and leadership of our football team. I thought they prepared and played very well from the get-go."

Running backs James Wilder Jr. and Lonnie Pryor each scored twice for the Seminoles, who piled up 649 yards of offense and handed BC its most lopsided loss since a 52-6 defeat to Miami in 2000.

On its opening drive, BC (1-5, 0-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) appeared ready to pick up where N.C. State left off a week ago, marching the ball 68 yards to FSU's 1-yard line in just six plays.

The Seminoles' defense, though, denied BC four times from near the goal line and the Eagles turned it over on downs. FSU (6-1, 3-1 ACC) then called six straight pass plays, with Manuel's 77-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Shaw doing most of the legwork, on a 99-yard scoring drive.

"As an offense, we said 'Let's go 99,' so right off the bat we knew we were going to go 99 yards," Shaw said.

Eagles coach Frank Spaziani said, "There is a lot of offense there (at FSU). It wasn't like some things we didn't practice against and things they did differently. It was just a matter of us fundamentally not being able to stop them."

Manuel threw two more first-half touchdown passes and Lonnie Pryor scored from two yards out as FSU went into the break with a 31-7 advantage.

BC quarterback Chase Rettig's 18-yard completion to Bobby Swigert gave the Eagles their only points.

"It's important for our guys to understand who they play against," Spaziani said. "Not to make an excuse for ourselves, (but) that's a tough football team. We learned something from it. We did make a couple plays."

Receivers Kenny Shaw (two catches, 125 yards and a touchdown) and Rodney Smith (nine catches, 108 yards) also had career nights for FSU, which had nine players catch passes.

"We saw what we wanted to do, as far as attacking their defense, during the week," Manuel said, "and it was some passing plays, so that's why we came out like that."

The Eagles, meanwhile, struggled to find much traction against an FSU defense that was carved up in the fourth quarter of last week's loss at N.C. State. Rettig came into the game averaging more than 305 passing yards per game, but managed just 122 on Saturday night. As a result, Eagles receiver Alex Amidon, who was averaging nearly 130 receiving yards per game, was limited to three catches and 44 yards.

Running back Andre Williams' 104 rushing yards were a bright spot for the Eagles, but even with his effort, BC finished with 90 yards rushing.

NOTES: With his 51-yard field goal at the end of the first half, Florida State kicker Dustin Hopkins reached 394 points and broke both the ACC and career scoring records. Hopkins finished the night with 402 points and still needs 32 to become the NCAA's all-time leading scorer. ... Manuel's 439 yards Saturday gave him 6,148 for his career and moved him from ninth to seventh on FSU's all-time list. He surpassed Heisman Trophy winner Charlie Ward (5,747) and Thad Busby (5,916), and is behind Danny Kanell (3,372) for fifth place. ... Lonnie Pryor's 3-yard touchdown run on FSU's first drive of the third quarter marked the first time the Seminoles received the second-half kick and scored a touchdown since a win at Miami in 2010, a span of 27 games and more than two years.
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