It's already been a tough year for Boston College and things got worse Saturday night for the Eagles at 12th-ranked Florida State.
Boston College (1-5, 0-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) started the night off in an encouraging manner, driving to the Seminoles' 1-yard line before being checked at the goal line and turning the ball over on downs. It was a sign of what was to come in a 51-7 beating — its worst loss since a 52-6 defeat to Miami in 2000.
"I don't know if that's going to be a difference in the game, but it certainly sets a little different tone," BC coach Frank Spaziani said, noting that a near-interception moments later bounced back into the hands of Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel. "That's the way the ball bounces. You are working hard and the ball bounces the other way."
The Eagles didn't really get another good bounce all night as Florida State rolled up 649 yards and 30 first downs.
"We were just up against it," Spaziani said. "They are a very good team with a lot of speed. They've done a good job on everybody all year."
Florida State (6-1, 3-1 ACC) blew a 16-point halftime lead a week ago and was upset 17-16 at North Carolina State.
Spaziani was worried coming into Saturday's game that the Seminoles would be anxious to redeem themselves.
"They got annoyed that they got a little conservative last week and they weren't about to do that," Spaziani said. "They were going to attack and they were in an attack mode right from the beginning."
The Seminoles rolled to a 28-0 lead midway through the second quarter before the Eagles scored their touchdown on Chase Rettig's 18-yard pass to Bobby Swigert.
"We shot ourselves in the foot too much again," Swigert said. "Florida State is a tremendous team but we have to look forward to George Tech next week and start making plays."
Rettig, who came into the game averaging 306.2 yards passing, managed 122 against the ACC's top defense.
"It wasn't what we wanted, but we were just trying to stay in it," Rettig said. "They made plays and we didn't make enough."
Andre Williams ran for 104 yards on 20 carries for the Eagles, who were limited to 225 yards while Florida State piled up 649.
Manuel threw six straight passes on the opening 99-yard drive without once going to the run. And he didn't let up, passing for 295 yards and three touchdowns in the first half alone.
"We learned something from it," Spaziani said. "You understand how good you have to be."