TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida State has had its share of struggles in Atlantic Coast Conference play. On Friday night, the Seminoles took advantage of Boston College’s timely visit for their most-complete game of the season.
The 20th-ranked Seminoles grabbed the early lead and cruised to a 45-7 victory.
Florida State has had to play from behind a lot in conference play. In their previous six conference games it had scored first only once and had trailed by double digits in five.
That is why coach Jimbo Fisher said it felt weird for his team to be in control early against the Eagles.
“We need to play from ahead and finish and we did all of those things (on Friday),” Fisher said.
The Seminoles (7-3, 4-3 ACC, No. 18 CFP) took control by scoring on their first two drives and led 14-0 at the end of the first quarter. They had been outscored 31-3 in the first 15 minutes in the previous five games.
A 6-yard TD reception by Auden Tate marked the first time FSU had scored on its opening drive since Sept. 24 at South Florida.
Dalvin Cook and Deondre Francois paced the offense. Cook rushed for 108 yards on 18 carries with a touchdown and Francois tied a season high with three touchdown passes.
Cook became only the second Seminoles back to go over 100 yards in 15 meetings against the Eagles and the first since Ricky Williams had 109 yards in 1980. He also joined Clemson’s Wayne Gallman as the only ACC backs to go over the century mark against the Eagles this season.
“They were getting wore down from our passing game that we could see the long runs starting to come, especially the touchdown,” Cook said.
Francois completed nine of his first 11 passes and finished 16 of 24 for 183 yards. The freshman suffered a bruised shoulder late in the third quarter and did not return.
The Eagles (4-6, 1-5) had three first downs on their first two drives before having nine straight three-and-outs and not getting another first down until midway through the fourth quarter. They averted a shutout with 3:21 remaining in the fourth quarter on a 1-yard touchdown run by Richard Wilson. The only other bright spot was a pair of sacks by Harold Landry, which gives him 11 for the season.
“We weren’t able to move the ball which caused our defense to stay on the field too long,” Boston College coach Steve Addazio said. “We play a lot of good teams which will make us better in the long run. We just need to find a way to get momentum.”
CLOSING IN ON RECORD
Cook appeared like he was going to pass Warrick Dunn as Florida State’s career rushing leader, but Fisher decided to rest Cook in the fourth quarter with the Seminoles up 35-0.
The junior needs 19 yards to break Dunn’s mark of 3,959 yards
“It is going to be nice when I do it regardless. The feeling is going to be there to hold that record,” Cook said.
Cook said he talked to Dunn before the Oct. 29 game against Clemson, but none of the discussions were about the record.
Fisher said that he knew Cook was close to the record, but did not want to risk injury.
Florida State dropped a spot after last Saturday’s come-from-behind victory at North Carolina State, but it should go up a couple spots after its most convincing victory of the season.
Boston College: This is the first time since 2003 the Eagles have faced three ranked teams in a season. Based on the results, they might be hoping it doesn’t happen anytime soon. No. 3 Clemson, No. 5 Louisville and 20th-ranked FSU outscored the Eagles 153-24.
Florida State: Quarterback Sean Maguire was able to get in on Senior Night and threw a pair of touchdowns. Maguire went into preseason practices as the starter but suffered a broken foot the first week. “I was extremely happy,” said Fisher of Maguire. “He goes in and performs every time he goes in with a lot of heart and a lot of toughness.”
Boston College: The Eagles step outside of conference play to host Connecticut. This will be the first meeting between the two Northeast schools since 2004.
Florida State: The Seminoles close out the ACC portion of their schedule at Syracuse. They have won eight straight over the Orange.
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