Rapid Reaction: FSU 38, BC 7
November, 3, 2011
By Jack McCluskey | ESPNBoston.com
NEWTON, Mass. -- Boston College again failed to sustain the momentum gained from a win, losing 38-7 to Florida State in a nationally televised Thursday night game at Alumni Stadium.
How it happened: This one was over early.
The opening kickoff went deep in the end zone, where BC freshman wideout Spiffy Evans attempted to field it. It’s a simple play, one completed easily dozens of times each football weekend. But it wasn’t easy for Evans.
The ball snuck through his hands and dribbled out the back of the end zone.
While that play ultimately didn’t matter, it certainly set a tone for the evening. There were fumbles, bad snaps, ill-timed penalties and missed tackles galore for the Eagles, who didn’t get an offensive first down until well into the second quarter, and then only when Frank Spaziani pulled starting QB Chase Rettig and inserted redshirt freshman Josh Bordner in his place.
Bordner faked a handoff to Rolandan Finch and rumbled 25 yards, bursting into the open field only to stumble and go down short of the 50. A few plays later, Bordner converted a fourth-and-1 with a 4-yard scramble. And on his first career passing attempt, Bordner hit Bobby Swigert in stride over the middle for 37 yards to move the Eagles to the Seminoles’ 2-yard line.
The unexpected contributions so delighted Eagles fans -- desperate for a reason to cheer, with the team already down 28-0 -- that when Spaziani reinserted Rettig the move was met with scattered boos.
With time ticking down in the second quarter, BC needed a touchdown to have any hope of stemming the tide. The ball at the 2, Bordner handed off to Finch … who promptly fumbled. The Noles recovered, the half ended and, for all intents and purposes, so did the Eagles’ chances.
What it means: The bowl streak has officially been snapped. At 2-7, the Eagles are guaranteed a losing season for the first time since 1998, when they finished 4-7. This team may not get to four wins.
With three games left, including the last two on the road (at Notre Dame and at Miami), the Eagles will be playing for pride alone the rest of the way.
What’s next: Senior day. The Eagles will host NC State on Saturday, Nov. 12, the last time players like Lars Anderson, Donnie Fletcher, Mark Spinney and Ryan Quigley will don the maroon and gold in front of a Chestnut Hill crowd.
In a lost season at the Heights, saluting the departing seniors may be one of the last things Eagles fans have left to cheer.
Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.