Game ball: After two weeks’ worth of breakout performances from Nyqwan Murray, Friday marked Auden Tate’s turn in the spotlight. Boston College committed to one-on-one coverage against Tate, and, more often than not, the 6-5 sophomore made the Eagles pay for it. Tate caught six passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns, and the numbers really don’t illustrate just how impressive he was. He turned in a number of highlight-reel catches, often using his tall frame to overpower his defender and grab the ball from mid-air.
Play of the game: It wasn’t a play, per se, but the most memorable moment of the night came between the first and second quarters, when the family of Ryan Otto got a surprise they won’t soon forget. Otto, a 14-year veteran of the U.S. Army, has been stationed in Afghanistan for nearly a year. And, as part of FSU’s Military Appreciation Day, Otto’s wife, Jennifer, and their three children went on the field to be recognized for their sacrifice and see a prerecorded video where Ryan told them how much he missed them and how he wished he could be at the game with them. But what they didn’t know was that Ryan was in the stadium on Friday night. And when he sprinted across the field to join them in the end zone, it brought on the type of cheer usually reserved for Florida State touchdowns.
Turning point: It’s hard to nail down a turning point in a game that was never in doubt, but FSU forcing a turnover on downs on BC’s second drive of the game may be pretty close. After falling behind 7-0, the Eagles drove as deep as FSU’s 29-yard line before facing a fourth-and-four. With nothing to lose, coach Steve Addazio opted to go for it, but quarterback Patrick Towles couldn’t connect on a slant pass to Jeff Smith and the Seminoles took over. Ten plays later, Deondre Francois capped off a 10-play scoring drive with a four-yard touchdown pass to Murray that made it 14-0. BC, meanwhile, wouldn’t cross the 50-yard line again until its last possession of the game.
It was over when: Travis Rudolph took a 20-yard catch-and-run through the heart of the BC defense and down the sideline for a touchdown that made it 28-0. The play featured a sneaky pump fake from Deondre Francois and then a fine extra effort from Rudolph, who easily could have been stopped a yard or two short of the goal line, but instead kept his balance and barreled in for the score. In truth, the game was probably over well before this play – the Eagles had scored just 24 combined points over their previous nine quarters of football, dating back to a 28-20 loss to Syracuse on Oct. 22 – so the odds of them scoring 28 in the second half seemed slim.