No. 3 Florida State survives massive scare from Boston College, but pulls out 31-29 win

Boston College Eagles quarterback Thomas Castellanos (1) carries the ball while evading Florida State Seminoles defensive lineman Jared Verse (5) during the first half of an NCAA football game on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023, in Chestnut Hill, Mass. (AP Photo/Greg M. Cooper)

Boston College nearly shocked the college football world Saturday.

BC, which lost its opener to Northern Illinois and then nearly fell to Holy Cross last week, was on the verge of a massive upset at home versus No. 3 Florida State. However, the Seminoles were able to eke out a 31-29 win in Chestnut Hill.

Florida State just had no answers for Boston College quarterback Thomas Castellanos. Castellanos, a transfer from UCF, opened the season as BC’s backup, but managed to make play after play against one of the best teams in the country. A dynamic athlete, Castellanos threw for 305 yards and a touchdown while also racking up 96 yards and a score on the ground.

Castellanos helped BC jump out to an early 10-3 lead and oversaw what was nearly a monumental comeback. FSU had a 31-10 lead early in the third quarter before the Eagles clawed their way to within a mere two points.

Castellanos led a 12-play, 80-yard scoring drive that cut FSU’s lead to 31-16 late in the third quarter. And on the ensuing drive, BC stripped Florida State running back Lawrence Toafili and BC’s Victor Nelson scooped up the loose ball and returned it for a touchdown.

After that score, BC curiously went for two and failed. But FSU’s comfortable lead was down to just 31-22 with 11:18 to play.

From there, FSU was completely on its heels and hanging on for dear life.

The Seminoles went three-and-out on the next offensive possession before Castellanos returned to the field. Castellanos led the Eagles deep into FSU territory and then scored on an electric seven-yard touchdown on a fourth-and-2 play with 5:19 left in regulation.

Castellanos score cut FSU’s lead to 31-29, and BC would get another chance on offense after forcing yet another FSU three-and-out. This time, however, FSU’s defense got the stop it needed. A third-down sack forced BC to punt the ball back to the Seminoles on fourth-and-24.

After that, Florida State was able to finally run out the clock and escape with a win thanks to a Boston College facemask penalty that provided an automatic first down. The penalty sealing BC’s fate was fitting as the Eagles finished the ballgame with a whopping 17 penalties for 131 yards.

It was an ugly all-around day from Florida State, which was lucky to get out of there with a 3-0 record. FSU was sluggish on offense and allowed what was an anemic BC unit to put up 457 yards of offense. Castellanos obviously gave BC a spark, but he played the previous week versus Holy Cross. Florida State should not have been surprised by what he can do.

Perhaps the Seminoles were caught looking ahead to next week’s trip to Clemson. Clemson has won seven of the last eight ACC championships and stands in Florida State’s way in its quest to win the conference title and ultimately play for the College Football Playoff.