St. Petersburg Times
Online: Tech Times
Print storySubscribe to the Times

Colleges: FSU 28, BC 17

Weatherford takes command

The freshman QB shows his poise in rallying the Seminoles in a key ACC matchup.

By BRIAN LANDMAN, Times Staff Writer
Published September 18, 2005

[Getty Images]
Lorenzo Booker, left, and Greg Carr celebrate Carr's touchdown in the second half against the Boston College Eagles.

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - Florida State redshirt freshman quarterback Drew Weatherford looked a bit lost ... and so did the game.

For the better part of three quarters Saturday night, the Boston College Eagles, playing in their long-anticipated inaugural ACC game, dominated the Seminoles on both sides of the ball.

But when the Seminoles needed Weatherford to look like a veteran, he seemed unflappable and guided them to a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns and a 28-17 come-from-behind win before an announced sellout crowd of 44,500 at Alumni Stadium and a national television audience.

The former Land O'Lakes star, in his first road start, completed 8 of 9 passes for 56 yards, including the go-ahead touchdown strike to freshman receiver Greg Carr, on the game-changing drive. That came after he and the Seminoles saw what appeared to be a sure touchdown pass end in a fumble.

"We didn't do a good job of executing in the first half, and a lot of that was on me," Weatherford said. "We went out after halftime and made some changes. Our coaches did a good job of putting us in situations where we could execute."

Ditto the FSU defense. After being bullied in the first half, the defense, especially its line, answered some questions in emphatic fashion. FSU shut out the Eagles in the second half, the third straight time it has done that, culminating with an impressive goal-line stand in the final moments.

B.C. had six plays from the 2 and gained 1 yard, and that came on a defensive holding.

The No. 8 Seminoles (3-0, 2-0) took early command of the Atlantic division and the race for a spot in the inaugural ACC title game Dec. 3 in Jacksonville. Meanwhile, the No. 17 Eagles (2-1, 0-1) suffered a disappointing, albeit not an insurmountable, setback.

At the outset, the Seminoles looked ready to welcome the Eagles to the league quite rudely.

Quarterback Quinton Porter, who completed 42 of 55 passes (76 percent) for four touchdowns and no interceptions against BYU and Army, threw an interception on the first play from scrimmage. Linebacker A.J. Nicholson easily picked it off and returned it 19 yards for a touchdown.

Seven seconds in, seven points down.

Nicholson came up with his second interception moments later to stop a drive, and the Seminoles quickly capitalized. Weatherford hit Carr on a fade route to the right for a 20-yard touchdown and a 14-0 lead.

But the Eagles responded, dominating the line of scrimmage behind their experienced, mammoth offensive line (averaging about 317 pounds) that coach Bobby Bowden had likened to an NFL group size-wise.

"Their offensive line was as good as everybody said," Nicholson said. "They were big up front and were opening up huge holes for the running game."

Mixing straight-ahead runs with short passes, the Eagles drove almost at will for 17 points on their next three possessions to take the lead early in the second quarter.

"They controlled the ball; I think we had it eight minutes (actually 7:41) in the first half," Bowden said. "It's hard to generate offense when you only have the ball for eight minutes."

The Seminoles offense finally started moving the ball late in the third quarter as a sharper Weatherford hit Lorenzo Booker on a screen. Booker cut across the field and raced down the left sideline for what looked like a sure 33-yard touchdown.

But defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka, the Big East defensive player of the year in 2004 and the favorite to win that award in the ACC, chased down Booker and stripped him near the goal line. The ball went out of bounds in the end zone for a touchback. A replay didn't reverse the call.


Hardly. Weatherford, working strictly from the shotgun, was nearly flawless on his next series to answer the critics and silence the crowd.

"I wouldn't say we ran out of gas," Eagles linebacker Ray Henderson said. "They took it to us in the second half."

"They got into a lot of spread formations, and they spread the field on us," coach Tom O'Brien added. "It seemed like they were able to complete passes in the middle of the field and move from there."

Sophomore Matthew Ryan, in for Porter who injured his right ankle late in the third quarter, was unable to move the Eagles as the Seminoles defense took command. Freshman safety Darius McClure blocked a punt and Booker followed with a 4-yard touchdown run with 3:53 left to seal the win the defense punctuated with its stout stand.

"This is a very important victory, our first on the road against a very good Boston College team," Weatherford said. "Our team did a good job of just keeping the faith and playing four quarters of football."

[Last modified September 18, 2005, 06:10:48]


  • Tigers' heads are everywhere but in the game
  • 1969 World Series MVP Clendenon dies at 70
  • AL: Sox slump: stymied by Santana
  • Boston's Ramirez does it again
  • NL: Marlins bad news in ninth

  • College football
  • Big 10: Michigan unloads on EMU
  • Big 12: Huskers block winning field goal
  • ND can't solve MSU
  • PAC-10: UCLA capitalizes on Sooners' bumbling
  • 'Canes offense starts to jell
  • ACC: Emergency QB sparks W. Virginia
  • Big East: QB's elusiveness gives Virginia a late victory
  • Not much special in Wyoming victory
  • Rattlers give their new coach his first victory
  • SEC: Vandy holds off Ole Miss, gets to 3-0

  • Colleges: FSU 28, BC 17
  • Weatherford takes command
  • B.C. a Davis family favorite
  • Game balls

  • Colleges: UF 16, UT 7
  • Ironic revenge
  • Junior kicker makes good impression
  • Gators lose key receiver, lineman to injury

  • Colleges: USF 31, UCF 14
  • Hall shows the door to UCF in Bulls' win
  • Timely instant replay goes the Bulls' way
  • Bulls' defense grows up to the task
  • Game balls

  • Commentary
  • Faceoff
  • The Buzz

  • Golf
  • Gore up by 2 over party of 5

  • In brief
  • Boxer in surgery with head trauma

  • Martial arts
  • Life filled with focus and fight

  • Motorsports
  • Momentum intangible needed in the Chase
  • Gordon, Earnhardt steal the spotlight
  • Pit box holds much more than tools of the trade

  • NFL
  • Brodeur not handling rule well
  • On the sideline
  • Today's games
  • Saints player helps with engagement

  • Outdoors
  • Put down the video game, pick up a rod

  • Preps
  • Bounced coaches, bouncing back
  • CCC stops Sickles
  • Crystal River falls short of title
  • Gator outdistances the field
  • Home course favors Brandon
  • No home cooking for 'Canes
  • Pinellas football roundup
  • Vikings hire ex-Eckerd player

  • Sunday Extra
  • Young & bold
  • The young Americans

  • Tennis
  • Kickin' back: He's still Ilie after all these years
  • France, Russia tied 1-1 in Fed Cup final
  • Letters to the Editor: Respect for Bulls
  • Rays
  • Brazelton's 'nightmare'
  • Crawford hits his mark
  • Got a minute? Carl Crawford
  • Hollins: Just let it happen, be ready
  • Miscommunications hounding Rays
  • Bucs
  • Bucs' offense overpower Bills
  • Lest you forgot about him
  • Williams, Bucs real competitors
  • Cadillac ready to carry workload
  • Bucs ready for home spark
  • Lightning
  • Duo will alternate in goal during preseason
  • Evolution of a new superstar

    Back to Top

    © 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
    490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111