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Sunday, October 14, 2012
3 Up, 3 Down: FSU 51, BC 7

By David M. Hale

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- A big win over the worst team in the ACC isn't likely to make many fans forget about last week's ugly loss to NC State, but it at least showed Florida State had turned the page.

The Seminoles dominated Boston College, as Jimbo Fisher offered an emphatic statement in the wake of a week of criticism. Here are some of the best and worst performances from FSU's 51-7 win over BC.

THREE UP

1. EJ Manuel: The first nine plays of the game for Florida State were passes, including four deep balls. Manuel said it wasn't about sending a message following last week's sluggish performance in a loss to NC State, but it was nevertheless impressive. Manuel finished 27 of 34 for a career-best 439 yards and four touchdowns. He even added 11 more yards as a receiver after recovering a Lonnie Pryor fumble on FSU's first drive.

2. Bjoern Werner: For the fourth consecutive game, Werner finished without a sack. But to judge Werner by stats doesn't do him justice. Werner was in on nearly every play, pressuring QB Chase Rettig routinely, disrupting the Boston College backfield, and coming up with a huge deflection of a pass on BC's first drive which ended at the FSU 1-yard line.

3. The offensive line: In its previous two games, Florida State allowed 19 tackles for a loss, and Manuel was sacked five times last week against NC State. With starting right tackle Menelik Watson back in the lineup Saturday, the unit looked much improved, allowing just two negative plays and giving Manuel plenty of time to deliver the deep ball.

THREE DOWN

1. Rashad Greene: While the rest of the receiving corps piled up the stats -- including 100-yard games for Kenny Shaw and Rodney Smith -- Greene was quiet, making just one catch for 8 yards. What's worse, Greene bobbled a deep ball, swatting the pass away and into the hands of BC's Jim Noel for an interception.

2. The run defense: This is nitpicking, of course, because the defense played fairly well, but BC's Andre Williams did rack up 104 yards rushing -- the first time FSU allowed 100 yards to an opposing runner in 15 games. By the second half, however, the Seminoles' big lead had made BC one-dimensional, and Williams managed just 15 yards after the break.

3. Boston College smack talk: Leading up to the game, the Eagles lampooned the FSU playbook, questioned the Seminoles' toughness and argued that Florida State didn't take BC seriously. The tough talk didn't turn out too well. BC was blown out, and the defense that wasn't "blue collar" enough, according to the Eagles, allowed just seven points and made an impressive goal-line stand, stuffing BC four times from the 1.