Associated Press Photo
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Sports Network) - E.J. Manuel threw for a career-high 439 yards and four touchdowns as No. 12 Florida State dominated Boston College in a 51-7 trouncing in Atlantic Coast Conference action from Doak Campbell Stadium.
Manuel completed 27-of-34 passes and was intercepted twice in turning in the first 400-yard passing effort by a Seminoles quarterback since Chris Weinke had 521 against Clemson on Nov. 4, 2000.
Florida State (6-1, 3-1 ACC) racked up 649 total yards in avenging a 17-16 loss at North Carolina State last week, in which the Seminoles squandered a 16-0 halftime lead. Kenny Shaw amassed 125 receiving yards with a touchdown on just two catches, while Rodney Smith came up with a personal-best nine catches totaling 108 yards and Lonnie Pryor and James Wilder each finished with a pair of touchdowns.
Andre Williams had 104 rushing yards on 20 carries for Boston College (1-5, 0-3), now mired in a four-game losing streak, with Bobby Swigert recording five catches for 61 yards and accounting for the Eagles' lone touchdown.
Quarterback Chase Rettig struggled all game long against a Florida State defense ranked fourth nationally in yards allowed, making good on just 15- of-31 throws for 122 yards with one touchdown and an interception.
After sputtering down the stretch of last week's startling defeat, the Seminoles were clicking offensively right from the start of this one. Florida State scored touchdowns on four of its first five possessions to build a commanding 28-0 lead, and the rout was on from there.
Manuel began the barrage by hitting Shaw in stride for a 77-yard touchdown less than six minutes in, then connected with Jarred Haggins for 42 yards to the Boston College 16 after the Seminoles got the ball back following a quick three-and-out. That led to Pryor's 2-yard burst across the goal line for a 14-0 advantage with 4:53 remaining in the opening period.
The big passing plays kept coming in the second quarter, with Manuel firing a deep strike to Kelvin Benjamin for a 46-yard gain to highlight a 7-play, 84- yard sequence capped by the standout quarterback's 7-yard scoring delivery to Wilder. Less than three minutes later, a 48-yard hookup with Shaw led to Manuel's 6-yard pass to Benjamin that increased the margin to 28 points.
Boston College answered with its only sustained drive of the game, save for a 10-play series to open the contest that concluded with a fourth-down Rettig incompletion at the FSU 1-yard line. The Eagles moved 87 yards in 12 plays, highlighted by Rettig's 22-yard completion to Alex Amidon on 3rd-and-16, and got on the board when the BC triggerman hit Swigert from 18 yards out with 2:04 left in the first half.
That was still enough time for the Seminoles to strike again, however, as two Manuel-to-Smith passes set the stage for Dustin Hopkins' 51-yard field goal that sent FSU into the break with a 31-7 lead.
The kick made Hopkins the all-time leading scorer in both ACC and Florida State history.
Boston College continued to be shut down in the second half as the Seminoles further pulled away.
Manuel went 4-for-4 for 51 yards on an 8-play, 75-yard possession that ended when Pryor broke the plane from three yards away, and Hopkins made good on field goals from 26 and 38 yards out around a 10-play drive that contained Manuel's fourth touchdown pass of the game -- a 12-yarder to Wilder less than two minutes into the fourth quarter.