During legendary head coach Bobby Bowden’s tenure, there were plenty of contests for Florida State involving a top-5 team and an unranked opponent. On this day 15 years ago, the shoe was on the other foot for the Seminoles.
In the end, it didn’t matter. Geno Hayes’ interception return for a touchdown in the final minutes ultimately sealed the win as FSU stunned No. 2 Boston College, 27-17.
FSU was 5-3 and looking to become bowl eligible as it arrived in Chestnut Hill on Nov. 3, 2007. On the other sideline was Boston College. The Eagles were 8-0, ranked second in the country and coming off a thrilling comeback win over Virginia Tech.
FSU never trailed in the contest, but Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan was determined to make things interesting. With less than seven minutes left, his touchdown pass to Ryan Purvis cut the FSU lead to 20-17. Three and a half minutes remaining as Boston College took over at its own 7-yard-line, following a punt from the Seminoles.
On a night where he passed for 415 yards, Ryan moved the Eagles past their own 30, but on 2nd-and-7, FSU made the play it had to. On a throw over the middle, FSU linebacker Geno Hayes made a break on the football. Hayes was able to intercept the pass and race 38 yards for the game-sealing interception with just 1:10 remaining.
Box score and recap:
Garnet and Great
Ryan threw two touchdowns, but was intercepted three times in the loss. Tony Carter and Patrick Robinson also came down with interceptions for FSU.
Offensively for FSU, Drew Weatherford passed for 354 yards and two scores. De’Cody Fagg finished with a team-high 111 yards receiving and a touchdown. Brandon Robinson led Boston College with seven catches for 163 yards receiving and a touchdown.
FSU would drop three of its final four games to finish 7-6 for the second straight season. For Boston College, the loss began a rough stretch where it dropped three of five, including an ACC Championship rematch against Virginia Tech. After topping Michigan State in the Champs Sports Bowl, the Eagles finished 11-3 and No. 10 in the final AP Poll.
For Boston College, the No. 2 national ranking was its highest in 65 years. Its last game as a top-5 team was a home loss to FSU on this day 15 years ago.