Whether it was the Red Bandana Game magic or a look ahead trap, Florida State found themselves in an unexpected fight with Boston College on Saturday.
The Eagles challenged the Seminoles early but Jordan Travis and company pulled away in the middle eight, taking a 31-10 lead early in the third quarter. Then BC mounted a comeback, pulling within two points late in the fourth quarter. They had the ball with the chance to take the lead with four minutes to play.
FSU can breathe a sigh of relief. They got a 31-29 win and moved on with their perfect record intact. But they need to clean things up if they want to make it through Clemson.
Florida State concerns looking ahead to Clemson: No. 3 Gift-giving
The Seminoles gifted the Eagles opportunities because they didn't protect the football. Worst of all, those mistakes came when the game was hanging in the balance.
Trey Benson opened the door for the comeback when he muffed a kickoff after Boston College made it 31-16. They made it to the FSU five-yard line and could have kicked a field goal to pull three points closer but ended up failing on fourth down instead.
On the next drive, Lawrance Toafili fumbled and it was recovered for a touchdown to make it 31-22.
The ensuing drive also featured a gift in the form of penalties. On fourth-and-one from the BC 29, Kyle Morlock made the conversion, but it was called back because of offensive pass interference on Keon Coleman. The Eagles got the ball back and scored the touchdown that pulled them within two.
The lack of composure by players in key moments nearly buried the Seminoles. Making those mistakes against Clemson could be catastrophic.