Discipline has been a big issue for Florida State in Willie Taggart’s first season.
The Seminoles have committed the second most penalties in college football so far this season (9.1 per game), and Boston College was hoping to take advantage of that Saturday during FSU’s 22-21 win.
On fourth and 1 from the FSU 40 yard line, BC lined up to go for it with 2:52 left in the game.
The Eagles had converted three of their five fourth down attempts before that play, but elected to take a delay of game penalty after trying to get the FSU defense to jump offside.
“I thought they would run a power, play action, a QB sneak,” FSU linebacker Dontavious Jackson said.
“They went for it like three or four times during the game so I was kind of surprised they did that, but it worked out for the best.”
BC would punt and FSU would take the lead three plays later on Tamorrion Terry’s 74-yard touchdown pass from Deondre Francois.
BC coach Steve Addazio was questioned about his decision to punt the football instead of handing it off to 245-pound running back A.J. Dillon after the game.
“It was worth a try,” Addazio said.
“Backing up a little bit on the punt wasn’t going to bother me. I felt like we could pin them. I think all that was probably right, today. How hard a decision? I thought pretty good about it. The ball is darn near midfield. Obviously with the outcome, your heart is like ‘I should have gone for the first down.’ Honestly, thinking about it, that really wasn’t the right thing to do.”
It’s a common play in college football where teams will try to draw a defensive player offside with no intention of ever snapping the football.
It definitely shows the progress that the FSU defense has made this season — at least as far as discipline goes — that no player moved into the neutral zone.
“That’s tough. We’ve grown a lot as a team,” Jackson said.
“I don’t want to say we wouldn’t (have jumped earlier in the season), but we did it now. That’s what matters.”
Taggart wants accountability from officials
FSU has gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to officiating this year.
Officials took a touchdown off the board against Miami for a questionable illegal forward pass and multiple questionable pass interference calls have gone against the Seminoles in the latter half of the season.
The officials in the Boston College had a few questionable decisions.
Both involved an official throwing a flag to penalize the Eagles — one for a facemask and the other for holding — with both being overruled by head referee David Epperley and the rest of his crew.
“I’m going to tell you what, I’m going to be really nice,” FSU coach Willie Taggart said.
“What would be really nice is if those guys had to sit here and answer you guys’ questions.”
Epperley has made questionable decisions in the past that have gone against the Seminoles.
He was suspended by the ACC in 2012 after the FSU-Miami game where Epperley charged FSU with a 10-second run off that was going to end the first half had former FSU coach Jimbo Fisher not corrected him that FSU could use a timeout to forgo the run off.
Epperley had to bring the Miami players back out of the locker room for the final play of the first half. FSU kicked a field goal to go up 13-10.
The holding call — or non-holding call — was particularly egregious.
FSU cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. was being blocked by BC tight end Korab Idrizi late in the third quarter.
The block was fine at first, but when Samuel Jr. tried to pull away to get after BC wide receiver Kobay White, Idrizi grabbed hold of his jersey and wouldn’t let go.
Samuel Jr. tried to pull away, but eventually had to throw his hands up to the official, who threw the flag.
After coming together as unit, the referees decided there was no holding penalty on the play.
Taggart was at a loss for words about the decision after the game.
“I don’t throw them. I don’t pick them up. I don’t do it,” Taggart said.
“I can’t answer for them. But that would be really, really neat if they did that for you all. I think everybody would appreciate that.”
That was FSU’s first home win over a ranked opponent as an unranked team since 1968 when FSU beat No. 17 Texas A&M 20-14. The Seminoles had lost 13 straight games before beating then No. 22 BC.
Tamorrion Terry’s 666 receiving yards are the most in school history by a freshman — true or redshirt — and his eight touchdowns are one shy of Greg Carr’s freshman record (9) set in 2005.
Florida State vs. No. 13 Florida
When: Saturday, noon
Where: Doak Campbell Stadium
TV/Radio: ABC/103.1 FM