BOSTON (AP) — D.J. Matthews caught a short pass, faked out three defenders on his way to the sideline and then dove for the end zone, taking off from the 6-yard line before clipping the pylon to give Florida State the go-ahead score.
“It kind of reminded me of high school, doing the long jump,” Matthews said after helping the Seminoles beat Boston College 38-31 on Saturday in their first game since coach Willie Taggart was fired.
Matthews turned a short slant pattern into a 60-yard touchdown to break a fourth-quarter tie, and Jordan Travis followed with a 66-yard run for what turned out to be the winning score for Florida State (5-5, 4-4 Atlantic Coast Conference).
Six days after firing Taggart, Florida State moved to the verge of a bowl berth and preserved two-time interim coach Odell Haggins’ perfect record.
“Guys came out and played for Coach Odell. They love him,” Matthews said. “When things happened last Sunday, that’s what he did — he brought us together.”
Florida State fell behind 14-3 in the first half before scoring 21 straight points, only to watch BC (5-5, 3-4) tie it 24-all in the final minutes on Dennis Grosel’s half-yard roll-out and dive for the end zone. The Seminoles took over at their own 41 with 2:27 left, lost a yard and then Blackman found Matthews across the middle, about 5 yards away.
“That was a backbreaker right there, to me,” BC coach Steve Addazio said. “It was just quick, and it goes for 60. That can’t happen.”
AJ Dillon ran for 165 yards on a career-high 40 carries, and David Bailey added 67 yards and a touchdown as the Eagles rushed for 281 yards in all. Grosel, a walk-on who earned the starting job when Anthony Brown was injured, completed 20 of 29 passes for 227 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
UNH blown out
HARRISONBURG, Va. – True freshman quarterback Max Brosmer and senior running back Evan Gray each scored a rushing touchdown, but it was not enough and the No. 23 University of New Hampshire football team lost at No. 2 James Madison, 54-16, Saturday afternoon.
The Wildcats (5-4) have two games remaining in the regular season. They play at UAlbany on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Redshirt freshman safety Max Oxendine led the Wildcats with 12 tackles. Sophomore safety Pop Bush and true freshman linebacker Oleh Manzyk had eight tackles each.
James Madison (9-1) had 221 yards rushing and 537 total yards of offense.
Yale pulls away Brown
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Yale broke open a close game with a fourth-quarter surge to come away with a 59-35 win over Brown on Saturday.
Yale improves to 7-1 while Brown falls to 1-7.
Bears’ junior quarterback EJ Perry of Andover had another record-setting day, accounting for 471 yards of total offense, fifth best in Brown football history. He passed for 331 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 140 yards and a 49-yard touchdown.
Senior Demitri Jackson caught six passes for 66 yards for Brown, while senior Livingstone Harriott caught touchdown passes of 21 and 14 yards and made six catches for 95 yards overall.
Yale quarterback Kurt Rawlings passed for 360 yards and five touchdowns, including four to wide receiver JP Shohfi, who had a monster day with 10 catches for 166 yards.
Brown faces Columbia on Saturday at 1 p.m.
UMass blasted at Army
WEST POINT, N.Y. – Massachusetts football traveled to Army on Saturday and fell to the Black Knights at Michie Stadium, 63-7. Junior linebacker Mike Ruane posted a career-high 16 tackles in the game, the most by the Minutemen on the season, while he also recovered a fumble.
Redshirt sophomore Andrew Brito started at quarterback. He went 6-for-16 with 75 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Redshirt senior Randall West also took snaps and finished 3-of-5 for 24 yards with one interception.
Massachusetts plays its final road game of the season at Northwestern on Saturday.