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November 3, 2007
BOSTON(AP) Geno Hayes returned Matt Ryan's third interception for a 38-yard touchdown with 1:10 to play on Saturday night to help Florida State beat No. 2 Boston College 27-17, ending the Eagles' run at an unbeaten season and shaking up the BCS standings yet again.
With the loss by BC (8-1, 4-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), there are three unbeaten teams left in the nation - Ohio State, Kansas and Hawaii - and a handful of one-loss teams who can argue for a spot in the Bowl Championship Series title game. LSU will probably take second-place behind Ohio State in the BCS standings when they come out Sunday.
Drew Weatherford completed 29-of-45 passes for 354 yards for Florida State (6-3, 3-3), hitting Preston Parker nine times for 93 yards and a touchdown and De'Cody Fagg on six catches for 111 yards and a TD. Ryan finished 25-for-53 for two touchdowns and 415 yards - his fourth career 400-yard game, tying Doug Flutie for the most in school history.
But his interceptions were costly.
Ryan was picked off once in the first quarter inside the Seminoles 10. He also threw an interception early in the third that allowed Florida State to move into position for a 40-yard field goal that made it 10-0.
It was the second consecutive game BC trailed 10-0 before mounting a rally: The Eagles spotted Virginia Tech a two-score lead on Oct. 25 before Ryan threw two touchdown passes in the final 2:11.
This time, he had more than 20 minutes to work with.
Ryan led BC on a four-play, 70-yard drive over 63 seconds, hitting Ryan Purvis for 26 yards to the Seminoles 30 and then Brandon Robinson for the touchdown. The teams traded field goals, then Weatherford hit Fagg on a 42-yard touchdown pass to give the Seminoles a 20-10 lead.
Ryan hit Rich Gunnell on a 42-yard pass to the Florida State 6 with 7:24 left. Two plays later, including a penalty that moved the ball to the 3, Ryan hit a wide-open Purvis in the middle of the end zone to make it 20-17.
BC got the ball back with a chance to take the lead, but Hayes ripped the ball free from an Eagles' receiver on a pass across the middle and went easily into the end zone.
The game began in a frigid and soaking downpour, with wind gusts forecast at up to 50 mph as the remnants of Hurricane Noel proceeded up the East Coast. The rain had stopped by the end of the first quarter, but the winds battered the U.S. flag and played havoc with a couple of second-quarter field goal attempts.
The No. 2 team in The Associated Press Top 25 lost three consecutive weeks before Boston College took over the second spot on Oct. 21 and held on with a comeback victory over Virginia Tech.
Robinson caught seven passes for 163 yards for BC, fighting off a grabby defender to make a diving catch at the Seminoles 6 late in the game. But the Eagles managed only a field goal.