BOSTON — Florida State quarterback Everett Golson escaped not one, but two defenders who had a chance to sack him for a first-half safety.
It was the closest Boston College came to scoring.
Cornerback Jalen Ramsey returned a fourth-quarter fumble 36 yards for a touchdown, and No. 9 Florida State’s defense shut down the Eagles in a 14-0 victory Friday night.
It was Florida State’s first shutout on the road since 2003.
“I’m very proud of our team,” coach Jimbo Fisher said. “There were questions if we could do that. If they don’t score, you’re not going to lose. That’s for sure.”
The Seminoles (3-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) marched easily down the field on their opening drive but then struggled against a BC team that had beaten a pair of Football Championship Subdivision opponents. Golson completed 15 of 24 passes for 119 yards and a touchdown to help Florida State run its ACC winning streak to 25.
The Eagles (2-1, 0-1) still trailed only 7-0 when Jon Hilliman took a handoff in the backfield and had the ball stripped by linebacker Terrance Smith. Ramsey picked it up and scored to make it 14-0 with 12:20 to play.
“I was just running to the ball like the coaches tell us to do,” Smith said. “I went to make the tackle, and he spun right into it and it came out.”
On BC’s next possession, quarterback Darius Wade was knocked out of the game with what appeared to be a serious left ankle injury. The play also was initially ruled a fumble, but the ball was returned to BC on review.
“I don’t know how severe it is, but it didn’t look good,” BC coach Steve Addazio said.
Jeff Smith took five snaps at quarterback before he was replaced by Troy Flutie, the nephew of 1984 Heisman Trophy winner Doug Flutie. Troy Flutie led the Eagles into Florida State territory for just the third time in the game, but BC turned the ball over on downs at the 41.
The Seminoles ran out the clock.
“We wanted to set a precedent on defense, and to do that and have the first (road) shutout since 2003 is big time,” Smith said. “It shows the growth and development of the defense, and I feel like we’re going to have a pretty good year.”
After gaining 636 and 441 yards of total offense in its first two games, Florida State had just 217 on Friday to 195 for Boston College. But the Seminoles also forced two turnovers, downed a punt at the 1-yard line and avoided being pinned on their own goal line when the BC player who downed the ball stepped on the goal line.
“There’s a small margin in there,” Addazio said. “The game should have been a 7-0 game in the fourth quarter with a chance to win it. And we didn’t get that done. I’m angry about the turnovers right now. That’s going to get fixed.”
Dalvin Cook, who was second in the nation with 422 yards in Florida State’s first two games, had just 54 on Friday on 15 carries.
Golson completed all five pass attempts for 50 yards on the opening drive, finishing it off with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Travis Rudolph. Golson also put a hit on BC defensive end Kevin Kavalec that knocked him out of the game with an apparent concussion.
Roberto Aguayo missed a 42-yard field goal attempt in the second quarter — just the fifth miss in 56 tries in his career.
BC was shut out one week after beating Howard 76-0 in a game in which the coaches decided to shorten the second half by 10 minutes. The Eagles never got past the Florida State 39, but they almost scored in the second quarter when Golson eluded two defensive linemen, Harold Landry and Connor Wujciak, in the end zone.
“Somehow he ran out of that safety,” Addazio said. “Give credit to Golson. I thought he played a great game tonight.”