The character of the sheriff played by Cleavon Little unholsters his gun, which prompts the character portrayed by Gene Wilder to comment: ‘”If you shoot him, you’ll just make him mad.”
On Saturday at Alumni Stadium, No. 8 ranked Florida State played the role of Mongo in its Atlantic Coast Conference encounter with Boston College.
First it was 7-0–giving BC its first LEAD against FSU since 2010. Then it was 14-0 as senior quarterback Chase Rettig threw the second of his career-high 4 TD passes.
At the 11:19 minute mark of the second period, the Eagles lead was a comfortable 17-3. BC had fired its best shots, but it didn’t knock the Seminoles out.
Then Mongo got mad, specifically sensational Seminole freshman QB Jameis Winston, who may turn into the best QB FSU has ever produced if he stays for more than two years.
FSU scored once, it scored twice and the score was tied at 17-17. Then on the final play of the first half, Winston launched a 55 yard prayer towards receiver Kenny Shaw who stunned the BC crowd and demoralized the Eagles by grabbing the ball in the end zone for a TD.
And just like that, the Eagles lead and dreams of a monumental, season-defining moment started to slip away.
Oh, the Eagles, to their credit, never backed off before dropping a 48-34 decision which was not really decided until the final three minutes of the fourth quarter.
Make no mistake, FSU, which has legitimate BCS title aspirations this season, was and is bigger, faster and more talented than BC.
But it was more than the the physical aspect of the game. It was the mind set of both teams and it displayed itself clearly in the final minute of the first half when FSU scored its go-ahead TD.
BC’s mind set appeared to be as much not to lose as it was to win. With the scored tied at 17, and 1:49 left in the first half, the Eagles chose to run the ball three times-which did not produce a first down. It seemed clear that the Eagles were content to go into the locker room tied at 17-17.
FSU used a different mentality of playing to win the game. The Seminoles used two of their time outs to stop the clock. Then they Took over on their own 40 with 50 seconds remaining and, even after Winston was sacked, FSU still chose to go for a go-ahead TD–which Winston produced.
It is a common trait among the elite and the non-elite teams, a sense of confidence and entitlement. The mind-set of the good teams is that no matter what the situation, they will win the game. somehow, someway.
The teams that are striving to reach the next level are more cautious, less certain.
Did BC think it could win the game? Absolutely.
Did the Eagles feel that they were going to win the game, even when they had a 17-3 lead? Perhaps.
For teams such as FSU or Alabama or Ohio State or Oregon, there is no doubt. Until the final seconds tick off the clock, those teams KNOW they are going to win the game.
BC which is now 2-2, after playing two games of “big boy” football against USC and FSU, was frustrated by the loss.
“We played that game physically enough to win,”said first year BC coach Steve Addazio, who is trying to build a winning mind-set with a new system that he still calls a “work in progress.” We’re not backing off.”
But there are certain other things the Eagles can not do. Take the two plays that were large contributing factors in their loss. Winston, who completed 17 of 27 passes for 330 yards and 4 TDs and ran for 67 more in his fourth collegiate game, eluded tacklers, kept looking down the field and threw the ball nearly 60 yards to an area the size of wash rag and found Shaw for the TD.
“We gave up too many big plays on defense,” said Addazio. “You can’t do that.”
And then there was the play to open the second half when BC’s freshman kick returner broke clear and was in the clear running down the sideline when he was caught from behind by FSU cornerback LeMarcus Joyner. Instead of a TD, which would have tied the game, the Eagles had to settle for a Nate Freese field goal.
It was a psychological difference maker and the Eagles still had to play from behind, which they could not overcome.
“We played two real football teams (USC, FSU),” said Addazio. “That will make us better.”
Yes it will. The Eagles showed enough–they were indeed kicking and pushing FSU all over the field for the first 10 minutes of the game, which could have caused ESPN to flash the “upset alert” message for the briefest instant.
But they didn’t have enough oomph. They are still a long ways of away from carrying the kind of swagger that the FSU’s and Alabama’s bring with them.
“We had a couple of chances,” said senior running back Andre Williams, who continues to be solid and productive with 149 yards on 28 carries. “We just have to keep our heads up.”
For a quarter on Saturday, the Eagles did all of that and then some. They looked as good as any team in college football against the highest level of competition.
And then Mongo got mad.© Copyright 2013 Mark, All rights Reserved. Written For: