TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida State got beat Saturday night in large part by a little running back it didn't recruit.
Montel Harris from nearby Jacksonville ran for 121 yards and a touchdown, and Marcellus Bowman went 87 yards with an interception for another score to help Boston College knock off the 19th-ranked Seminoles 27-17, a day after five Florida State players were suspended for fighting.
"It was a lousy week," Florida State coach Bobby Bowden said.
The Eagles picked off Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder three times and held the Seminoles to just 73 yards rushing.
"When you can't run the football it throws everything at your quarterback," Bowden said. "When you can't run the ball you ain't got nothing."
And Ponder was off-target much of the game, completing 15 of 31 for 183 yards.
"We really couldn't get it together and it starts with me," Ponder said. "There were times when I definitely tried to force stuff."
It was Florida State's homecoming and the team wore all-black uniforms as did much of the crowd, but it was a motivation for BC coach Jeff Jagodzinski.
"They made a real big deal about the blackout so we got all of our guys black shirts and said, 'Well, if we're not going to be invited we'll just crash the party,'" Jagodzinski said. "And that's what we did."
Harris thought it was his homecoming.
"I wanted to show Florida State and their fans how I could play," the 190-pound back said.
"He was a guy that nobody wanted," Jagodzinski said. "He runs hard and he doesn't run like a true freshman."
Florida State (7-3, 4-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) looked more like a team that might have partied the night before, falling behind early and never catching up.
"We got whipped," Bowden said.
After Wake Forest's loss earlier in the day at North Carolina State, the Seminoles could've taken control of the ACC's Atlantic Division, but for the second time in three weeks lost a game they were favored to win.
It was the fourth straight year the visiting team has won in this budding rivalry. Florida State knocked off a previously unbeaten and second-ranked Boston College team last year in Boston by an identical 27-17 score.
"They upset us like we upset them last year," Bowden said. "They were probably scratching their head like we are scratching our head."
Boston College (7-3, 3-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) jumped to a 14-0 lead and never trailed while keeping its hopes alive for a spot in next month's ACC title game in Tampa. BC can win the Atlantic Division by beating Wake Forest and Maryland the next two weeks.
Harris scored from a yard out to give Boston College a 24-10 lead in the final minute of the third quarter before Florida State briefly made it interesting.
Florida State needs to win at Maryland next week and hope for help to have any chance to make it to Tampa. The Seminoles have trailed by double digits in their last five games, though they've won three.
Ponder went to Carr moments later in the end zone trying for a tie, but was picked off by BC's DeLeon Gause, killing Florida State's last push.
Boston College moved 69 yards on just five plays on the game's opening drive to score on Chris Crane's 14-yard pass to Rich Gunnell. Montel Harris' 47-yard run on the first play sparked the drive. Bowman's 87-yard interception return gave BC a 14-0 lead.
Florida State played without receivers Taiwan Easterling, Bert Reed, Corey Surrency, Cameron Wade and Richard Goodman -- all suspended Friday by Bowden for a midweek fight on campus with members of a fraternity.
Gano kicked a 39-yard field goal in the first half before having his string of consecutive field goals snapped at 18 when he missed a 50-yarder early in the second half.
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