Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher thinks his team learned a lesson. He's going to find out on Saturday.
The Seminoles put together a 5-0 start and were poised to add to their perfect record before they struggled in the second half of a 17-16 loss at North Carolina State last weekend. The Wolfpack erased a 16-0 halftime deficit and scored the winning touchdown on a 2-yard pass on fourth down with 16 seconds left.
It was the fifth time in Fisher's 2½ years as head coach that the Seminoles were upset by a double-digit underdog.
Next up is a home game against Boston College (1-4, 0-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), which is looking for its first victory of the season against a Football Bowl Subdivision team.
"We challenged our kids to come back ... to come back and focus," Fisher said. "You have to get better as a team."
No. 12 Florida State (5-1, 2-1), which dropped nine spots in The Associated Press poll following the loss to N.C. State, is a four-touchdown favorite against the Eagles.
Boston College coach Frank Spaziani sized up the enormity of his team's challenge when he asked his players how many wanted to play in the NFL someday.
After several hands went up, Spaziani said: "Saturday night, there's your chance."
Florida State, anchored by defensive ends Bjoern Werner and Cornellius Carradine, ranks first in virtually all defensive categories in the ACC. Carradine and Werner rank 1-2 in the conference in sacks, and they should be hungry after failing to get to Wolfpack quarterback Mike Glennon.
Despite the loss last weekend, the Seminoles remain in contention for the conference title and their first Bowl Championship Series appearance since 2005.
Boston College's only victory so far this season came against Maine, an FCS member. In the ACC losses to Miami and Clemson, the Eagles yielded 86 points and 417 yards rushing combined.
And Florida State likes to run, featuring speedy breakaway threat Chris Thompson — who averages 7.7 yards a carry.
Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel was frustrated by last week's game plan that he felt was too run-oriented against a North Carolina State team that had been having difficulty all season defending the pass.
"I didn't throw the ball as much as I thought we would have," he said.
Much of Boston College's offensive success has come through the air. Junior quarterback Chase Rettig is averaging 306.2 yards passing per game and has 10 touchdown passes against only three interceptions. His primary target, Alex Amidon, has 38 receptions for 644 yards and four touchdowns.
Amidon and his teammates took notice of Florida State's upset loss a week ago.
"It's done all the time," he said. "So why can't we do that?"