December 28, 2007

CHAMPS SPORTS POSTGAME

ORLANDO, Fla.- It's not hard to see why these two teams don't lose games by a lot of points. The Spartans were never out of this game, and the Eagles were never fully in control- but tonight, Michigan State got a little taste of what Virginia Tech, Clemson, and other ACC powerhouses had to deal with this season. The Eagles, without the standard heroics of quarterback Matt Ryan, pulled off a 24-41 defeat of Michigan State to finish the season 11-3 while extending the nation's longest active bowl winning streak to eight.
"It was big to get 11 wins," said Eagles head coach Jeff Jagodzinski after the game. "To get double-digit wins is hard in any league, and to get 11- we haven't done that at BC since 1940."
Then, there's the whole bowl-streak thing, too.
"You never want to be the team to end the streak," said BC safety Jamie Silva. "Being here on the sidelines and playing for five consecutive wins is something real special."
There were obstacles to overcome on both sides: the Eagles' running game was relatively ineffective, and it took them some time to get into any kind of a rhythym in terms of the passing game. On the Spartans' side, they came out of the gates much more fired up than BC, but it was hard for them to sustain a consistent and effective level of play. Particularly, Brian Hoyer could not keep his composure, throwing four interceptions in key spots for Michigan State while accumulating just 131 yards.
Still, Spartans first-year head coach Mark Dantonio was far from disappointed with his team's effort.
"The one thing I asked our team to do was look in the mirror at the end of the day and do the best we could," he said after the game. "[I wanted us] to hang together and press together and we did that, and we never stopped playing.
"I hope our players understand that the difference between winning and losing is so small that if you blink, you miss it."
While former Heisman candidate Matt Ryan didn't really come alive until the second half, he produced when it counted- he has a knack for doing that. His 68-yard touchdown completion to Rich Gunnell (138 yards) sealed the game for BC, and he somehow finished with a respectable 250 yards.
However, the Player of the Game was not on offense; to nobody's surprise, it was Eagles safety Jamie Silva, one of the 17 BC fifth-year seniors who did not want his last memory as a member of this team to be tarnished by a loss. His two first-half picks saved his team at least 10 points, which certainly came in handy at the end of the fourth quarter, when the Eagles had their backs against the wall.
Like many Boston College football games this season, this one came down to one or two key plays, and it was never over until the final second ticked off the clock. This team has a flair for the dramatic, and fortunately for them and their eight-game bowl winning streak, the Eagles managed to pull it off again.

8 IN A ROW

ORLANDO, Fla.- With 48 seconds remaining, Ryan rushes for the QB sneak on 4th & 1 from the 20. It's in the bag. May the nation's longest bowl winning streak live on. Most Valuable Player award goes to Mr. Silva.

Michigan State 21, BC 24
FINAL

O-V-A

ORLANDO, Fla.- Michigan State, first play of the drive... Can you guess what happened? Interception, Paul Anderson. BC takes over at the Spartans' 29. Four picks on the night for Mr. Hoyer.

Michigan State 21, BC 24
2:23 remaining in 4th quarter

NOW OR NEVER

ORLANDO, Fla.- After Matt Ryan fumbled then recovered on third down at the 44, Johnny Ayers punts the ball away with 2:45 remaining. Hope the Spartans have been practicing those two-minute drills.

BIG STOP FOR BC

ORLANDO, Fla.- Another big third-down stop for BC. Now all the Eagles need to do is manage the clock and hold on to the ball.

Michigan State 21, BC 24
4:25 remaining in 4th quarter

UNDER REVIEW

ORLANDO, Fla.- After a bomb from Brian Hoyer to Devin Thomas was ruled incomplete (receiver caught the ball out of bounds), Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio challenges the ruling on the field, and... the ruling on the field stands. "The ball was being bobbled before posession was gained."

Michigan State 21, BC 24
4:41 remaining in 4th quarter

UH OH FOR EAGLES

ORLANDO, Fla.- The Eagles go three-and-out on the next drive: three passing plays, three incompletes. Johnny Ayers punts and Devin Thomas fumbles the recovery, losing 11 yards for his team and setting up a drive from the seven.

Michigan State 21, BC 24
5:14 remaining in 4th quarter

THE WAR ISN'T OVER

ORLANDO, Fla.- Quick turn of events: on 1st & 10 from the 45 on the clock, Matt Ryan is sacked by Greg Jones, then fumbles. The ball is picked up by Oren Wilson on the 37, where the Spartans take over- and they only need 32 seconds to score. For the first time since the first drive of the game, Brian Hoyer connects with Deon Curry for a touchdown pass, and Michigan State picks up the two-point conversion on a pass to Kellen Davis. With 6:04 left, the Eagles need to make something happen to protect this lead.

Michigan State 21, BC 24
6:04 remaining in the 4th quarter

DONE DEAL?

ORLANDO, Fla.- This one is pretty much over. The Spartans, facing 4th & 1 from the BC 43, went for it. Hoyer, facing pressure from Nick Larkin, backpedaled all the way back to his own 40 and was forced to throw it away. BC takes over on the Michigan State 43 with 7:17 remaining.

SUPER RICH

ORLANDO, Fla.- Rich Gunnell came up with another game-changing touchdown pass from Matt Ryan, this one being a 68-yarder to give the Eagles a 24-13 lead. Seeing as Michigan State hasn't been able to score a touchdown since the first drive of the game, the Eagles should have this one in the bag, barring a complete defensive collapse.

Michigan State 13, BC 24
9:21 remaining in 4th quarter

DEFENSIVE DOMINANCE

ORLANDO, Fla.- Big third-down stop for the Eagles to close out the third quarter: with Michigan State driving and facing 3rd & 6 from the 48, the Eagles forced a punt.

Michigan State 13, BC 17
End of 3rd quarter

AKINS PLAYS SILVA

ORLANDO, Fla.- It's too familiar for the Spartans now: first play of a drive, another pick by a member of the Eagles secondary. This time, Kevin Akins was the antagonist, picking off Hoyer and setting up BC at the 28. But another three passing plays came up empty, and the ball was out of Aponavicius' field goal range, so BC was forced to go for it on fourth down and got nothing. Michigan State takes over on the 26.

B-ROB MISSING

ORLANDO, Fla.- Boston College wide receiver Brandon Robinson has been MIA this half, raising suspicions that he's done for the night with an injury- perhaps an aggravation of the broken foot that sidelined him earlier in the season.

RYAN ROLLING

ORLANDO, Fla.- Do the Eagles finally have the passing attack going? It sure seems that way. In a drive that started at their own 20, the Eagles called seven consecutive passing plays- and capitalized on a pass interference call on Ross Weaver- to get themselves to the Michigan State 11-yard line, but they had to settle for a 28-yard Steve Aponavicius field goal. Still, for the first time all night, Matt Ryan looked like he had established an offensive rhythym, so this bodes well for BC.

Michigan State 13, BC 17
5:10 remaining in the 3rd quarter

SPARTANS STRIKE FIRST

ORLANDO, Fla.- BC needs to find a way to stay in this game without Jamie Silva- especially because the Spartans are quickly realizing that the Eagles cannot stop the run, so there's no need to go airborne anymore. After BC couldn't score on the first drive of the half, the Spartans ran all over the BC defense, accumulating 30 yards on the ground and three straight first downs. The tandem of Jehuu Caulcrick and Javon Ringer powered Michigan State into the red zone, but the Spartans couldn't get a touchdown out of a 1st & goal situation from the nine. Instead, they settled for a 23-yard Brett Swenson field goal to pull within a point.

Michigan State 13, BC 14
8:21 remaining in the 3rd quarter

HALFTIME: BC LEADS, 14 TO 10

ORLANDO, Fla.- Somehow, the Eagles came out of this half with a lead- but none of it can be attributed to their offense. BC's defense- namely, safety Jamie Silva- is keeping them in this game right now. Michigan State, despite being without two key defensive players, doesn't look like it's having any trouble making Matt Ryan uncomfortable and the pass rush is proving extremely effective.
The Eagles came out looking very confused and extremely- bored? Michigan State got a touchdown in the first two minutes on a Brian Hoyer pass to Kellen Davis, and BC was forced into a three-and-out. Matt Ryan could not find his receivers, and the offensive line wasn't holding up for him. The Eagles looked even worse in their second possession, when two consecutive penalties crushed any hopes they had of a scoring drive. But the momentum shifted when Silva recorded his first interception, which he returned the 38-yard line. But BC came up empty and had to punt- again.
The Eagles defense continued playing damage control for the offense, recovering a fumbled snap at the Michigan State 11-yard line on the next play, which finally set the Eagles up for a score: a short pass from Ryan to tight end Jon Loyte.
BC got into a groove after that, holding the Spartans scoreless on their next drive and then scoring for the second consecutive drive. This time, Ryan connected with Rich Gunnell for a 29-yard hookup with just under nine minutes remaining in the half to take a 14-7 lead.
The special teams woes for the Eagles continued later in the quarter, when a Johnny Ayers punt went just 12 yards and allowed the Spartans to take over at the Eagles' 30, but BC's defense held Michigan State to a field goal. On the Eagles' next drive, Ryan stumbled again, throwing a pick to Eric Gordon- but up popped Silva on the very next play, trading an interception for an interception. He singlehandedly saved the Eagles at least 10-maybe 14-points in the half.
Ryan finished the half with just 115 passing yards, and leading rusher Andre Callender had just 16. Rich Gunnell came up big again with 55 yards for the Eagles, while on the Spartans' side, QB Brian Hoyer had just 47 yards and two picks.
Obviously, this hasn't been an offensive battle. Neither teams' gunslingers played particularly well, and the defenses are holding down the fort for both sides. In the second half, Ryan and Callender need to get their acts together; Michigan State needs to maintain the defensive pressure they displayed in the first half. It's a close game now, and it should stay that way into the next period.

THE SILVA SHOW

ORLANDO, Fla.- Just when BC seems to have its act together, the momentum swings back to the Spartans when Eric Gordon picks off Matt Ryan on 3rd & 2 with a minute and a half left in the half. But on the next play, Silva comes up huge and registers his second pick of the game, then struts out of bounds. You wonder why the kid is an All American; he may be singlehandedly keeping BC in this right now.

Michigan State 10, BC 14
1:24 remaining in 2nd quarter

SPECIAL TEAMS WOES REAR UGLY HEAD

In a mess of a play following a BC three-and-out, normally solid Eagles punter Johnny Ayers muffs one, which sails out of bounds at the BC 30. Luckily for the Eagles, Michigan State must settle for a 37-yard field goal by Brett Swenson to pull within four.

Michigan State 10, BC 14
2:17 remaining in 2nd quarter

MAYBE BC FANS DO TRAVEL

Despite the fact that Boston College didn't sell all of their allotted tickets for the game, the Eagles' side of the stadium seems pretty packed. Maybe the BC fans are just quieter than Michigan State fans.

FLYING HIGH

ORLANDO, Fla.- BC opens the second half with a great drive, spearheaded by Ryan's passing game. With Callender getting virtually no yardage, Ryan had to resort to his receivers- and his own legs. On 2nd & 11 from the Eagles 47, Ryan rolled to his right and, facing an open field, ran for a gain of 12. Five plays later, he connected with as-of-late-superstar receiver Rich Gunnell for a 29-yard bomb of a touchdown pass to lift the Eagles to a 14-7 lead. BC is in the zone now, and the Spartans look lost.

Michigan State 7, BC 14
8:54 remaining in the 2nd quarter

SHOWING A LITTLE LIFE

ORLANDO, Fla.- All-American safety Jamie Silva provides a small spark for the Eagles when he picks off Brian Hoyer in the end zone on third & 8 from the 19-yard line. He returned it up the sideline to the 38, but the tandem of Ryan and Andre Callender got nothing on the next possession. Three-and-out, Michigan State ball again. The Eagles need to get something going on offense or this could be a long night for them and their defense.

NO FOCUS

ORLANDO, Fla.- BC continues to look sloppy: after stopping the Spartans on fourth down and taking over at their own 35, the Eagles suffer back-to-back penalties (intentional grounding on Ryan, false start on Gosder Cherilus) which leaves them with a 2nd-and-long situation at their own 26. Ayers punts it away two plays later.

Michigan State 7, BC 0
6:49 remaining in the 1st quarter

SPARTAN POWER

ORLANDO, Fla.- So much for coming out fired up: after kicker Steve Aponavicius submits a rare great kick, the Eagles' lackadaisical defense allows a 79-yard return to Devin Thomas, which sets up an 18-yard touchdown pass from Brian Hoyer to tight end Kellen Davis within the first two minutes of the game. Matt Ryan comes up empty on the Eagles' first drive and BC is forced into a three-and-out. The Spartans appear much more pumped up than BC.

Michigan State 7, Boston College 0

BATTLE OF THE FANS

ORLANDO, Fla.- As the buses made their way into the Citrus Bowl, there appeared to be about five times as many Michigan State fans present than Boston College fans. Then, during warm-ups, every time the Spartans stepped on or off the field, the crowd erupted; when the Eagles emerged later, they got booed. This could end up seeming like a Michigan State home game, which surely will not do much to dispute the notion that the Eagles don't get better bowl bids because their fans don't travel well.

Champs Sports Bowl Preview

ORLANDO, Fla.- No, the Champs Sports Bowl isn't a BCS bowl, and there may not appear to be much on the line for Boston College (11-3) or Michigan State (7-5), but there is. The Eagles boast 17 fifth-year seniors who will enter today's match-up looking to get a win out of their last college football experience; the Spartans are heading into their first postseason appearance in four years. There's no "We wish we were somewhere else" mentality at the Citrus Bowl today- both of these squads are playing to win.
The Eagles, who finished second behind Virginia Tech in the Atlantic Coast Conference this season, are favored by 4 1/2, due in large part to their bona fide superstar of a quarterback, Matt Ryan. Heralded to be the best available quarterback in the 2008 NFL Draft, Ryan has been the backbone of the Eagles offense this year, and through injuries and disappointments, he has had an unfair load of expectations resting on his shoulders- but he has handled them remarkably well, throwing for 28 touchdowns and accumulating 4,258 yards on the season. Offensively, the other major factor in the Eagles' success has been in the hands of running back Andre Callender. While Ryan is capable of lighting up the field with his passing game, the Eagles will also need to establish the running game as early and as often as possible in order to put up major points. And, for a little extra motivation, with a win today Boston College will extend the country's longest active bowl winning streak to eight.
Michigan State finished eighth in the Big 10 and won just three conference games, but the Spartans lost all five of their games by a combined 28 points. First-year coach Mark Dantonio achieved success in terms of merely getting his team to the postseason, but suspensions will doubtlessly hurt the Spartans in Orlando. One of their most significant defensive players, leading pass rusher Jonal Saint-Dic, was ruled academically ineligible for today's game, and linebacker SirDarean Adams was axed due to suspension. Not only does Michigan State have to find away to stop Matt Ryan, but now they have to do it without the guys who gave them the best shot at doing so. Still, this game figures to be a close one, and most likely an offensive battle.

December 01, 2007

Tech Goes Up

JACKSONVILLE, Fl. - Eddie Royal's __-yard touchdown reception from Sean Glennon - Glennon's third scoring pass of the game - has the Hokies up seven, 23-16, with 7:12 left to play in Jacksonville.

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Fifteen Minutes to Miami

JACKSONVILLE, Fl. - After a scoreless 3rd quarter that saw just 91 yards of combined offense for both teams, the ACC Championship game will be decided by the final quarter with the score still tied 16-16.

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Halftime in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fl. - It's been a back and forth half in Jacksonville, and it ends the way it started: tied up, at 16-16.

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First downs proving key

JACKSONVILLE, Fl. - Matt Ryan and BC have been moving the ball all game, but it's been a differential on third down that has kept the game close.

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Tech Ties It Up

JACKSONVILLE, Fl. - Another Sean Glennon touchdown, an ACC Championship game record, tied the game up heading into halftime.

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Ryan TD, but Beamerball picks up 3

JACKSONVILLE, Fl. - Matt Ryan might not be the fastest quarterback in the country, and not even the fastest on the field today, but he may be the toughest. Ryan's 16-yard touchdown scramble through several Tech defenders was his second rushing touchdown on the season.

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Tech Strikes Back

JACKSONVILLE, Fl. - Virginia Tech got back within three points, 10-7, thanks to a 5-yard fade from Sean Glennon to Josh Morgan, his second touchdown in an ACC Championship game.

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Finally, a field goal for BC

JACKSONVILLE, Fl. - Steve Aponavicius connected on his second field goal attempt from 37 yards after a 43-yard BC drive that included a scrambling play by Matt Ryan to convert a fourth down.

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Silva Steal

JACKSONVILLE, Fl. - In what looked more like a basketball steal than a play on the football field, BC safety Jamie Silva stole the ball out of quarterback Tyrod Taylor's hands and returned it for a slam dunk 51-yards into the end zone.

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Beamerball Strikes Early

JACKSONVILLE, Fl. - Matt Ryan completed five of his first seven to drive BC down to the Tech 18 yard line, but BC's kicking woes continued with a blocked Steve Aponavicius kick. Beamerball struck again, with Nekos Brown blocking his second career kick.

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Orange Bowl berth at stake in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fl. - Five weeks ago, Boston College's Matt Ryan broke the hearts of Hokie Nation with two touchdowns in the final 4:11 of a rain-soaked game in Blacksburg, Va.

Fast forward to sunny Jacksonville, Fl. today and the same two teams are back for a rematch in the ACC Championship game.

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November 11, 2007

Maryland-Boston College post-game wrap

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - It was a tombstone game for the Maryland football team.

No, not one signifying the death of the Terrapins' season. Instead, the win over No. 8 Boston College means the Terps get to add another tombstone outside of their practice field, a tradition everytime Maryland beats a top-10 team.

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November 10, 2007

Final score: Maryland 42, Boston College 35

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Final score: Maryland 42, Boston College 35. Talk about a shocker.

The yellow-jacketed security guards were no match for the herd of students rushing the field to celebrate with the Terrapins.

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BC scores; too little, too late?

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Boston College has scored, to cut its deficit to 14.

But you have to wonder, with just 7:26 remaining, is there enough time for the Eagles to score twice, while stopping Maryland.

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Who are these Terps?

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Maryland, with its 4-5 record, 1-4 conference record and season-long offensive slump, has exploded.

And that is an understatement.

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Speedy turtle gives Terps bigger lead

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Da'Rel Scott, Maryland's fastest player, just took a screen pass 57 yards on the first play of the Terps' latest drive.

The Terps now lead 34-21 and are completely outclassing Boston College, from offense to defense to coaching.

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He's having a Goode game

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Jason Goode is having the best game of his life.

The senior tight end caught his second touchdown pass of the night, adding on to his career high of receptions (six and counting...).

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Eagles soar into lead

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Boston College put together its best drive of the game, which culminated in a three-yard touchdown pass.

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Upset alert at halftime

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - OK, now we're officially on an upset alert, as Maryland has taken a 20-14 lead over No. 8 Boston College into halftime.

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Ratings dud? Ha!

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Who thinks ABC was among those crying after Florida State knocked off BC last weekend? I sure do.

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What the heck is going on over here?

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Apparently both defenses didn't feel like showing up for the first hour of this game.

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Not exactly a Hesiman kind of pass...

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Eagles QB Matt Ryan inexplicably threw a pass right to Maryland defensive lineman Dre Moore deep inside Boston College territory.

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All squared

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Maryland's defense held Boston College, but a roughing the punter penalty gave the Eagles a second chance.

And Heisman hopeful Matt Ryan took advantage - Ryan needed just five plays to get the Eagles on the board.

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Terps strike first

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - No one saw this coming. Maryland just drove 76 yards in 2:10 to take a 7-0 lead on No. 8 Boston College

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An ominous sign

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Uh oh.

If there were ever a foreshadowing incident, it just happened during the pre-game introductions.

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If only BC hadn't lost last week...

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Greetings from Byrd Stadium, on the campus of the University of Maryland. We're about 60 minutes away from kickoff between the No. 8-ranked Boston College Eagles (8-1, 4-1 ACC) and Maryland Terrapins (4-5, 1-4).

It's too bad BC lost last week or else it'd likely be No. 1 with a victory here tonight, given Ohio State's loss today. All that would have done is add to the Boston-area's stranglehold on the professional sporting world as we know it.

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November 04, 2007

Dashed hopes for BC, big win for FSU

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - For 59 minutes, Chestnut Hill felt like Blacksburg. Boston College was down ten and the ball was in Matt Ryan's hands.

First, a one yard touchdown to Ryan Purvis. Then, Ryan took control of the offense at the BC seven-yard line, the rain-soaked fans in Alumni Stadium almost assuming their quarterback would pull out a victory like he had done against Virginia Tech.

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Another unbeaten falls

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - For the briefest of moments, it looked like Matt Ryan might lead BC to a miraculous comeback for the second straight week. But Matty Ice ran out of magic with 1:10 to play, tossing an interception to Geno Hayes who scampered 38 yards for the final touchdown.

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November 03, 2007

BC not saying die

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - If Matt Ryan is starting his comeback again this week, he's doing a bit early. Ryan connected with Ryan Purvis on a 1-yard touchdown after a 48-yard pass to Rich Gunnell put BC at the 6-yard line.

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Bowden goes big

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - So much for playing it safe. With a three point lead, Bobby Bowden let Drew Weatherford loose, and two plays later his quarterback repaid him with a 42-yard touchdown to Da'Cody Fagg.

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Back within three

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - A 38-yard pass from Matt Ryan to Brandon Robinson set up BC at the 6-yard line, but the Eagles could only get a field goal out on their third trip to the red zone.

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Getting tougher for BC

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - Gary Cismesia turned excellent field position into a 6-point Seminole lead with a 30-yard field goal. A BC punt from the goal line put FSU on the 40-yard line, and Cismesia converted after a short drive.

Another Missed Field Goal

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - We've had four field goal attempts and three misses, the latest a 47-yarder wide left again off the foot of FSU's Gary Cismesia.

The kickers appear to be the one's most affected by today's wet and windy weather, as the gusts continue to play with the ball. They also might be this game's most important players, as it looks like neither offense is ready to take over this game.

Matty Ice strikes back

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - Note to BC opponents: don't go up 10-0 on the Eagles.

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Another Ryan INT

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - Maybe Matt Ryan is waiting more late-game heroics, but he hasn't done much to justify his Heisman trophy candidacy or BC's No. 2 ranking, throwing his second pick of the game, this one to FSU's Tony Carter.

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Nothing pretty in Boston

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - For the second time in two weeks, Boston College will have to overcome a scoreless first half to keep its No. 2 ranking.

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FSU on top

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - The BC defense was the first to crack, and Drew Weatherford took advantage.

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And Now...Wide Right

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - Minutes after Florida State missed a field goal wide left, BC's Steve Aponavicius returned the favor, mirroring FSU's miss by hitting a 32-yarder wide right.

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Wide Left

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - The Seminoles had a chance to go up on No. 2 Boston College, but their history of errant field goal attempt.

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Sloppy start in Boston

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - The weather is already getting to both teams in Boston - even the Heisman trophy candidate.

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Wet and Wild

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - Last week, Matt Ryan led Boston College to a stunning rain-soaked win in Blacksburg. This week, he'll need to fight through more heavy rain, high winds, and temps dropping into the 30s if he hopes to keep No. 2 BC's ACC and national championship hopes alive against Florida State.

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October 26, 2007

Boston College Avoids Jinx of BCS #2, Wins 14-10

BLACKSBURG, Va – For 56 minutes of the game between Boston College and Virginia Tech Matt Ryan looked less than Heisman worthy.  But with 4:16 on the game clock and his team down 10 points he engineered two touchdown drives to steal a victory from the Hokies in Lane Stadium.

“Wow! How about that guys?” said Eagles coach Jeff Jagodzinski of the victory. “It was something else. Probably the best win I’ve ever been around.”

Tech took the lead in the second quarter on an eight-yard touchdown pass from Sean Glennon to Eddie Royal.  The Hokies added a field goal in the third to stretch the lead to 10.

The game looked all but locked up in the fourth quarter when Tech’s D.J. Parker picked off Ryan with six minutes left to play.  But the Eagles would not go away and on their next possession Ryan drove his team 92 yards for the score.

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October 25, 2007

Ryan Wills BC Past Hokies in Final Seconds

BLACKSBURG, Va - Down two scores with four minutes to play in the fourth quarter, Boston College’s Matt Ryan picked the right time to start playing like a Heisman candidate.  First he engineered a two minute, 92-yard touchdown drive to bring the Eagles to within three points. BC recovered an onsides kick attempt and Ryan went back to work.  Like clockwork he continuously put the ball in his receivers’ hands for first downs, punctuating the game with a third down touchdown pass to Andre Callender with just eleven seconds on the clock.

Final Score: Boston College 14, Virginia Tech 10

More on this game after the post-game press conference.

Penalty Leads To Another Hokie Score

BLACKSBURG, Va – A questionable pass interference call at the five-yard-line negated an interception by Boston College’s Jamie Silva. Both he and Virginia Tech’s Josh Morgan battled on the ground while the ball was in flight, but it was unclear who initiated the contact.

Tech capitalized on the play by moving into field goal range and trusting Jud Dunlevy’s leg to a 44-yard field goal.  The kick was true and the Hokies go up by a score of 10 to 0.

Scoring Drive: 5 plays, 55 yds, 44yd FG, TOP 3:14

Puntfest 2007

BLACKSBURG, Va – The first half offensive struggles for Boston College continue into the second as the Eagles turn the ball over on their opening possession. Virginia Tech cornerback Brandon Flowers dove in front of a Matt Ryan pass, intercepting the ball at the BC 42-yard line.

Tech could not capitalize on the opportunity and went three and out on its next possession. From there neither team has been able to mount much offense.  It’s been a battle of field position all night with both sides accounting for 14 punts so far.

On a side note, the rains have subsided considerably to a light mist.  The field itself appears to be in good shape.

Fumbled Snap  Leads To Missed Opportunity

BLACKSBURG, Va – Boston College squandered a fumble recovery in Tech territory by attempting to go for it on fourth and 15.  Coach Jeff Jagodzinski rolled the dice and came up short as the Tech defenders burst through the line, forcing Matt Ryan to throw the ball away.  Had the Eagles elected to kick, Steve Aponavicius would have been called on to kick a 41-yard field goal.  His career long is 45 yards.

The Hokies go into the half leading by a score of 7 to 0.  This snaps a 53-game steak for Boston College of scoring in the first half.

Halfitme Stats
Passing

  • VT – Glennon: 7-12, 66 yds, TD
  • BC – Ryan: 9-21, 54 yds

Rushing

  • VT – Ore: 9 att, 58 yds
  • BC – Whitworth: 3 att, 18 yds

Receptions

  • VT – Royal: 2, 29 yds, TD
  • BC – Loyte: 2, 8 yds

Hokies Strike First

BLACKSBURG, Va –   Just when it looked like Virginia Tech’s offensive line issues were settled, lineman Ryan Shuman went down in the second quarter with a leg injury.  On the very next play quarterback Sean Glennon was sacked while attempting to hand the ball off.

Instead of folding under the pressure, Glennon responded by connecting with former Westfield High School teammate Eddie Royal for an eight yard touchdown.  Royal dragged a foot as he stretched his body over the left sideline to make the catch.  Officials conferred before signaling the score.  Replay did not provide enough evidence to overturn the call.

The Hokies are 120-29-1 under Frank Beamer when scoring first.

Scoring Drive: 16 plays, 91 yards, TOP 7:13
VT 7
BC 0

Noise Not A Factor?

BLACKSBURG, Va – Boston College Coach Jeff Jagodzinski claimed that the noise would not be a factor in tonight’s game.  Still, the Eagles were forced to burn a timeout on its first possession to avoid a delay of game penalty.

Despite torrential rain, the stands look about 95% full.  Nearly everyone in the stands is sporting some sort of wet weather gear with the majority of them in bright orange.

Neither team has been able to get much going to far with Virginia Tech punting twice and Boston College nearly having passes intercepted on both of it’s drives.

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Glennon Starts For The Hokies Amidst Downpour

BLACKSBURG, Va - The rains are still coming down as both teams take the field.  Virginia Tech doesn’t think that field conditions will be an issue tonight.  Worsham Field consists of 4,600 4x4 foot trays sodded with Bermuda grass above an asphalt surface.  Irrigation lines and a vacuum surface beneath the field can shuttle away up to 16 inches of water per hour.  The system has been proven in worse conditions, holding up well in the 2003 matchup against Texas A&M during Hurricane Isabel.

Redshirt-junior quarterback Sean Glennon led the Hokies’ first drive of the game, filling in for the injured freshman Tyrod Taylor.  Tech gained fouryards before going three and out.

Glennon started all of 2006 for the Hokies and was the starter at the beginning of this season before being pulled in week two against LSU.

In limited action this season Glennon has completed 48 of 76 passes for 583 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions.

BCS Battle in Blacksburg

BLACKSBURG, Va – The Hokies play host to the Eagles tonight in a waterlogged Lane Stadium.  The rains have been coming down for the past 24 hours and it doesn’t look like things will dry up any time soon.

Boston College (7-0, 3-0 ACC) comes in ranked no. 2 in the BCS while Virginia Tech (6-1, 3-0 ACC) sits at no. 8.

Traditionally, the Hokies have owned Thursday night games on ESPN, racking up 13 wins in 15 appearances. Boston College accounts for the two losses, including last year’s 3-22 debacle in Chestnut Hill, Mass. Virginia Tech leads the series all-time with nine victories in 13 games.

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October 13, 2007

Five straight over ND...now, is BC legit?

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Head coach Jeff Jagodzinski had just watched his team win its fifth straight game against Notre Dame and its seventh this season. But apparently no one wanted to talk about his Boston College Eagles.

"How about some questions about our guys?" Jagodzinski said, after answering five straight questions about Notre Dame players. "Our guys played pretty good tonight."

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Touchdown, then not, for Notre Dame

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Having a first down and a fourth-down touchdown called back on back-to-back plays is never easy. But for Notre Dame it may have ended any chance of upsetting No. 4 BC.

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I-90 Awash in Maroon and Gold

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Boston College fans, far from fanatics, are notorious for showing up late in the first quarter, if at all, for never traveling to bowl games, and for general lethargy when it comes to putting effort into supporting its perennially successful athletic program.

But if there's one game you can guarantee every Boston Irish Catholic is willing to get up for, its Notre Dame.

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Irish holding on to hope

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Some silly BC penalties and a big fourth-down conversion have Notre Dame within reach of BC, despite a 13-point deficit. Evan Sharpley has looked solid aside from several dropped passes, and now has ND threatening.

More breathing room...for now

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Matt Ryan connected on three passes, including a heave while being decked that barely fell into the arms of Kevin Challenger, who snuck in to put BC up 27-14.

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No. 4 in Trouble

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Three minutes ago, Boston College looked like it would be the sixth team this season to hang a lopsided loss on Notre Dame. But with 8:52 left, an interception returned for a touchdown has the Irish right back in it.

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Sharpley in, ND gets in end zone

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - One Jimmy Clausen second-half pass was enough for Charlie Weis. The coach put in backup Evan Sharpley and all of a struggling Notre Dame offense was downright efficient on a 64-yard drive, ending in a 19-yard pass to Asaph Schwapp.

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Callender for Heisman?

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - There was some enthusiasm in Notre Dame Stadium as the second half began. A BC three-and-out. A poor punt. All the Irish needed now in this battle of Catholic colleges was an offensive resurrection and maybe an upset of No. 4 BC would not be out of the question.

One tipped pass later, and that hope is fading.

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No Surprises in South Bend

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - After BC linebacker Jolonn Dunbar leveled a sliding Jimmy Clausen, Charlie Weis was livid. "How could there not be a penalty on a hit like that? What play was the ref watching?"

Sadly for Weis, those aren't the only questions he needs answered after a first half that saw his team held to just 79 yards and fall down 13-0.

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Knee Leads to TD

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - It started with a knee, and it ended with an inch.

Those were the odd bookends to BC's latest touchdown drive, putting the Eagles on top of Notre Dame 13-0.

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Kicking Woes

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - One of the biggest wins in BC history - not to mention the biggest losses in Irish history - came on the foot of BC kicker David Gordon when he knocked through last-second field goal to knock of No. 1 Notre Dame in 1993.

But the kicking game isn't working quite as well for the Eagles today.

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O-Line U Coming Back

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Matt Ryan is the star, the running backs have piled up huge numbers so far, and the defense has given up almost nothing.

The unsung heroes thus far have been the five guys up front for the BC offense. Matt Ryan has rarely had a Notre Dame defender within two yards of him, and the holes in the running game have been gaping.

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Quick start for BC

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - BC fans worried about a letdown for the No. 4 ranked Eagles got some early relief in the form of a 52-yard run and a quick 6-0 start.

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Revenge in South Bend?

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - In 1993, a last-second Boston College field goal ended then-No. 1 Notre Dame's undefeated season. In 2002, BC came into Notre Dame stadium against yet another undefeated Irish squad, then ranked No. 4, and handed the Irish a 14-7 loss.

But in 2007, it's Boston College that is ranked No. 4, is undefeated, and comes into South Bend as 12 point favorites.

It goes without saying that the Irish would love to return the favor today that the Eagles have handed them so many times in the past.

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September 08, 2007

Head held low for Tom O'Brien

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - With 10:46 left in the fourth quarter, Tom O'Brien couldn't look up from his play-calling sheet. For close to a minute - and what seemed like an eternity - O'Brien kept his eyes down, his face hidden underneath his white NC State cap.

The 30-10 score on the board that would eventually become 37-17 had much to do with O'Brien's dejected posture, but the mocking noise from the Boston College student section certainly didn’t help:

"Tom O'Brien. Tom O'Brien."

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Somebody Check Harrison Beck's Eyes

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass - 316 yards on 25 of 47 passing isn't too bad. It starts to look worse when it comes with five interceptions.

Alumni Stadium is starting to empty - even as the sun sets, it's still pushing 90 degrees - after Harrison Beck's fifth interception, his second in the red zone. Jamie Silva snagged his second pick and appeared to stick a fork in Tom O'Brien's attempt at a happy homecoming.

The Wolfpack won last year's match-up with BC thanks on a last-minute touchdown. It'll take even more of a miracle to come back now.

Picture Perfect

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass - Touchdown drives don't look much prettier. Matt Ryan was perfect through the air, Andre Callender racked up 61 yards, and L.V. Whitworth finished off the nine-play drive with a goal line score.

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Kicking Woes

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass - One thing that hasn't changed under new Boston College head coach Jeff Jagodzinski is that the Eagles can't kick.

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Piling Up

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass - Boston College may not beat NC State, but the Wolfpack sure seem willing to hand over the victory. If three interceptions in the first half weren't enough, Kevin Challenger forced a fumble on a botched punt, and three plays and 10-yards later Andre Callender was in the end zone to put BC up 23-10 (the extra point was missed - more on that shortly).

There seems to be a feeling in the stadium that the Eagles might be able to step on their former coach's throat right now. BC's defense forced a three-and-out, and appear to have worked out at least some of the first half holes. If Ryan ever gets on track (he's just 3 of 9 in the half), watch out.

Hot and Heavy

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass - A trio of Massachusetts' finest escorted Tom O'Brien on and off the field at halftime, shielding him from the audible boos (thus far no projectiles) in the student section. But it's a trio of interceptions that have been the bigger issue today, with NC State's Harrison Beck throwing all three at key times.

With BC up 17-10, this game could go either way. Here are a few things to watch for as we get set to kick off.

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Three and Out

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass - Harrison Beck has put up some big passing numbers in the first half. Unfortunately, one of the numbers - 3 - is in the interception category.

All three have come at significant times. The first two led to BC touchdowns - the second returned 14-yards by Jolonn Dunbar - and the latest one was picked off in the end zone by Taji Morris with the Wolfpack in the red zone.

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Matty Ice Cold

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan - nicknamed "Matty Ice" - looked Heisman-worthy last week with 408 yards and 5 touchdowns against Wake Forest. Today, he's looked downright pedestrian.

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So much for variety

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - Harrison Beck has thrown for 130 yards. Darrell Blackman has caught 128 of those. It's pretty obvious who Beck's favorite target has been, connecting with Blackman on six of his seven passes, three more than all of last week's game. The six catches put the senior into NC State's top 10 career receivers.

The lone non-Beck to Blackman connection: six yards to Jamelle Eugene.

Turnover City

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - We've got our third interception of the game, and BC has the lead again.

Jolonn Dunbar picked off his first pass of the year and scampered 14-yards untouched into the end zone to put BC up 14-10.

It's a good thing Dunbar got the score, because the BC offense has been stagnant with just 33 yards since its opening scoring drive. Beck has looked sharper than Ryan at times today, but his two interceptions have led to all 14 of BC's points.

O'Brien Strikes Back

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass - Who said Tom O'Brien was conservative? It hasn't shown so far, with two long passes setting up a 2-yard scramble into the end zone by Harrison Beck.

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Hot in Boston

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass - Boston in September is typically full of cool Cape Cod breezes, but not today. The temperature on the field turf in Alumni Stadium at game time topped out at 126.

But the Boston College team may be even hotter than the field.

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Welcome Back

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass - Jamie Silva didn't wait long to get some revenge on his old ballcoach. The Boston College safety picked off Harrison Beck just across midfield and returned it down to the NC State 30. It was Silva's first interception, and the fifth for the Eagles in two games.

Coincidence?

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass - As Tom O'Brien led his new team onto his old field, boos and cheers could be heard from a half-full Alumni Stadium (BC fans are notorious for being late). But if the reception from the fans was mixed, the BC marching band got a shot in, "accidentally" marching across O'Brien's path, forcing the coach to zig-zag through.

Coincidence? Maybe.

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Look who's back

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass - Players, not coaches, win games. But let’s be honest, the big story line in today’s Boston College vs. NC State match-up – and possibly a big factor in the outcome – is the man coaching his 62nd game in Alumni Stadium, but his first on the visiting sideline.

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