Boston College Takes Down North Carolina State, 37-17
Sept. 8, 2007
BOSTON (AP) - Boston College ruined Tom O'Brien's return to the school he coached for 10 seasons by forcing seven turnovers and keeping his new team winless with a 37-17 victory over North Carolina State on Saturday.
Harrison Beck threw five interceptions, and he and Wolfpack punter Nate Franklin each lost a fumble as BC scored 23 points following turnovers. The Eagles (2-0) scored 30 straight points after trailing 10-7.
O'Brien left last December after becoming the winningest coach in BC history. The Eagles won bowl games in each of the last six seasons, but O'Brien went to North Carolina State before last year's Meineke Car Care Bowl.
Defensive coordinator Frank Spaziani led BC to a 25-24 win over Navy in that game and his defense did an outstanding job on Saturday against O'Brien and offensive coordinator Dana Bible, who held that job at BC.
The Eagles first touchdown -- Matt Ryan's 15-yard pass to Kevin Challenger -- followed the first of Jamie Silva's two interceptions. The Eagles took a 14-10 lead on Jolonn Dunbar's 14-yard interception return.
Beck turned the ball over again on a fumble recovered by Nick Larkin with 4:39 left in the first half, setting up Steve Aponavicius' 27-yard field goal that made it 17-10.
The Wolfpack (0-2) had a chance to tie in the final minute of the half with the ball at the BC 17, but Beck threw his third interception, this one to Taji Morris in the end zone.
Beck wasn't responsible for the next turnover, although his failure to get a first down put Franklin in punting position. Franklin fumbled the snap, Brad Newman recovered at the Wolfpack 13 and Andre Callender scored on a 4-yard run for a 23-10 lead.
The Eagles ran for two touchdowns in the fourth quarter -- 1 yard by L.V. Whitworth on an 84-yard drive and 69 yards by Callender, who rushed for 158 yards.
A week earlier, Beck replaced Daniel Evans with North Carolina State trailing Central Florida 22-3 and led the Wolfpack back with two touchdown passes. But they fell short, 25-23.
A transfer from Nebraska, Beck threw for 321 yards but no touchdowns against BC.
He showed his strong arm with completions of 49 and 32 yards on a 98-yard drive that tied the game 7-7 on his 2-yard run. North Carolina State took its only lead on Steven Hauschka's 28-yard field goal late in the first quarter.
The Wolfpack did control Ryan, who was just 15-for-34 for 142 yards and one touchdown. A week earlier, he threw five touchdown passes in a 38-23 win over Wake Forest.
Behind O'Brien, on the lower facade of the upper deck, were the names of six bowl games he had won. The only other time an ACC coach left for another team in the same conference was in 1956 when Jim Tatum went from Maryland to North Carolina.