Eagles Advance to ACC Championship Game
Nov. 29, 2008
BOSTON (AP) - Billy Flutie, the Boston College backup quarterback and nephew of Heisman Trophy winner Doug Flutie, threw for a 9-yard touchdown on a fake field goal Saturday to lead the 20th-ranked Eagles to a spot in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game with a 28-21 victory over Maryland.
BC (9-3, 5-3 ACC) will play Virginia Tech on Saturday--the second straight year the former Big East foes will play for the ACC's spot in the Orange Bowl.
Maryland (7-5, 4-4) fell to 4-1 against ranked teams this season and into a logjam of ACC teams seeking a secondary bowl berth--the conference has 10 teams competing for nine guaranteed spots.
A sophomore who played quarterback in high school but had been a receiver, punter and kick-holder at BC, Billy Flutie had never completed a pass in college before Saturday. With BC at Maryland 9 midway through the third quarter, Flutie took the snap and rolled to his right before finding little-used tight end Jordon McMichael, who lumbered in from the 3 to make it 21-7.
Chris Turner led the Terrapins on an 11-play, 70-yard drive, converting a third-and-2 with a 23-yard pass to Emani Lee-Odai and a fourth-and-3 with a 5-yard pass to Danny Oquendo. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Turner and Oquendo connected again from 13 yards out for a touchdown that made it 21-14.
BC turned conservative and went three and out, but Maryland's Obi Egekeze missed a 36-yard field goal attempt and Robert Francois intercepted Turner and returned it 36 yards for a touchdown to give BC a 28-14 lead with 1:42 left. It's the seventh straight game in which the Eagles have gotten a touchdown from their defense or special teams.
Turner connected with Smith for an 8-yard touchdown with 14 seconds left, but the onside kick attempt went out of bounds and Boston College ran out the clock.
Rich Gunnell caught three passes for 78 yards and a touchdown, and Montel Harris ran for 116 yards on 25 carries, including 10 in a row down the stretch as BC tried to run out the clock. Dominique Davis, in his first game since starter Chris Crane sustained a season-ending broken collarbone, completed 12 of 24 passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns.
Turner completed 33 of 57 passes for 360 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions for Maryland, which had been in contention for the conference championship before losing three of their last four, including a 37-3 loss to Florida State at home last week.
Billy Flutie's father is the older brother of Doug Flutie, the BC legend who won the Heisman Trophy and led the Eagles to the Cotton Bowl after the 1984 season--the last time the school has reached a top-tier bowl. With a victory over the Hokies in Tampa next Saturday, BC would avenge last year's loss and earn its first-ever Bowl Championship Series berth.
BC took a 7-0 lead in the first when Davis hit Justin Jarvis for a 7-yard touchdown pass. Maryland tied it on its next possession, when Turner scored on a 1-yard keeper one play after hitting Torrey Smith for a 43-yard pass. Davis found Gunnell wide open in the end zone for a 45-yard touchdown that made it 14-7 with 1:05 left in the half.