In the end, nothing bothered Boston College on Saturday. Not a 2-7 record coming into their last home game of the season. Not an offense which was held to minus two yards in the second half of the game. And not a North Carolina State team -- led by former BC coach Tom O'Brien -- that was coming off a 13-0 shut out against North Carolina.
No, all of it worked for Coach Frank Spaziani's Boston College team which jumped to a 14-3 halftime lead against the Wolfpack and then held on for a 14-10 victory at Alumni Stadium.
"Obviously we are very happy to get a victory, it wasn't pretty but we made some plays,'' said Spaziani. "We made a play at the end and we won.''
The play at the end was a tipped pass by BC defensive end Max Holloway on fourth down as NC State appeared to be moving in for what would have been the game winning score.
BC started the day in an aggressive mode, needing only five plays to march 66 yards for the opening touchdown. The key play in the drive was a 43-yard pass from Chase Rettig to wide receiver Alex Amidon which put the Eagles at the NC State nine yard line. Two plays later, quarterback Josh Bordner, filling in as the designated running threat, went up the middle for a three-yard touchdown run to give BC a quick 7-0 lead.
Now it was the Wolfpack and quarterback Mike Glennon's turn to put on an offensive show. Glennon was not as spectacular or as quick as Rettig and the BC offense. Completing seven of eight passes, Glennon took the Wolfpack on a 14 play, 61 yard drive that ended with a 32-yard field goal by freshman kicker Niklas Sade, The score cut the Eagle lead to 7-3 in a rapidly moving first quarter.
The tone of the game was definitely offensive in nature. Whether either defensive unit would be able to make the necessary adjustments became the key question.
BC was moving again when Rettig threw into double coverage and came up empty at the BC goal line when cornerback David Amerson picked off his tenth pass of the season, taking a ball intended for Johnathan Coleman and returning it to the BC 19 yard line.
As the first quarter ended, BC was ahead and in control -- although not decisively.
Bordner was back in for the Eagles' first offensive series of the second quarter, which started on the NC State 46. He brought the Eagles to the NC State 24 before a 41-yard field goal attempt by Nate Freese sailed wide left.
With Rettig back in the game, the Eagles went smoothly from their 41 into the end zone, ending the 10 play, 59 yard drive with a 17-yard TD pass to Colin Larmond Jr that increased the BC lead to 14-3 at halftime.
The Eagles received a scare on the first series of the third quarter when middle linebacker Luke Kuechly injured his left elbow and missed a few plays as he was treated on the sideline But Kuechly, who had a 31 game streak of double digit tackles, was back on the field for the next series.
Glennon's scrambling ability brought the Wolfpack into the BC red zone on their next series as a seven play, 63 yard scoring drive ended with a three-yard touchdown run by James Washington that cut the BC lead to 14-10 with 7:18 left in the third period.
Neither team could generate any as the game moved into the fourth quarter with BC clinging to a lead that hardly looked secure.
It looked even less secure as State drove down field, reaching the BC 23 before a Glennon pass into the end zone was intercepted by Fletcher, killing the Wolpack's drive and giving the Eagles the ball back with 6:43 left.
Taking over on their own 20, BC needed to hold onto the ball and run some time off the clock. BC ran three running plays to shave two minutes off of the clock before it was forced to punt.
NC State had another chance. Starting on their own 39 with 4:27 left, Glennon steadily brought the Eagles down field, reaching the BC 27 with 1:10 and facing a fourth and five situation.
After a timeout, Glennon's pass was knocked down by Max Holloway and the Eagles had preserved their win.
- Michael Vega
- Mark Blaudschun
- Nancy Marrapese-Burrell