Sunday, November 11, 2007

Wounded Terps snap No. 8 Boston College, 42-35

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) -- Judging by their performance against crippled Maryland, it's hard to believe Boston College was unbeaten and ranked second in the nation just two weeks ago.

Playing against a struggling team mired in a three-game losing streak, the No. 8 Eagles yielded 472 yards and five touchdowns in a 42-35 loss Saturday night.

It was the most points Boston College has allowed in an Atlantic Coast Conference game since joining the league in 2005. In addition, the nation's top-ranked rushing defense (58 yards per game) surrendered a season-high 135 yards, even though Maryland was without its leading ground gainer.

Had they not lost one week ago to Florida State, the Eagles (8-2, 4-2) probably would have been playing for a chance to be No. 1 because top-ranked Ohio State lost earlier Saturday.

It's hopes for a national championship are over, but Boston College can still earn a berth in the ACC championship game with a win over Clemson next week.

Matt Ryan, who threw three interceptions against Florida State, went 33-for-56 for 421 yards and three touchdowns, but was intercepted twice.

The injury-plagued Terrapins (5-5, 2-4) played with a makeshift offensive line and without leading rusher Keon Lattimore (hamstring). Maryland was also without second-leading receiver Danny Oquendo (knee), and standout linebacker Erin Henderson played despite sitting out practice all week with a sore back.

But the Terps received a solid performance from Chris Turner, who went 21-for-27 for 337 yards and three touchdowns. Knowing it would be difficult to pound the ball inside, Maryland relied heavily on the passing game, often throwing deep and spreading the Boston College defense with quick tosses to the outside.

That enabled Lance Ball to rush 32 times for 109 yards and a score. Jason Goode caught two touchdown throws and had six catches, matching his total in Maryland's first nine games.

The Terrapins let a 42-21 lead dwindle to seven points when Ryan threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Purvis with 52 seconds left, but the subsequent onside kick failed to go the required 10 yards, giving Maryland possession and the victory.

At game's end, the fans rushed the field to celebrate the Terps' second win this season over a top-10 team. Maryland beat then-No. 10 Rutgers on Sept. 29.

Down 20-14 at halftime, Boston College took its first lead by opening the third quarter with a march that ended with Ryan throwing a 3-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Challenger.

Turner promptly passed for all the yardage in an 82-yard drive that ended with a 7-yarder to Goode for a 27-21 lead.

After Boston College's first punt of the game, Turner flipped a screen pass to Da'Rel Scott, who sprinted down the left sideline for a 57-yard score.

It became 42-21 when Maryland wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey ran for a 37-yard touchdown on a reverse with 14:21 left.

Ryan threw a touchdown pass to Purvis with 7:31 to go, but the Eagles couldn't complete the comeback after trailing at halftime in a third straight game.

Only minutes after bidding farewell to 15 seniors before the final home game, Maryland launched a crisp opening drive that covered 76 yards for a 7-0 lead. Turner completed three passes for 66 yards, including a 43-yarder to Heyward-Bey and a 10-yard touchdown toss to Goode.

The Terrapins then forced a punt, but a roughing-the-kicker penalty provided Boston College with a second chance at the Maryland 40. Ryan completed a 29-yard pass to Rich Gunnell to set up a 1-yard touchdown run by James McCluskey.

On the Eagles' next possession, however, a mistake by Ryan paved the way for the Terps to go up 14-7. Following the first career interception by Maryland senior tackle Dre Moore, Ball ran in from the 5, only the fifth rushing touchdown against BC this season.

McCluskey then capped an 86-yard drive by scoring from the 1 on the first play of the second quarter.

Maryland answered with a field goal before Boston College's Steve Aponavicius shanked a 34-yard attempt.

Source:; Photo Credit: Gene Galin (For more