Hunt stuns BC with late TD as Syracuse wins 34-31

Terrel Hunt hit tight end Josh Parris with an 8-yard touchdown

pass with 6 seconds remaining, and Syracuse stunned Boston College

34-31 on Saturday to become eligible for the postseason for the

third time in four years.

Boston College (7-5, 4-4 ACC) had won four in a row behind star

tailback Andre Williams, the nation’s leading rusher, but he was

injured in the third quarter and did not return, finishing the game

watching from the sidelines.

It was a must-win game for (Syracuse 6-6, 4-4 ACC), and Hunt

provided the dramatic finish after the Eagles had settled for a

field goal after a late turnover.

Hunt hit Alvin Cornelius III for 14 yards before the winning

TD.

BC quarterback Chase Rettig had provided BC with the go-ahead

score with his legs, stunning the Orange with a 54-yard run. Rettig

started left and cut completely back across the field before being

tackled at the Syracuse 17. He then scored on a keeper with 7:49

left for a 28-24 lead.

The Eagles sent many Syracuse fans for the exits when BC

linebacker Steele Divitto intercepted Hunt with 2:49 left and Nate

Freese kicked a 21-yard field goal.

Syracuse had taken a 24-21 lead on Ryan Norton’s 42-yard field

goal late in the third, and he added a 44-yarder with 5:03

remaining in the game.

Something had to give in this one. Williams entered the game

with 2,073 yards rushing and Syracuse was one of three FBS teams,

along with Ohio State and Wisconsin, not to allow a 100-yard rusher

this season. Williams, who had nine 100-yard games and three

straight 200-yard games coming in, finished with 29 yards on nine

carries and scored once.

Hit hard repeatedly in the first half, Williams was hurt on a

run up the middle on the first play of the third quarter in a big

pileup that also sent Syracuse linebacker Marquis Spruill to the

sidelines.

With their star in the locker room, the Eagles tied the game at

21-all. Rettig had scrambles of 16 and 13 yards to key the drive

and hit Jake Sinkovec for a 9-yard TD.

After falling behind 7-0 in the first quarter, Syracuse

benefited from great field position to score two straight times in

the second quarter as the Orange defense repeatedly stuffed

Williams. He was held to 24 yards on eight rushing attempts in the

first half, and one of those carries was a 26-yard TD.

Despite getting pinned deep in his own territory after the BC

defense had stopped Syracuse at the 2 on fourth down, Rettig

engineered a 96-yard drive in just five plays to give BC a 7-0

lead. Standing on the back line of his own end zone, Rettig zipped

a 15-yard pass over the middle to tight end C.J. Parsons and

followed with a 55-yard completion to a wide-open Mike Naples over

the middle on the next play.

Williams, held to a yard on his first four carries and thrown

for losses on three of them by the fired-up Syracuse defense, then

scored around the left side with 1:57 left in the first.

With their season on the line, the Orange scored the next three

times they had the ball.

Syracuse finally broke through on its third trip inside the BC

20-yard line, and Hunt did the bulk of the work, rushing for 49

yards on six keepers. Facing a second-and-goal from the 1, Hunt

faked a pitch left and hit wide-open Josh Parris in the right

corner of the end zone to tie it at 7-7 early in the second.

Syracuse notched the first turnover of the game when linebacker

Cameron Lynch intercepted a Rettig pass at midfield, and George

Morris scored on a 4-yard run with 6:12 left for a 14-7 lead.

A shanked punt by Freese gave Syracuse the ball at midfield

again, and Hunt guided them to a touchdown in nine plays. Hunt hit

Jeremiah Kobena with a 17-yard pass and Durell Eskridge, the

Orange’s starting free saftey, for 19 more on a third-and-10 play

before scoring on a 1-yard run and a 21-7 lead with 70 seconds

left.

With Williams struggling, Rettig worked his magic again, rolling

right and hitting Alex Amidon for 52 yards down the left side. The

play worked once, so might as well try it again. On the next play,

Rettig hit Parsons with a throwback left for a 9-yard TD to move

the Eagles within 21-14 at halftime.