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
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
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
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.