Boston College-Syracuse Final: On Saturday afternoon in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, the Boston College Eagles won their regular-season finale against the Syracuse Orange, 28-7.
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With the victory, Boston College will finish their 2014 regular season at 7-5, 4-4 in the ACC, with a bowl invitation to come shortly. This record is identical to what the Eagles did in 2013, though this team finishes just 3-4 at Alumni Stadium. Boston College has won their first home game against Syracuse since 2002, when both were members of the Big East.
On the other hand, Syracuse ends their season in Boston with a 3-9 final record.
Boston College-Syracuse Final: Game Synopsis
The contest began with a bang for the Eagles, as Myles Willis returned the opening kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown to get Boston College on the board immediately. It was Willis’s second career return touchdown.
From there, things would get quiet — very quiet. Syracuse went three-and-out, Boston College went three-and-out, Syracuse went three-and-out again, the Eagles went seven yards on a drive, Syracuse scratched out 32 yards but punted, and the Eagles went three-and-out again. Late in the first, following all the drama that ensued, Syracuse got good field position following a punt and went on a short 43-yard touchdown drive to tie the game, 7-7.
Willis, earlier the hero, fumbled on the next Boston College drive and Syracuse recovered. A play later, following a tackle on Prince Tyson-Gulley, punches were thrown and a brawl on the Syracuse sideline ensued. The Orange sideline rushed in and many on the Eagle sideline started to run over before order was restored. Syracuse DT Ryan Sloan was the only player ejected, though players on both sides were flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct. Given the massive penalties totaled against Syracuse, however, that drive went nowhere.
Moving forward, Mike Knoll would miss a 36-yard field goal as the Eagles settled inside the red zone, but the next time they touched the ball, the Eagles struck quickly, finding Sherm Alston for a 26-yard touchdown pass to give Boston College a 14-7 lead.
Syracuse’s AJ Long was intercepted on the opening drive of the second half following a badly-directed pass towards Mike Strizak. The Eagles needed only to go 30 yards for the score, which was run in by Jon Hilliman from seven yards out to give the Eagles a 21-7 lead.
The two teams would trade possessions until early in the fourth, when Tyler Rouse blasted through a hit and past the team that would not recruit him in his home region. His 42-yard run made it a 28-7 lead. Sean Duggan also intercepted a pass in his final home game. Things remained chippy for the rest of the contest, but the Eagles pointed to the scoreboard and came off with a victory.
Boston College-Syracuse Final: The Stats
Boston College had 302 yards of total offense, and just 142 rushing. Syracuse managed only 128 total yards, going 1-for-11 on third downs with only eight first downs.
Boston College dominated time of possession, holding the ball for 38:17. The Eagles were also +1 in turnovers for the day.
Tyler Murphy went 13-for-17 passing in his last Alumni Stadium game, with one touchdown. Murphy set the ACC record for rushing yards by a quarterback on Saturday, adding 20 yards on the ground. Tyler Rouse was Boston College’s leading rusher with 59.
Boston College-Syracuse Final: Bottom Line
This was an ugly game, both in terms of the play itself and some of the sportsmanship on display. Boston College was the better team and got their deserved win, but that may not be saying much as the Syracuse offense was horrible. They made the defense’s work easy, and the defense did not blow their opportunity.
Of concern was that Boston College’s offensive line had trouble against Syracuse’s defensive front seven, and as such, the run game had trouble similar to last season in Syracuse. The playcalling was also spotty when it came to the run, but if the guys are not blocking well, it might not matter what you call. It is still surprising that Boston College had to win this one through the air, and they did. Murphy had a good day in that regard.
Boston College earned a team win and did what they had to do for their seniors, who are going out on top.
Boston College-Syracuse Final: Next Up
The Eagles now await their bowl invitation; game to be played in about a month.