Defining moments - Boston College's balance bakes Terps

November 20, 2005|By DAVID GINSBURG

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Boston College brought new meaning to the term "balanced attack" in an uplifting win over Maryland.

Jolonn Dunbar scored on a 94-yard fumble return, Ray Henderson took an interception 35 yards for a touchdown, and the No. 23 Eagles overcame four turnovers in a 31-16 victory Saturday.

Boston College got two touchdowns apiece from its offense and defense.

"Two defensive touchdowns is a really good job," Eagles quarterback Matt Ryan said. "They played awesome. We're a team. If the defense is going to make plays, we're all for it."

Besides getting their first scores of the season, the Eagles' defense forced four turnovers.

"My hat's off to the defense. They did a phenomenal job today," Boston College coach Tom O'Brien said.

Ryan completed 16 of 24 passes for 230 yards, and Andre Callender had 121 yards rushing for the Eagles, who never trailed in their regular-season finale.


Playing in its first year in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Boston College (8-3, 5-3) finished tied with Florida State atop the Atlantic Division. But the Seminoles will advance to the title game by virtue of their 28-17 win over the Eagles in September.

"Everybody wants to know if we can survive and play in this league," O'Brien said. "I think we proved we can compete, and I think we proved we can win in this conference. I think it's a heck of a first year."

Lance Ball ran for 135 yards and a touchdown for Maryland (5-5, 3-4), which still needs one win to become eligible to receive a bowl bid. The Terrapins, who conclude the regular season next week at North Carolina State, went 1-4 at home.

"We've got to find out what we're made of right now," Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen said. "We can't play like that and expect to win a big game."

Dunbar's school-record fumble return gave Boston College a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. The sophomore linebacker picked up the ball in stride and sprinted down the right sideline, outdistancing Maryland wide receiver Danny Melendez, who was screened by BC safety Larry Anam.

"Jolonn hit the wall at the end of that run," Ryan said. "I thought he was going to fall."

Henderson's touchdown came with 4:36 left after the Terrapins closed to 24-16.

"It was anybody's game until that interception," Friedgen said.

Both turnovers were committed by Sam Hollenbach, who was intercepted twice and lost a fumble. He went 25-for-45 for 230 yards and a touchdown.

"Today wasn't his best day," Friedgen said. "Anytime you have as many turnovers as we did, it's almost impossible to win."

Boston College also gave the ball away four times, but the Terrapins didn't capitalize on their takeaways as well as the Eagles.

"The defense got turnovers, but we just didn't do anything with the opportunities," Friedgen said.

The Terrapins trailed 14-10 at halftime, and after a scoreless third quarter Boston College went up 21-10 on a 1-yard touchdown run by L.V. Whitworth with 10:57 left.

A 65-yard run by Ball set up a 7-yard touchdown pass from Hollenbach to Vernon Davis, and after a Boston College field goal, Henderson made his victory-clinching play.

Boston College took the opening kickoff and moved 79 yards in eight plays to take a 7-0 lead. After Whitworth ran four times for 19 times and gained 34 yards on a screen pass, Callender scored on a 14-yard run.

Josh Wilson blocked a punt for Maryland at the end of the Eagles' next possession, and the Terrapins advanced to the 5 before Dunbar picked up Hollenbach's fumble on a third-down play.

Another mistake by the Eagles' special teams enabled Maryland to close to 14-7. After Dejuan Tribble fumbled a punt at the BC 20, Hollenbach completed a 14-yard pass to Melendez on third-and-10 before Ball ran it in from the 6.

Minutes later, Maryland botched an excellent chance to pull even. Hollenbach moved the Terps 56 yards to the BC 8, then threw an ill-advised pass in the end zone that was picked off by Eagles linebacker Jamie Silva.

But Maryland closed to 14-10 on a 27-yard field goal by Dan Ennis with 1:53 left in the half.

Early in the third quarter, Ryan lost a fumble at the Maryland 20 on a fourth-down run. Then, after Boston College forced a punt, Callender coughed up the ball at the Maryland 1 to end a 53-yard drive.

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