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USC Goes Nuts, BC Loses Emerald Bowl

Montel Harris had another 100 yard game and a score for the Eagles against the Trojans in the Emerald Bowl loss. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

The Trojans started fast and finished BC off to claim the 2009 Emerald Bowl 24-13 amidst a steady rain in San Francisco. The loss was BC’s second postseason loss in a row after an eight season bowl win streak and the Eagles finish the season 8-5.

BC began the game with the ball and got off to a very inauspicious start with a false start penalty, two yard loss for Montel Harris (23 rush, 102 yards, TD, 1 fumble lost), and a timeout. They would eventually punt. The underdog Eagles fell behind early as Matt Barkley (27-37, 350 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT) for Stanley Havili (6 rec, 83 yards, 2 TD) for a 53 yard catch and run to put USC up 7-0 in the first. Havili scored on a five yard pass early in the second to put Southern Cal up 14-0 as BC’s offense continued to stall.

Eagles Offense Briefly Gains Traction

The Eagles were finally able to click in the second as they got back in the game. BC turned to the “Bazooka” formation (BC’s version of the Wildcat) and Harris was able to find some running room, opening up lanes in the conventional offense as well. This set up a seven yard run for Harris’ touchdown, though Steve Aponavicius missed the PA, leaving BC in an eight point deficit. BC shaved the USC lead to one at halftime after Rich Gunnell (5 rec, 117 yards, TD) caught a slant from Dave Shinskie (14-33, 218 yards, TD, INT) over the middle and ran it in for the 61 yard score.

That was it for the Eagles offense, however, as USC was able to prevent BC from doing anymore damage. USC opened the second half with a pass on the first play and Barkley zipped it right to Marcellus Bowman, who took it to the nine. On BC’s second play with the ball, Shinskie’s handoff bounced right off Harris’ stomach and USC recovered and took it out 30 yards. The Trojans settled for a field goal to give them some breathing room.

USC Puts the Game out of Reach

Matt Barkley capped a fourth quarter drive with a one yard score to put the game out of reach. The Eagles were only assessed 30 penalty yards to the Trojans 37 and each team turned the ball over twice, not bad numbers, but not ones BC was going to be able to overcome against what appeared to be a better team. All in all, an eight win season for this Eagle team, with all the preseason questions, is an accomplishment.

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