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In a game that almost didn’t take place due to the government shutdown, Boston College improved to 3-2 with an offensive explosion against Army (2-4) at Alumni Stadium. The Eagles’ three wins this season are already more than they had in all of 2012. The game was close throughout the first half, but the Black Knights ultimately couldn’t keep up with BC’s offensive production.
Army scored first, with a 38-yard field goal by kicker Daniel Grochowski on the opening drive, but quarterback Chase Rettig led Boston College 80 yards downfield in just four plays, finally finding running back David Dudeck for a 3-yard touchdown. The Knights’ next drive had only one play: an 80-yard TD pass from QB Angel Santiago to wide receiver Xavier Moss. The Eagles responded with another quick drive, ending in a 34-yard TD run by RB Andre Williams, to retake the lead.
RB Larry Dixon scored for Army on a 3-yard run early in the second quarter, but Williams’s second TD, from one yard out, gave BC the lead for good. The Eagles’ defense finally woke up to force a three-and-out on the next drive, and the offense proceeded to score its fourth TD in as many drives on a 37-yard run by Williams. Grochowski connected from 40 yards to make it an eight-point game, but BC’s Nate Freese kicked a 49-yard FG of his own as time expired to give the Eagles a 31-20 halftime lead.
Dixon broke out for an 80-yard score early in the third period, but the Knights wouldn’t score again. A 93-yard drive ended with Williams’s fourth TD of the day, from three yards out, and the defense forced punts on Army’s next four drives. In the fourth quarter, a 28-yard FG by Freese and a 34-yard rushing TD by – who else – Williams secured the BC victory.
Rettig threw just 13 passes in the game, completing 11 of them for 203 yards, while Williams finished with an amazing 263 yards and five TDs, tying a team record, on 30 carries. WR Alex Amidon had 122 receiving yards on five catches. The Black Knights’ Dixon rushed the ball 11 times for 125 yards.
At 1-1 in Atlantic Coast Conference play, Boston College is in third place in the Atlantic Division. Of their next four games, two are against undefeated ACC rivals and two against very poor teams. Don’t look now, but the Eagles are almost looking like a .500 team this year.
Next Eagles game: October 12 @ #3 Clemson (5-0), 3:30 ET
UMass fell to 0-5 on the year with a loss to MAC East-leading Bowling Green (5-1) at Doyt Perry Stadium. The Minutemen could never get anything going against the Falcons’ stingy defense, which ranks 15th in the nation in points allowed, but their own D was more than respectable, especially in the first half.
The two teams’ first 10 drives all ended in punts, with none going more than six plays. Bowling Green finally broke through with 7:51 left in the second quarter, when quarterback Matt Johnson and wide receiver Ronnie Moore connected for a 51-yard touchdown. Massachusetts punted again on the next drive, and running back William Houston gave the Falcons a 14-0 halftime lead on a 1-yard TD run.
The Minutemen’s offensive futility continued in the third quarter, while Johnson threw TD passes on Bowling Green’s first two drives after the break: one of 23 yards to tight end Tyler Beck and another of nine yards to WR Heath Jackson. UMass’s first drive that didn’t end in a punt ended in an interception, as defensive back Ryland Ward picked off QB Mike Wegzyn. On the offense’s next possession, Wegzyn finally put something together, eventually finding WR Tajae Sharpe for a 24-yard score to put Massachusetts on the board.
Massachusetts is one of three winless teams in the Mid-American Conference, along with Miami (OH) and Western Michigan. The good news? The Minutemen will be facing both of those teams over the next three weeks. Something’s gotta give.
Next Minutemen game: October 12 vs. Miami (OH) (0-5), 3 pm ET