Nov 20, 2021; Clemson, South Carolina, USA;  Wake Forest running back Christian Turner (0) is tackled by Clemson linebacker Baylon Spector (10) during their game at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Josh Morgan-USA TODAY Sports

No. 18 Wake Forest visits BC, bids for berth in ACC title game

No. 18 Wake Forest will look to punch its ticket to the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game with a win over Boston College in the regular-season finale for both teams on Saturday in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

The Demon Deacons (9-2, 6-1 ACC) control their own destiny as a win over the Eagles would secure their first trip to the conference title game since 2006.

However, Wake Forest has been trending in the wrong direction with losses in two of its last three games.

Last Saturday, the Demon Deacons were blown out in a 48-27 defeat at Atlantic Division rival Clemson. The loss dropped the Demon Deacons eight spots in the College Football Playoff rankings released on Tuesday.

Clemson would qualify for the ACC title game with a win and losses by both Wake Forest and North Carolina State. The Wolfpack would earn a spot in the championship matchup with a win and a Demon Deacons’ loss.

“You tell me that we’re 9-2 going into Boston College, playing for an ACC championship, I can’t tell you that I wouldn’t be excited and fired up — so that’s got to be the mentality,” Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman said.

Hartman completed 27 of 43 passes for 312 yards, a touchdown and an interception in the loss to the Tigers. A.T. Perry reeled in five catches for 113 yards and Jaquarii Roberson had six receptions for 93 yards.

Wake Forest ranks second in the ACC in scoring, averaging 43.1 points through 11 games. Defensively, the Demon Deacons have allowed the fourth-most total yards in the ACC at 449.4 per game.

“You can’t do anything to change what happened last week,” defensive lineman Miles Fox said Tuesday. “Practice has been good, (BC is) a very good team, and we just have to make sure that we correct those mistakes.”

Boston College (6-5, 2-5) had its momentum halted in a 26-23 home loss to Florida State last Saturday. The Eagles had won two straight since the surprise return of starting quarterback Phil Jurkovec from a potential season-ending hand injury.

Jurkovec was held to 148 yards passing (10-of-24) with a touchdown and an interception while rushing for 59 yards and a score against the Seminoles.

BC fell behind 26-3 early in the third quarter before mounting a comeback. Jurkovec led a 14-play, 64-yard drive spanning 6:18 to drive the Eagles into Florida State territory before tossing a pick on fourth-and-9 to end the rally.

Once a season filled with ACC title game aspirations of its own before Jurkovec’s injury, BC will now be looking to avoid a .500 season while bettering its bowl standings in the finale against Wake Forest.

“For a lot of people, it’s their final (regular season) game. So we want to make it a good one,” Jurkovec said Tuesday. “We want to send people off with a win.”

Jurkovec said he isn’t quite back to full health, but that his grip strength “feels good” heading into Saturday’s game.

Eagles coach Jeff Hafley knows his team will have to be ready for a quarterback playing the best football of his career in Hartman.

“Very explosive offense,” Hafley said. “They want to throw the ball more than anybody that we’ve played down the field, which in my opinion starts with the quarterback.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 13, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Boston College Eagles quarterback Phil Jurkovec (5) throws a pass against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the second half at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

QB Phil Jurkovec leads resurgent BC vs. bowl-hungry Florida State

Florida State will aim to keep its bowl-game hopes alive when the Seminoles visit the resurgent Boston College Eagles in an Atlantic Coast Conference matchup on Saturday in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

The Seminoles (4-6, 3-4 ACC) have won four of their last six games after opening the season with four losses. Florida State would need to win its final two games to become bowl eligible for the first time under second-year coach Mike Norvell.

Last Saturday, the Seminoles earned an emotional 31-28 victory against rival Miami to snap a two-game skid.

The Hurricanes led 28-20 with 11:04 to play before the Seminoles scored 11 unanswered points, taking the lead for good on quarterback Jordan Travis’ 1-yard TD run with 26 seconds remaining.

Travis finished 18-of-26 passing for 274 yards while rushing for 62 yards and a pair of scores. Ja’Khi Douglas reeled in four passes for 90 yards, and Jashaun Corbin rushed for a team-high 68 yards and one touchdown.

“I liked what I saw from the guys, but they understand what’s ahead,” Norvell said. “You win a rivalry game, and that’s big, but to be able to take the step afterwards is something that’s critical for us. We know the opportunity that’s in front of us; we need to go seize that.”

The Seminoles will face a Boston College team that has looked like a completely different group since the return of starting quarterback Phil Jurkovec.

The Eagles (6-4, 2-4) have won two straight since Jurkovec’s surprise return from a hand injury in a Nov. 5 win over Virginia Tech that snapped their four-game skid.

Jurkovec was 13-of-20 for 310 yards and two passing touchdowns while rushing for 71 yards and three more scores in BC’s 41-30 shootout victory at Georgia Tech last Saturday. Pat Garwo III rushed for 104 yards while Zay Flowers had two catches for 87 yards and a pair of TDs.

The win clinched bowl eligibility for the Eagles for a second straight season under second-year coach Jeff Hafley. Now the team has a realistic shot at an eight- or nine-win season for the first time since 2009 (8-5) or 2008 (9-5).

“It’s a great opportunity; it’s a good (Florida State) team,” Hafley said. “Our guys are feeling good, too. It was loud, a lot of energy (at practice). Defense was (practicing) outside, feeling good in the cold weather. Probably a little bit colder here than it is down there.”

Florida State leads the all-time series 13-5. The teams last met in 2019 when the Seminoles earned a 38-31 win in Chestnut Hill.

–Field Level Media

Sep 11, 2021; Lexington, Kentucky, USA; Missouri Tigers head coach Eliah Drinkwitz walks off the field following the game against the Kentucky Wildcats at Kroger Field. Mandatory Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

Boston College takes down Missouri in overtime thriller

Dennis Grosel threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Zay Flowers and the Boston College defense held its ground for a 41-34 overtime victory against visiting Missouri on Saturday in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

It was the Eagles’ first victory against a Southeastern Conference opponent since 2001.

On the Tigers’ first play of overtime following the Eagles’ scoring drive, Missouri quarterback Connor Bazelak’s pass was intercepted by BC cornerback Brandon Sebastian in the end zone.

Pat Garwo III rushed for a career-high 175 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries for Boston College (4-0). Grosel was 18-of-29 passing for 175 yards with two TDs and an interception for the Eagles, who matched their best start since opening 8-0 in 2007.

The Eagles, who play in the Atlantic Coast Conference, last defeated an SEC team on Dec. 28, 2001 with a 20-16 win over Georgia in the Music City Bowl.

Bazelak completed 30 of 41 passes for 303 yards, one touchdown and two picks for Missouri (2-2). Tyler Badie rushed for 72 yards and two scores on 18 carries for the Tigers, who had not lost to an ACC team since a 62-9 rout at Clemson on Sept. 9, 2000.

Garwo’s 3-yard TD run with 8:20 to play in the third quarter put BC up 24-17. The redshirt sophomore also broke free for a highlight-reel 67-yard score for the Eagles’ first touchdown midway through the first quarter.

BC carried a 27-17 lead into the fourth quarter after possessing the ball for all but 1:18 in the third.

Michael Cox’s 1-yard TD rush pulled Missouri within 27-24 with 12:41 remaining. The Tigers forced a three-and-out and marched 57 yards on 11 plays to seize a 31-27 lead on Badie’s 8-yard touchdown run.

BC drove 60 yards on 15 plays in 5:53 before punching it in on Travis Levy’s 5-yard rush to make it 34-31 with 25 seconds remaining. Missouri drove to the BC 39 yard line before Harrison Mevis made a 56-yard field goal as time expired to force overtime

The game was tied 17-17 at halftime.

It was the first-ever meeting between Missouri and Boston College.

–Field Level Media

Sep 4, 2021; Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA; Boston College Eagles head coach Jeff Hafley along the sidelines during the first half against the Colgate Raiders at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Boston College has more than enough to upend Temple

Quarterback Dennis Grosel threw for a touchdown and ran for another to lead Boston College to a comfortable 28-3 victory over host Temple on Saturday afternoon at Philadelphia.

The Eagles (3-0) beat the Owls (1-2) for the seventh consecutive time in the teams’ first meeting at Lincoln Financial Field since 2004 when both were members of the Big East Conference.

Grosel, who was playing in place of Boston College’s injured regular starter Phil Jurkovec (right wrist), made his ninth career start and helped the Eagles set the tone quickly in the first quarter as they scored touchdowns on their first two drives.

Travis Levy returned the game’s opening kickoff into Temple territory setting up Grosel’s 19-yard touchdown pass hit Jaden Williams for Boston College’s first points.

Boston College’s second scoring series was more methodical as it put together nearly a eight-minute drive, which took 10 plays and covered 78 yards and was capped by a 1-yard touchdown run by Pat Garwo III.

The Eagles’ offense sputtered at times but managed to rush for 187 yards and three rushing touchdowns. Levy’s 2-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter gave the Eagles a 21-0 halftime lead. Grosel’s 2-yard quarterback keeper with 4:14 left in the fourth quarter capped the scoring.

The Owls finally scored with 13:09 remaining on Rory Bell’s 32-yard field goal. But it was a disappointing result to Temple’s better drives of the game.

Boston College totaled four sacks and consistently put pressure on Temple freshman quarterback Justin Lynch, who made his first career start last week and accounted for three touchdowns overall the Owls’ victory against Akron. Randle Jones had six catches for 32 yards to lead the Owls.

Lynch completed 17 of 24 passes for 161 yards.

With Jurkovec likely to miss the remainder of this season, Boston College may have to rely on Grosel, who threw for 520 yards and four touchdowns in his previous start last season at Virginia.

–Field Level Media

Nov 7, 2020; Syracuse, New York, USA; Boston College Eagles offensive lineman Jack Conley (67) warms up before a game against the Syracuse Orange at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Louisville, BC finally have a game date

A moving target on the schedule appears to finally be settled as the Boston College Eagles host the Louisville Cardinals on Saturday afternoon at Chestnut Hill, Mass.

The Atlantic Coast Conference matchup had originally been set to be played Friday before being pushed back to Dec. 12 as part of schedule changes brought on by an outbreak of COVID-19 on the Miami Hurricanes. Needing to shake things up yet again after Clemson-Florida State was postponed over the weekend, the Eagles-Cardinals game moved back up to Saturday, marking the second-to-last contest of the season for each team.

Boston College (5-4, 4-4 ACC) takes the field for the first time since a 45-31 loss to No. 2 Notre Dame on Nov. 14. Louisville (3-6, 2-6) enters off a 30-0 blowout victory over Syracuse last Friday.

Louisville holds a 7-5 edge in the all-time series, though Boston College has won two of the last three meetings, including at Chestnut Hill in 2018.

This time, the Cardinals come in with serious momentum after dominating Syracuse in their most complete effort of the season. The defense held the Orange to 137 total yards, and quarterback Malik Cunningham did his part to put the game away with one touchdown apiece on the ground and in the air.

Cunningham did throw two interceptions, increasing his season total to 11. Six have come in his last three games.

Louisville is preparing to welcome back tight end Marshon Ford (272 yards, five touchdowns) from an undisclosed injury Saturday before getting three weeks off prior to its season finale Dec. 19 against Wake Forest.

“It is certainly not ideal to have a three-week layoff,” said coach Scott Satterfield. “I don’t really fully understand how and why we got to this point, but obviously I had no control over that, so it is what it is. We will make the most out of it.”

Boston College’s season is set to end on a more typical note at Virginia on Dec. 5. The team will have had two weeks off since its loss to the Fighting Irish but can take solace in the fact it hasn’t dropped two games in a row all season.

“The sign of a great team is you lose a game and, just like we have all year, you fix it and you go out and you win a game,” said coach Jeff Hafley. “We need to do that.”

Against the Fighting Irish, the Eagles forced three turnovers, increasing their total on the season to 17, which is behind only UCF (19) among FBS teams.

–Field Level Media

Sep 26, 2020; Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA; Boston College Eagles head coach Jeff Hafley reacts during the first half against the Texas State Bobcats at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Boston College, Syracuse going in opposite directions

Boston College and Syracuse have one thing in common this season: They both made No. 1-ranked Clemson sweat.

But beyond that, the Eagles and Orange are rivals headed in different directions and in different situations entering their game Saturday at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.

Boston College (4-3, 3-3 ACC) nearly pulled off the upset of the season this past Saturday, leading Clemson by 15 points at halftime before succumbing 34-28.

First-year coach Jeff Hafley said as bad as he felt about losing, playing the top team in the country so close was an eye-opener for prospective recruits as he attempts to build a foundation for the program.

Hafley said he hopes it also can be a performance for this year’s team to build on the rest of this season.

“If you watch last week, that was our best tackling game,” Hafley said. “It was awesome. Those are good players. So can we do that again this week? Can we cover a little bit tighter this week? Are we going to be in the right place and not bust? Those are the little things we have to fix.”

Boston College has alternated wins and losses the past five weeks. Syracuse (1-6, 1-5) has lost four games in a row.

The two biggest problems for Syracuse have been defense and inconsistent quarterback play.

The Orange have given up at least 38 points in each of those four losses and still are trying to find a consistent starter at quarterback between senior Rex Culpepper and freshmen JaCobian Morgan and Dillon Markiewicz. Syracuse lost starter Tommy DeVito to a serious leg injury against Duke on Oct. 10.

Syracuse coach Dino Babers said it’s likely two or all three of the remaining quarterbacks will play against Boston College.

“It’s just one of those situations where you have to continue to evaluate and see exactly where they are at, and at the same time, not give away too much information to your opponent who is also trying to prepare for you,” Babers said.

The Orange have shown some flashes, particularly against Clemson on Oct. 24, when Syracuse trailed only 27-21 in the third quarter, something Hafley noticed.

“If you look at his team [Syracuse] this year, he had a quarterback injury, a safety injury, a couple of guys opting out,” Hafley said. “A bunch of injuries. It’s a hard year. It’s a really hard year. If you look what he’s done and what he did against Clemson the other week, they are driving with two minutes to go to go up and they fumble the ball. This is a good football team. He’s going to get them ready to roll just like we are going to get ready to roll.”

Syracuse wound up losing to Clemson 47-21.

Stability at quarterback isn’t a problem for Boston College, with Notre Dame transfer Phil Jurkovec enjoying a solid season.

Jurkovec has completed 61.3 percent of his passes (152 of 248) for 1,875 yards and 14 touchdowns. He was been picked off four times.

He’ll hope to add to those stats against a Syracuse team that might be starting to audition younger players given their record and losing streak.

“We are always going to go out and try and win football games,” Babers said. “That’s what we are going to do. When it comes to a point where we don’t think we can do that, then the next-best thing to do is evaluate your personnel. We’ll make those decisions as they come.”

–Field Level Media

Oct 10, 2020; Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA; Boston College Eagles quarterback Phil Jurkovec (5) runs the ball during the first half against the Pittsburgh Panthers at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Boston College survives in overtime when Pitt misses extra point

Boston College quarterback Phil Jurkovec tossed a 25-yard touchdown pass to start overtime, and Pittsburgh kicker Alex Kessman missed the game-tying extra point to end the game in the Eagles’ 31-30 win over the Panthers on Saturday in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

Jurkovec, a Pittsburgh native who was 19-for-35 for 358 yards and three scores, tossed the game-winner to Zay Flowers (six catches, 162 yards, three TDs).

After Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Taysir Mack, Kessman pushed the PAT wide right for the win for the Eagles (3-1, 2-1 ACC).

Playing injured, Pickett was 25-for-48 for 266 yards and two touchdowns. Like Jurkovec, Pickett also rushed for a score.

The Eagles had an impressive 12-play, 86-yard drive on its first series of the game. Soon after a fumble by running back David Bailey at the Pittsburgh 11 was overturned, kicker Aaron Boumerhi booted a 25-yard field goal at 9:30.

But Pickett converted a fourth-and-3 on the next series and called his own number on a sneak on the 14th play of the 75-yard drive at 3:15 to give Pitt (3-2, 2-2) its first lead at 7-3.

Flowers used a slick double-move on the home side’s third possession and easily beat the Panthers’ secondary on a 44-yard touchdown from Jurkovec for a 10-7 advantage at the 13-minute mark of the second quarter.

The back-and-forth affair continued when running back Israel Abanikanda recorded his first career scoring reception on a 15-yard swing pass from Pickett at 10:35 for a 14-10 lead.

Jurkovec twisted and squirmed his way in on a fourth-down sneak at 4:50 as the lead changed for the fourth time in the first half, with the Eagles leading 17-14.

Flowers torched the secondary again on the second half’s second play, hauling in a 77-yard long pass from Jurkovec for a 24-14 edge. Pickett left the game after rolling his ankle on a scramble at 2:47 of the third quarter, but Vincent Davis’ 4-yard rushing touchdown made it 24-21 at 2:18.

Pickett returned on the next series after having his ankle taped, and Josh DeBerry intercepted him at the Pittsburgh 15 in the fourth quarter, but Rashad Weaver stripped Jurkovec to keep the Panthers’ deficit at three.

After a Pittsburgh turnover on downs with 6:29 left, Pickett was sacked with just over a minute to play, resulting in a fourth-and-20. But Kessman launched a school-record 58-yard field goal to tie it.

Boumerhi pulled a 52-yarder on the last play of regulation to force overtime.

–Field Level Media

Oct 3, 2020; Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels running back Javonte Williams (25) rushes for a touchdown during the first quarter against the Boston College Eagles at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Richins-USA TODAY Sports

No. 12 North Carolina fends off BC late, 26-22

Sam Howell threw two touchdown passes and running back Javonte Williams scored twice, but No. 12 North Carolina needed a defensive stop on Boston College’s two-point conversion attempt in the final minute to prevail, 26-22, on Saturday in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

North Carolina’s Tre Morrison intercepted the two-point conversion pass and returned it to the other end zone for two points for the Tar Heels (2-0, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) with 45 seconds remaining.

Boston College quarterback Phil Jurkovec nearly orchestrated a comeback.

After converting a fourth-and-1 from the North Carolina 39, the Eagles (2-1, 1-1) moved to the 10-yard line with less than three minutes remaining. A pair of offensive pass interference penalties threatened to derail the drive.

But on third-and-goal from the 32, a pass interference on North Carolina revived the possession. The Eagles converted on Jurkovec’s 6-yard touchdown pass to CJ Lewis with 45 seconds to play before Morrison’s big play on the ensuing PAT.

Howell completed 14 of 26 passes for 225 yards with one interception. North Carolina running back Michael Carter gained 121 yards on 16 carries.

North Carolina hadn’t played since defeating Syracuse in the Sept. 12 opener.

Jurkovec finished 37-for-56 for 313 yards with two touchdown throws. Boston College was limited to 40 rushing yards.

The Tar Heels went 81 yards in 11 plays late in the first half to extend their lead to 21-13 with Howell’s 41-yard pass play to Javonte Williams.

Grayson Atkins booted a 35-yard field goal with 6:25 remaining in the third quarter for the only points for either team in the second half until the last minute. He missed from 47 yards out at the 5:46 mark when the Tar Heels had a chance to re-build their lead to 11 points after controlling the ball for almost four minutes.

The halftime score was 21-16 after Boston College’s Aaron Boumerhi drilled his third field goal of the half, a 30-yarder on the final play before the break. He also connected from 35 and 27 yards.

North Carolina scored first on Howell’s 24-yard pass to Khafre Brown. The lead grew to 14-3 on Williams’ 1-yard run late in the opening quarter.

Howell scrambled and made a 41-yard pass play to Williams for a touchdown in the second quarter.

It was the first loss as a college head coach for Boston College’s Jeff Hafley, who’s in his first season since arriving after a stint as Ohio State’s co-defensive coordinator.

–Field Level Media

Nov 30, 2019; Raleigh, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels head coach Mack Brown looks on during the first half against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at Carter-Finley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

No. 12 UNC aims to shake off rust vs. BC

North Carolina needs to get things cranked up again after a three-week hiatus.

The next assignment comes against a Boston College team that has learned how to put it in gear at the right times in the second halves of a pair of victories.

The No. 12 Tar Heels (1-0, 1-0 ACC) seem happy just to be heading back to the field, this time for their first road outing of the season Saturday in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

“We still haven’t had our second game, so that will be interesting to see this weekend as we move forward,” North Carolina coach Mack Brown said. “But I’m not worried about them being excited about playing, they’ll be ready to play.”

By game day, it will be three weeks since UNC last played.

The Tar Heels’ scheduled non-league game for Sept. 19 against Charlotte was called off two days before the slated date because of coronavirus concerns related to the Charlotte offensive line. North Carolina officials came up empty in a quest to fill the Sept. 26 open date with an opponent.

“What we’ve told our players and coaches is let’s just start the season over,” said Brown, whose team rolled to a 31-6 win over Syracuse on Sept. 12 in its lone game. “… Let’s just go back and restart and that’s what we’re trying to get their mentality to be.”

Since North Carolina last played, Boston College (2-0, 1-0) has competed twice — posting a 26-6 win at Duke on Sept. 19 and pulling out a 24-21 victory last weekend at home against Texas State.

The time off from game weeks has given the North Carolina coaching staff time to see what the new Boston College staff might be brewing.

“We saw a couple of new things from the second game,” Tar Heels offensive coordinator Phil Longo said of the Eagles’ defense.

This has been North Carolina’s longest regular-season layoff since 1952, when there was a polio outbreak on campus.

The Tar Heels didn’t start to click in the Syracuse game until the second half. They’re expected to showcase a high-powered offense with sophomore quarterback Sam Howell.

Howell threw 38 touchdown passes last year, yet only one in this season’s opener.

Quarterback Phil Jurkovec of Boston College excelled down the stretch against Texas State, again performing better after halftime following more first-half snags.

“We have to do a better job to make sure he does that in the first (half),” Boston College coach Jeff Hafley said.

The Eagles needed Aaron Boumerhi’s 36-yard field goal with three seconds left to complete a fourth-quarter comeback to top Texas State.

That came in the home opener for Boston College. The Eagles discovered that they’ll have to create their own energy no matter where games are contested because of the lack of fans in many cases during the pandemic. That will be the scenario for this game as well.

“There is no such thing as a home-field advantage anymore,” Jurkovec said. “It is weird.”

The Eagles are taking certain satisfaction that their practice work has paid off. Tight end Hunter Long, who has 16 receptions across two games, said repetitions regarding areas such as late-game situations have proved helpful.

“We’ve done it so many times, we had all the confidence in the world,” Long said.

There is all sorts of learning going on for the Boston College team.

“It’s about us,” Hafley said. “It’s going to come down to little things.”

Hafley, a first-year coach, has two career victories compared to Brown’s 252, which makes him the active leader among Football Bowl Subdivision coaches. In 32 years as a head coach, this will mark the first time Brown has a team face Boston College.

Dating to last season, the Tar Heels hold a four-game winning streak for the first time since 2016.

This will be North Carolina’s third road outing against Boston College, and the first since winning 31-13 in 2009.

–Field Level Media