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 20, 2021; Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA; Florida State Seminoles wide receiver Ontaria Wilson (80) dives to the goalie for a touchdown before Boston College Eagles defensive back Mike Palmer (18) can get there during the first half at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Florida State hangs on to defeat Boston College

Jordan Travis passed for 251 yards and a career-high-tying three touchdowns to help Florida State keep its bowl hopes alive with a 26-23 win over Boston College on Saturday at Chestnut Hill, Mass.

Travis finished 20-of-34 passing while also rushing for 26 yards on 13 carries. Jashuan Corbin ran for a team-high 62 yards on 13 carries for the Seminoles (5-6, 4-4 ACC), who won for the fifth time in seven games.

Florida State was coming off a 31-28 win against rival Miami last Saturday. A win over rival Florida next Saturday at Gainesville would clinch bowl eligibility for Florida State for the first time since 2019.

Phil Jurkovec completed 10-of-24 passes for 148 yards, a touchdown and an interception while rushing for 59 yards and a score for Boston College (6-5, 2-5). Jurkovec was coming off a five-TD performance (two passing, three rushing) in last week’s 41-30 win at Georgia Tech.

Pat Garwo III had a team-leading 71 yards rushing and one touchdown on 24 carries for the Eagles, who had won back-to-back games following Jurkovec’s surprise midseason return from a hand injury.

Travis’ 15-yard TD pass to Malik McClain early in the third quarter put the Seminoles on top 26-3. Garwo’s 3-yard touchdown run with 8:10 left in the third quarter pulled BC within 26-10.

Jurkovec’s 3-yard scoring rush in the opening minutes of the fourth brought the Eagles within 10. A 36-yard strike from Jurkovec to wideout Zay Flowers further trimmed the Eagles’ deficit to 26-23 at the 10:21 mark.

BC drove to the Seminoles’ 37-yard-line before Akeem Dent intercepted Jurkovec on a fourth-and-9 pass with 1:37 left to seal the win.

Florida State led 19-3 at halftime after Travis threw TDs in the first and second quarters.

Late in the half, Florida State recorded a safety on a pass play to BC’s Travis Levy.

–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

Nov 5, 2021; Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA; Boston College Eagles quarterback Phil Jurkovec (5) looks to throw against the Virginia Tech Hokies during the first half at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Boston College fights for bowl eligibility at Georgia Tech

Phil Jurkovec’s surprise return has breathed new life into a season that was trending downward for Boston College.

Once feared lost for the season with a hand injury, Jurkovec was announced as the starter shortly before the game against Virginia Tech last Friday. After a six-game absence, the junior quarterback sparked the offense and helped lead the Eagles to a 17-3 win.

Jurkovec will be under center again for the Eagles (5-4, 1-4 ACC) when they visit Georgia Tech (3-6, 2-5) in Atlanta on Saturday.

“It’s definitely not the way I want it to be yet, but we’re working on it,” said Jurkovec, who was 7-of-13 passing for 112 yards and rushed for 65 yards and a touchdown against the Hokies. “This is going to be a good week for (improvement).”

The win snapped a four-game losing streak for Boston College, its longest under second-year coach Jeff Hafley. Now the Eagles are one win away from securing bowl eligibility for the second time in Hafley’s short tenure.

Meanwhile, Georgia Tech faces an uphill battle if it wants to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2018. After hosting the Eagles, the Yellow Jackets visit No. 10 Notre Dame before hosting No. 1 Georgia to cap the regular season.

Jordan Mason rushed for 75 yards and a touchdown against Miami last Saturday, but it wasn’t enough for Georgia Tech to avoid a 33-30 loss against the Hurricanes. Jeff Simms was 21-of-38 passing for 194 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

Juanyeh Thomas had nine tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and a 100-yard interception return on a Hurricanes’ two-point conversion try to earn ACC Defensive Back of the Week honors for the second time in four games.

The loss was the Yellow Jackets’ third in a row despite scoring 30 or more points twice in that stretch.

“It hurts,” Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins said. “We were close but we’ve still got to find a way to get over the hump and not only be in one-score games, but also win one-score games and keep it going forward.”

Georgia Tech leads the all-time series against Boston College 7-3 following a 48-27 road loss to the Eagles last year.

–Field Level Media

Nov 5, 2021; Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA; Boston College Eagles quarterback Phil Jurkovec (5) hands the ball off to running back Pat Garwo III (24) during the first half at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Phil Jurkovec returns to lead Boston College past Va. Tech

Phil Jurkovec made a surprise return from injury and threw for 112 yards and ran for a touchdown to help Boston College beat Virginia Tech 17-3 on Friday night in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

The junior quarterback sustained a hand injury at Massachusetts on Sept. 11 and underwent surgery on his throwing hand that the team said could sideline him for the rest of the season.

After starting 2-0 with Jurkovec, the Eagles (5-4, 1-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) lost four of their next six games and had dropped four straight entering Friday’s contest. Boston College did not name a starting QB during the week before announcing Jurkovec as the starter shortly before the game.

Virginia Tech (4-5, 2-3) lost starting quarterback Braxton Burmeister to an injury on the Hokies’ first play of their second drive. Freshman backup Knox Kadum took over for Burmeister and finished 7 of 16 for 73 yards.

Burmeister’s lone pass attempt fell incomplete on third-and-11 on the Hokies’ opening drive. He finished with 15 yards on three carries.

Pat Garwo III rushed for 116 yards and a touchdown on 30 carries for the Eagles, who earned their first win since a 41-34 overtime upset of Missouri on Sept. 25. Boston College avoided its first five-game skid since dropping eight straight to end the 2015 season.

Jurkovec led the Eagles into the end zone on an 8-yard rush with 3:44 left in the first quarter.

Three plays prior, Jurkovec was intercepted by Dorian Strong at the Virginia Tech 5-yard-line, but the Eagles got the ball back right away after Jaelen Gill forced a fumble that Jurkovec recovered at the 13.

Connor Lytton kicked a 33-yard field goal with 6:48 left in the second to put Boston College up 10-0 entering halftime.

Garwo’s 3-yard TD run capped an 11-play, 93-yard drive with 8:48 to go in the third to put the Eagles ahead 17-0. John Parker Romo’s 47-yard field goal with 5:28 in the third put Virginia Tech on the board.

–Field Level Media

Oct 30, 2021; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange wide receiver Damien Alford (82) is tackled by Boston College Eagles cornerback JT Thompson (33) in the first quarter at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Sean Tucker, Syracuse rush past Boston College

Sean Tucker and Garrett Shrader combined for 285 yards and a pair of touchdowns on the ground to help Syracuse rout regional rival Boston College 21-6 at home in an Atlantic Coast Conference clash on Saturday afternoon.

Tucker had 26 carries for a career-high 207 yards and a touchdown for the Orange (5-4, 2-3 ACC), who earned their second straight win. The freshman running back entered the day leading the nation in all-purpose yardage with 1,298 yards.

Shrader was 5-of-14 passing for 65 yards under center while rushing for 78 yards and a score on 16 carries. The sophomore quarterback had five total TDs in Syracuse’s come-from-behind 41-36 win at Virginia Tech last Saturday.

Boston College freshman quarterback Emmett Morehead finished 6-of-15 for 87 yards in his collegiate debut after replacing starter Dennis Grosel in the second quarter.

The junior Grosel returned late in the fourth and finished 9-of-17 passing for 93 yards.

Zay Flowers totaled 116 yards receiving on six catches while Pat Garwo III rushed for 84 yards on 17 carries for the Eagles (4-4, 0-4 ACC), who have gone winless since opening the season with four straight wins.

The Eagles led 3-0 at halftime and doubled their lead at 9:42 of the third quarter on a 24-yard field goal by Connor Lytton.

After a 37-yard gain in the opening half, Tucker broke free for a 51-yard touchdown run up the middle to put the Orange ahead 7-6 with 7:53 left in the third.

Shrader gave Syracuse a 14-7 lead with another big run on a 48-yard rumble down the sideline for a touchdown at 4:27 of the third.

After a three-and-out for BC, Grant Carlson returned an Eagles punt for a 46-yard touchdown to make it 21-7 with three minutes left before the fourth.

BC handed the keys to Morehead on its first drive of the second quarter. Morehead’s first pass attempt on 2nd-and-8 fell incomplete before the freshman hit Flowers for a 4-yard gain on 3rd down for his first career completion.

Lytton’s 31-yard field goal put BC on the board with 12:26 to play before halftime.

–Field Level Media

Oct 23, 2021; Louisville, Kentucky, USA;  Boston College Eagles quarterback Dennis Grosel (6) looks to pass the ball against the Louisville Cardinals during the second half of play at Cardinal Stadium. Louisville defeated Boston College 28-14. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

BC looks to win at Syracuse for third straight year

Boston College and Syracuse renew their gridiron rivalry on Saturday afternoon when the Eagles visit the Orange in an Atlantic Coast Conference matchup.

The longtime regional Big East rivals will meet for the 55th time and the third straight year inside the Carrier Dome.

While the Orange (4-4, 1-3 ACC) lead the all-time series 32-22, the Eagles (4-3, 0-3) have won the last two meetings and three of the past four.

Last season, Boston College held on for a 16-13 victory at Syracuse on Nov. 7 thanks to a pair of fourth-quarter field goals.

“We gotta compete with those guys, but we compete with a lot of other people as well. And the game’s a rivalry game, and it’s a recruiting battle as well,” Syracuse coach Dino Babers said. “But right now, it’s just a way for us to get one more win in the ACC.”

Syracuse is coming off a 41-36, come-from-behind victory at Virginia Tech last week. With just over five minutes remaining, the Orange trailed 36-27, but they rallied to take the lead on Garrett Shrader’s 45-yard TD pass to Damien Alford with 19 seconds remaining.

Shrader stuffed the stat sheet in the win, passing for 236 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 174 yards and three scores.

After an impressive 4-0 start, the Eagles have fallen back to the pack by suffering three consecutive losses, including a 28-14 defeat at Louisville last week.

Since losing starting quarterback Phil Jurkovec to a hand injury, Boston College has struggled to generate consistent offense under backup Dennis Grosel.

Grosel threw for 141 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions against the Cardinals. On the season, Grosel is averaging 160.4 passing yards per game and has thrown six TD passes and seven interceptions.

The three straight losses are a first under coach Jeff Hafley, whose team went 4-0 after defeats during his inaugural 6-5 season last year.

“I don’t want guys to change who they are,” Hafley said. “I want them to be (ticked) off — because I’m (ticked) off, and (the fans) should all be (ticked) off. But that doesn’t mean I turn into some raging lunatic. I think good leaders are guys that are consistent.”

–Field Level Media

Oct 23, 2021; Louisville, Kentucky, USA;  Louisville Cardinals running back Jalen Mitchell (15) pushes past Boston College Eagles linebacker Isaiah Graham-Mobley (19) to score a touchdown during the second quarter of play at Cardinal Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Malik Cunningham’s 3 TDs pace Louisville past Boston College

Malik Cunningham rushed for 133 yards and three touchdowns Saturday, including the clinching score, as Louisville stopped Boston College 28-14 in Louisville, Ky.

The Cardinals (4-3, 2-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) held the Eagles (4-3, 0-3) to 266 yards and came up with a pair of second half stops in their territory, including Josh Minkins’ interception of Dennis Grosel at the 2-yard line with nine minutes left in the game.

Boston College closed within 21-14 with 6:10 remaining on Grosel’s 6-yard touchdown pass to Jaelen Gill. But Louisville wrapped up the game with 2:53 on the clock when Cunningham took a read-option play 11 yards up the middle to restore a two-score lead.

Trevion Cooley added a career-high 112 yards on 13 rushes for the Cardinals, who finished the day with 331 yards on the ground. Cunningham chipped in 107 yards on 9 of 17 passing, although he was intercepted twice.

Grosel hit on 17 of 32 passes for 141 yards and was picked off twice. He also lost a fumble with 2:34 left that C.J. Avery recovered to seal the outcome.

Louisville outgained the Eagles 438-266 but wasn’t able to pull away because it made a spate of mistakes. The Cardinals drew seven penalties for 70 yards and coughed up four turnovers, including Cooley’s fumble that set up Boston College’s last touchdown.

Boston College initiated scoring seven minutes into the game when Alec Sinkfield ran 11 yards for a 7-0 lead, finishing an impressive 63-yard drive. But Louisville wasted little time responding as Cunningham rushed 10 yards less than three minutes later to equalize at 7-7.

The Cardinals took the lead for good in the second quarter with two touchdowns. First, Cunningham capped a 70-yard drive with a 1-yard run at the 8:35 mark. Then Trey Franklin set up a 49-yard field with an interception of Grosel and Louisville cashed in with Jalen Mitchell’s 5-yard scoring jaunt 1:11 before the half for a 21-7 advantage.

–Field Level Media

Nov 28, 2020; Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA; Boston College Eagles running back Pat Garwo III (24) runs against the Louisville Cardinals during the second half at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

No. 22 NC State, Boston College face off rested after byes

No. 22 North Carolina State is entering a challenging stretch of the season after an open week on the schedule.

That’s fine with the Wolfpack going into a meeting with Boston College on Saturday night in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

NC State (4-1, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) has plenty left to prove, according to coach Dave Doeren.

“That means we’re really focused on the present,” Doeren said. “It does matter that four of the next five are on the road, but what matters more is that we just take this week for what it is. Let’s be the best that we can be this week. We’ll worry about next week next week.”

The Wolfpack already have knocked off ACC kingpin Clemson, yet a path toward a league championship is filled with potential pitfalls.

That’s why the team spent time focused on improvement during its week off.

“I think we’re a team that wants to get better. That’s the biggest thing,” Doeren said. “We’re a very close group of guys. They play hard for each other.”

Boston College (4-1, 0-1) is also coming off an open date. It hasn’t played since falling 19-13 to then-No. 25 Clemson on Oct. 2.

“We’ve got to finish,” Eagles coach Jeff Hafley said of what would make a difference in trying for a special season.

Now Boston College has a homecoming game, going into a second game in a row against a nationally ranked opponent.

“We’ll stick together and we’ll be better,” Hafley said. “We can play with anybody, anywhere in any venue, any time of the night.”

Boston College running back Pat Garwo III is averaging 93.8 yards per game on the ground. That has helped as the Eagles have transitioned to Dennis Grosel (four touchdown passes, four interceptions) as the starting quarterback.

“They’re doing a good job of making the offense fit their QB and not turning the football over, not hurting their defense,” Doeren said.

But NC State is tops in the ACC in total defense and rushing defense. The Wolfpack have given up just one rushing touchdown this season.

The Eagles have racked up 300 passing yards seven times in 16 games under Hafley. Doeren said Boston College receiver Zay Flowers, who leads the Eagles with 23 catches for 345 yards, is a difference-maker.

NC State’s lone loss came in its only road venture, at Mississippi State.

“We’ve got to do a great job of being focused and executing,” Doeren said. “There’s a lot of things that win football games on the road. Turnover margin is critical.”

Since joining the ACC, four of Boston College’s top 10 scoring totals in conference games have come against the Wolfpack. This season, the Eagles are averaging 35.6 points per game.

Boston College leads the series 10-7, including 7-3 in home games. The Atlantic Division teams didn’t play each other last year because of the restructured pandemic-related schedule, so Boston College’s 45-24 homecoming win in 2019 marks the last meeting.

This will be Boston College’s first home game on a Saturday night since Clemson visited in November 2018.

–Field Level Media

Oct 2, 2021; Clemson, South Carolina, USA; Boston College Eagles running back Travis Levy (23) is pushed out of bounds by Clemson Tigers cornerback Sheridan Jones (6) during the second quarter at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

No. 25 Clemson outlasts visiting Boston College

Kobe Pace rushed for 125 yards and a touchdown as No. 25 Clemson survived an upset bid from Boston College for a 19-13 victory Saturday night at Clemson’s Memorial Stadium.

Clemson (3-2, 2-1 in ACC) needed a fumble recovery by defensive end K.J. Henry at its own 23-yard line with 49 seconds left to preserve the victory against the Eagles (4-1, 0-1).

It was Clemson’s school-record 31st consecutive home victory, extending the longest active home winning streak in the nation. It also was the Tigers’ 11th consecutive victory against Boston College.

Pace, who got Clemson on the scoreboard first with a 59-yard burst with 8:02 left in the first quarter, became the Tigers’ first 100-yard rusher this season, posting 125 rushing yards on 19 carries. Pace also had two receptions for 41 yards.

Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiaglalei continued to struggle, completing 13 of 28 passes for 207 yards. Sophomore wide receiver Joseph Ngata had four receptions for 111 yards to pace the Tigers.

Boston College quarterback Dennis Grosel completed 23 of 40 attempts for 311 yards, but was intercepted twice.

Clemson’s defense held the Eagles to 46 yards rushing — 174 below their average – and collected nine tackles for loss, including four sacks.

After Pace’s early touchdown, Boston College responded with a 70-yard drive that culminated in a 22-yard field goal by Connor Lytton.

The Tigers’ B.T. Potter added a pair of field goals from 18 and 40 yards in the second quarter to push Clemson’s lead to 13-3 before Lytton converted from 34 yards out to cut the Tigers’ lead to 13-6 with 19 seconds left in the half.

But Clemson, which improved to 46-0 since 2017 when holding a seven-point lead or more at halftime, had to hold on from there.

The Eagles wasted little time in evening the score, marching 75 yards in 55 seconds to open the second half. Tight ends Trae Barry and Joey Luchetti had back-to-back receptions for 33- and 39-yard gains, respectively, on the drive to set up a three-yard touchdown run by Pat Garwo that tied the game at 13-13.

Clemson’s Potter kicked field goals of 35 yards and 42 yards in the third and fourth quarters to push the Tigers’ lead to 19-13.

–Field Level Media