Football ends . . . mercifully

Matt Milano was a defensive spark all season

Matt Milano was a defensive spark all season

In a season-ending match-up of two 3-8 teams, BC lost to Syracuse, 20-17, on a game-ending field goal. The close score and climactic conclusion belied what was, as the opening clause said, a game between two mediocre teams.

Neither team reached 250 yards total offense. Each team had more yardage in punts. Syracuse had 18 more plays than BC, but gained two fewer yards in total offense. The Eagles, however, surpassed the Orange in offensive ineptitude.

Of BC’s 239 yards total offense, 230 were gained on the ground. Quarterback Jeff Smith led the team in rushing with 117 yards, but was 1-13 passing for 9 yards, and two interceptions. The team overall had 11 penalties for 119 yards, a season high and particularly troubling in a final game.

The Eagles scored first to go up 7-0 in the first quarter. Syracuse took the halftime lead, 10-7, and both teams scored touchdowns in the third quarter within a minute of each other to make the score 17-14 going into the final quarter. BC kicked a field goal to tie the score with less than 3 minutes left, but Syracuse then drove 51 yards to set up the game-winning field goal.

How to sum up the 2015 season? Two wins to open the season — both over FCS schools, including a 76-0 wipeout of Howard — a 14-0 loss to Florida State, a 17-14 win over Northern Illinois, followed by 8 consecutive ACC losses. Against FBS teams, BC never scored more than 17 points in a game and averaged 10.6 points per game. The victory over Northern Illinois, a Middle America Conference team, was BC’s sole win over a FBS conference school. This is the first time BC has been winless in the ACC and the 8-game losing streak is the longest since 1978.


Next Game Watch

We’ll be checking television schedules, but right now it looks like the next opportunity will be the Beanpot Final, Monday, Feb. 8. Won’t know until the previous Monday if BC will be in that final. Stay tuned!

Other sports

Men’s soccer is in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament and will play Syracuse. BC beat #3 Georgetown today on penalty kicks. Regulation finished 1-1, and there were no goals in two overtime periods. BC scored on all five penalty kids to four for Georgetown.

#2 Men’s hockey won its 11th straight, beating RIT 6-2, to reach 12-1. #2 Women’s hockey elevated its win streak to 17, beating Providence 9-1 and Northeastern 6-1 this week.

Men’s basketball fell to 3-2, with losses to Michigan State 68-99 and UC Irvine 67-80. Women’s basketball beat Utah 76-51, but suffered its first loss to #21 Oklahoma 61-76 and has a 5-1 record.

Volleyball had a tough season (12-20, 4-16), but ended nicely with a 3-2 win over Notre Dame.

Eagles fall short

For the first time when meeting a Notre Dame football team ranked in the top four, the Eagles lost. In a “Shamrock Series” game yesterday that put the Fighting Irish as the “home team” in Fenway Park, BC fell behind and then fell short, losing 19-16 to the #4 Irish. BC had beaten then #1 Notre Dame in 1993 and #2 Notre Dame in 2002.

Eagles sing "Alma Mater" at game's end.

Eagles sing “Alma Mater” at game’s end.

BC’s top-ranked defense allowed Notre Dame to gain 447 yards total offense (320 through the air), but also forced five turnovers that stymied Irish scoring. BC’s low-ranked offense often failed to take advantage of what the defense gave them. The Eagles gained 302 yards total offense, but 80 yards of that was on one Jeff Smith touchdown run in the second half. BC had only 13 first downs and 88 yards passing, and punted the ball nine times, compared to four for ND.

In the first quarter, Notre Dame gained 152 yards, compared to BC’s 26 yards, and took a 10-0 lead. Down 3-0, BC forced an Irish fumble on BC’s 32. The Eagles gained five yards in three plays and then fell short of a first down on a fake punt. Notre Dame took over at the BC 40. The defense held and Notre Dame’s attempt at a field goal hit the crossbar. But a roughing-the-kicker penalty gave ND a first down and they converted that to a touchdown to close the first quarter.

After the first quarter, BC outscored the Irish 16-9. They squelched Notre Dame in the second quarter, allowing only 41 yards, but gained only 65 yards themselves and didn’t score. BC freshman Michael Walker returned the second half kickoff 67 yards to the ND 27, but the Eagles then gained only two yards and settled for a field goal.

Notre Dame gained 139 yards (BC 39) in the third quarter and scored a touchdown to make the score, 16-3. The final quarter saw the Eagles gain 172 yards and score two touchdowns, again the feature play being Smith’s 80-yard touchdown run. Lining up for a two-point conversion, BC had a delay-of-game penalty(!?) and failed to convert a pass attempt.

BC, in the fourth quarter, had a drive of one play for 80 yards and finished with a drive of nine plays for 86 yards to score a final touchdown, a three-yard touchdown pass by Smith. The ensuing onside kick failed and Notre Dame ran out the clock.


The Eagles conclude their 2015 season Saturday at Syracuse, hoping to break a seven-game losing streak and secure their first ACC win. Game time is 9:30 am PT.Syracuse2015

Last game of the season, so let’s close it out in style!

Happy Thanksgiving, Eagles!

Other sports

Hockey remains a source of solace. The #2 women’s team went to 15-0 with a victory over Northeastern this week. The men (10-1, #2 ) achieved their ninth straight win, beating UNH 6-3 yesterday in Durham.

Men’s soccer extended its run in the NCAA tournament with a 1-0 win over Vermont Thursday at Newton Campus.

BC’s basketball teams also remain undefeated. The women rose to 4-0 with a 58-37 victory over BU yesterday. The men’s team (3-0) defeated Harvard (1-3), 69-56, earlier today for the second straight season, after having lost to the Crimson six consecutive times.

At the track

A dozen BC Eagles and friends enjoyed a beautiful November afternoon at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club yesterday. Companionship, food, libations, beautiful horses, exciting races . . . at the Turf Club . . . a wonderful afternoon.

Front, l-r: Andrew Lutz ’13, Matthew Pare ‘13, Karlie Wong ’13, Jasmine Howard ‘11, Mary Farrell Berube ‘80 Rear, l-r: Greg Cortese JD’74, Bill McDonald ’68, Nick Mills JD’14, Patricia Hardy Nascenzi ‘80, Bob Nascenzi ‘78. Mike Ross '09 had joined us earlier.

Front, l-r: Andrew Lutz ’13, Matthew Pare ‘13, Karlie Wong ’13, Jasmine Howard ‘11, Mary Farrell Berube ‘80. Rear, l-r: Greg Cortese JD’74, Bill McDonald ’68, Nick Mills JD’14, Patricia Harvey Nascenzi ‘80, Bob Nascenzi ‘78. Mike Ross ’09 had joined us earlier.

This is the second fall season for Del Mar. They call it the Bing Crosby Season and often refer to it as the “BC Season.” We’ll go with that. :)

The 6th race of the afternoon was named in honor of “Boston College Alumni.” Greg Cortese JD’74 and Mary Farrell Berube ’80 represented San Diego Eagles in the Winner’s Circle to present gifts to the winning horse’s owner and jockey. Here’s the finish of that race.

This was a bye week for the BC football team, so there are no highlights. (That a good thing?) Next week is BC’s bowl game — Notre Dame, in Fenway Park. It’s a 4:30 pm PT kickoff and there is, of course, a BC game watch.


Other sports highlights

Both hockey teams continued their successful seasons. The #2 men’s team advanced to 9-1 with a 6-4 win over Michigan State. The four goals by the Spartans ended a three-game shutout streak by goalie Thatcher Demo (of San Diego), who had blanked the opposing team in six of the previous seven games. The #2 women are now 14-0, following a weekend sweep of UNH.

Field Hockey won its NCAA tournament opener yesterday, beating Albany, 2-1. The Eagles meet UConn today. (Update: UConn 1, BC 0)

Women’s Soccer, also in the NCAAs, fell to Princeton, 4-2, in its opener. Men’s Soccer ended play the ACC tournament, losing to Clemson, 3-0. The men, however, will host Vermont Thursday in an opening round of the NCAA Tournament.

Basketball has started and both Eagles teams opened with a win. The men beat St. Francis (Brooklyn, N.Y.), 75-49, and the women won over Providence, 67-41. The women followed up on that opening win with a victory over Maine today, 55-48.

You can see updated schedules and results on the Sports Schedules/Results page.

Go Eagles!