Up next in our Ultimate Boston College Football Game contest is Pool D. Vying for the two spots in the Round of 16 are an emotional victory over Florida State, a home opening beat down of Penn State, a perfect kicking debut and a victory on the Smurf Turf of Boise, Idaho.
Let's get to it.
2009: Boston College 28, Florida State 21
It was an emotional day on the Heights as ESPN's College Game Day was on campus as the nation watched BC's All-American linebacker Mark Herzlich announced that he was cancer-free on the Game Day set in the Dust Bowl. The Eagles carried that momentum into the game to defeat the Florida State Seminoles 28-21.
It almost wasn't meant to be.
Boston College jumped out to a 21-3 first half lead on the arm of Dave Shinskie and the legs of Montel Harris. But Noles QB Christian Ponder responding, leading FSU on a pair of TD drives that knotted the score at 21. After Dustin Hopkins' 37-yard field goal went wide right, Shinskie and Harris took over with 7:02 left.
Starting on their own 20, Shinskie hit Rich Gunnell for 10 yards. Montel Harris gained 5 and 4 before Shinskie hit Larmond Jr. to keep the drive alive on 3rd and 1. On the next set of downs, Shinskie's passes fell incomplete on both first and second down before a FSU pass interference penalty put the Eagles on the FSU 42. On the next play, Montel Harris broke through the middle of the line and scampered into the end zone for the go-ahead score, sending Alumni Stadium into a frenzy.
Harris finished with a then-career high 179 yards on 25 carries in his second of three performances in which he torched his home state Seminoles. The win gave the Eagles a 4-1 (2-1 ACC) record and dropped the Seminoles to 2-3 (0-2 ACC).
2004: Boston College 21, Penn State 7
This was a game that could have ended up with a far different outcome if not for a bit of luck. In the 2004 home opener, Penn State had seemingly blocked a Johnny Ayers punt on the opening drive but the Lions were called for roughing the kicker, extending BC's drive not once, but twice.
Eagles QB Paul Petersen capitalized on the offense's good fortune, hitting TE David Kashetta -- I can still hear the Eagles' PA announcer pronouncing KA_SHET-TA in his thick Boston accent -- on an 8-yard TD pass midway through the first quarter to put BC up 7-0.
Petersen made it 14-0 before half after hitting Grant Adams on a 26-yard strike one play after recovering a Nittany Lions fumble. Petersen accounted for all three Eagles touchdowns, finishing the day 23-of-31 for 199 yards. Running back Andre Callender came off the bench to rush for 114 yards on 24 carries.
In all, the Boston College D forced five turnovers including four interceptions to limit the Nittany Lion offense. The victory was only the fourth Eagles W all-time against the once Eastern independence, though it did mark the third straight victory in the series. Penn State leads the all-time series 19-4.
2006: Boston College 22, Virginia Tech 3
Though injured, a hobbled Matt Ryan led the Eagles to a 22-3 victory over the Hokies to push the Eagles to 5-1 on the year. Ryan finished 16-for-29 for 174 yards and two touchdowns to pace the Eagles, but it was the play of the defense and a Superfan turned walk-on kicker that carried the day.
Steve "Sid Vicious" Aponavicius was plucked out of the Superfan section to replace suspended starter Ryan Ohliger, and he delivered in a big way. Aponavicius had a perfect kicking performance in his debut, connecting on field goals of 36 and 20 and converting both XPs.
Ryan put the game out of reach midway through the fourth, hooking up with Kevin Challenger on an 18 yard TD catch and grab that put the Eagles up 17. The Eagles defense turned the Hokies offense over four times in this one, including two from freshman Alex Albright.
At the time, the Hokies fell to 12-2 in Thursday night games -- both losses coming against BC, 11 years apart. The loss also marked the first time since the 1998 Gator Bowl that the Hokies offense had been held without a touchdown. The Eagles improved to 5-1 (2-1 ACC) with the win and were a N.C. State desperation pass away from remaining unbeaten at the halfway point of the season.
2005: Boston College 27, Boise State 21 - MPC Computers Bowl
Despite earning a share of the Atlantic Division title in their first full season in the conference, the Eagles fell all the way to the MPC Computers Bowl to face a Boise State team playing on their home turf. If it wasn't clear that Boston College was sufficiently motivated by the bowl snub, the first half left no doubt.
BC jumped out to a 24-0 half time lead (that was almost 31-0) before holding back a furious Broncos comeback to win the programs' sixth straight bowl game. Matt Ryan engineered first-half scoring drives of 69 yards, 53 yards, 13 yards and 50 yards to put this game out of reach.
While this game looked over at half, Boise State came roaring back in the second half. After a Ryan Ohliger field goal made it 27-0, Boise State QB Jared Zabransky passed for one TD and ran in another to cut the lead to 27-14. With a little less than five minutes remaining, Boise State's Quinton Jones returned a punt 92 yards to cut the lead to 27-21.
The game was only sealed when BC's Ryan Glasper picked off Zabransky in the end zone to preserve the six point victory.
With the win, BC simultaneously extended the nation's longest bowl winning streak (six games) and snapped Boise State's 31 game home winning streak. I don't care what Broncos fans will have you believe. This was a home game for Boise State. TCU's victory last season at Boise State was only the Broncos' second loss on the Smurf Turf in a decade.
The two games that receive the most votes will advance to the Round of 16. Voting will end next Friday at 1 PM. Which games will advance?