This weekend, Boston College football opens the 2017 home season — and with an ACC game, no less. In honor of the big game, a number of BCI writers are sharing their favorite Alumni Stadium memories. After you read ours, make sure to share yours in the comments!
Laura Berestecki, Managing Editor
During the 2009 football season, I was a freshman at BC. I had grown up going to BC games and was excited to share my love of Boston College sports with new friends. On October 3, College Gameday came to campus for the Eagles’ game against FSU. In addition to being a big game, this was an emotional day due to Mark Herzlich’s announcement that he had overcome cancer.
It was pouring rain all day, which doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun now, but it added to the atmosphere. The Eagles took an early lead, but things were tied 21-21 in the 4th. The Eagles would ultimately win the game 28-21, making this one of the most memorable and most fun football games I’ve been to.
Joseph Gravellese, Editor Emeritus
This is a tough choice, but I'd have to go with my first home game as a student - the season opener of 2006 against Clemson. What a wild game. This was back when we actually beat Clemson -- on multiple occasions! The game went to OT and a blocked extra point proved crucial -- on this occasion, we were the ones who did the blocking, so it was basically the inverse of how horrible the Pinstripe Bowl was. Alumni was full and rocking, and BC started Matt Ryan's junior year with a big ACC win. That was a lot of fun.
AJ Black, Football Editor
I am actually going to go with a game that was pretty meaningless, but the pre-game was so emotional. I am going to pick Mark Herzlich returning from cancer and leading the team out of the tunnel in the first game of the season in 2010 against Weber State. My entire tailgate had on Herzlich eye black, which for many of us was running when he came out of the tunnel. Sometimes football can be more than just the game, and for this one, it was.
Grant Salzano, Senior Writer
I was in the band, so almost all of my best memories come from the corner in Section H. There were plenty of big wins in my four years, like the blocked PAT win against Clemson in my first home game, a blowout in prime time against Virginia Tech where a VT player was busted dancing to the band’s music on the field, a big win over Florida State on ESPN while I was conductor of the band, and, not as “big” but no less vivid in my memory, a win in an absolutely absurd monsoon against Buffalo — I still haven’t dried out.
But whenever someone asks me what my favorite home BC football memory is, my first thought always comes to my last home game as a senior, a pretty terrible 31-13 loss to North Carolina. After we played the Alma Mater, and as we were getting ready to pack it up and head out of the stadium, a ton of students (probably a good percentage of them seniors who didn’t want their last home game to end), had all congregated around the band and were yelling to us to keep playing. So, I turned Dave Healey, the band’s director, and he grinned, pointed to the conductor’s stand, and told me to get up there and keep on going.
We must have played for another half hour, and all the students were singing and dancing along with us. No one wanted the football season to end. Hell, no one wanted their time at Boston College to end. It was quite a experience — those of you who are alumni can imagine it was a pretty emotional one — and the first one I always think of when I think of being at Alumni Stadium.
Matt O’Neil, Staff Writer
I came to visit BC as a junior in high school and my brother, my uncle, and I happened to come for the USC game. My cousin was a freshman at the time and she got us into the student section, which all stormed the field after the game. I remember nearly falling down the bleachers as the Tyler Murphy uncorked that 60 yard touchdown run. It was one of the best sporting events I've ever been to. After that night, I knew I wanted to go to BC.
Patrick Toppin, Staff Writer
Patrick is a current student and his first game at BC was when he was a freshman. He declined to answer this question on those grounds.
Eric Hoffses, Staff Writer
The game I went to that I'll never forget actually ended in a BC loss. In 2001, the top ranked Hurricanes came into Alumni with one of the best college teams ever assembled. The team was STACKED with guys like Andre Johnson, Willis McGahee, Clinton Portis, Frank Gore and Jeremy Shockey on offense and Vince Wilfork, Ed Reed, Sean Taylor and Jon Vilma on defense.
For those too young to remember---Shortly before the game it was announced that BC's all-everything back and future 1st round pick William Green was suspended for the game, which made a really tough situation into an impossible situation. Without its star BC put together one of the gutsiest performances I've ever seen led by RB Derrick Knight. Miami was leading 12-7 in the 4th with just over 2:00 remaining and was just trying to grind out the clock. Ralph Parent stripped the ball from Frank Gore and BC got the ball back at its own 30 with 2:09left. Brian St.Pierre led the team down to the Miami 9-yard line and it felt like BC was going to pull off one of the biggest upsets ever. St.Pierre was picked off by a DL near the end zone and the big guy handed it to Ed Reed to return for a TD and ice the game. Maybe the worst part was that BC missed a 28 yard FG earlier in the 4th quarter so the Eagles really had no business needing to score a TD to win the game
John Fidler, Writer
This one isn't so easy. I've been fortunate enough to see a lot of good, but oddly most of the really big wins in particular have come on the road (Miami '84, Notre Dame '93,...even Penn State '83 and Alabama '83, were in Foxboro, not on campus), are the obvious ones that stick out. As this is a home game though sticking with the theme of it being in Alumni Stadium, I am going to go back to 1982 and BC 31 Clemson 16, where the Eagles played probably the most dominant game against outstanding competition I have ever seen them play. BC roared back from a 16-3 third quarter deficit to run off 28 points against a team one year removed from a national title and one that would not lose a game the rest of the season finishing 9-1-1. It didn't hurt that it was a 6 PM kickoff where they allowed kegs on campus...let's say the crowd (and me as an 19 year old sophomore) was cranked up a bit. BTW - the game is on YouTube now.
Katie Bent, Writer
My favorite memory is shutting out Notre Dame 17-0 in 2008 to make it 6 wins in a row against the Irish. This was my senior year and I had road tripped to South Bend the year before to see Matt Ryan embarrass Notre Dame at home.