Road dogs and short a starting quarterback and running back, Boston College lost their season finale at Virginia, 43-32. It was BC’s first ever loss to UVA, and it dropped the Eagles to 6-5 (5-5) as teams jockey for bowl positioning.
Dennis Grosel put up some gaudy numbers in relief of the injured Phil Jurkovec (32/46 520 yards 4 TDs), but a pair of interceptions deep in UVA territory doomed the Eagles. It should be noted that those 520 passing yards tied Grosel with Doug Flutie for BC’s single game record. Though the turnovers hurt, the BC defense was unable to contain quarterback Brennan Armstrong and the rest of the Cavalier offense. Armstrong finished 19/27 for 287 yards, 1 TD 1 INT through the air, and 17 carries for 130 yards and a TD on the ground. Even with Grosel’s record tying performance, UVA out-gained BC 549-513.
Trailing 3-0 early in the first quarter, BC put together an impressive 90 yard drive. Grosel hit Zay Flowers in stride for a 45 yard TD pass, which put the Eagles up 7-3. The Cavaliers returned the ensuing kickoff all the way to the BC 22, but the defense was able to dig in and hold UVA to a field goal.
After trading three-and-outs, the BC offense was threatening early in the second quarter. On first down at the UVA 19, Grosel eluded pressure, but rather than throw the ball away, he heaved one off his back foot toward the end zone, and the Cavaliers came down with the interception at their own 5.
Virginia needed only 8 plays to traverse the 95 yard field in front of them. Armstrong found Ra’Shaun Henry from 47 yards out to go ahead 13-7. BC went three-and-out on their next possession, and UVA again sliced through an Eagles defense that looked completely out of sorts. This time they ran just 3 plays to cover 62 yards, capped by a Keytaon Thompson 10 yard TD rush.
Trailing 20-7 in the waning minutes of the half, Boston College showed signs of life. Grosel stood in against pressure and floated a pass down the sideline to his wide open tight end Hunter Long, who hauled it in for a 36 yard TD. Long finished the day with 8 catches for 109 yards.
Jahmin Muse then intercepted an ill-advised throw from Armstrong, and with just 31 seconds on the clock, Coach Hafley saw an opportunity to chip away at the deficit before the half. The Eagles did just that, as Aaron Boumerhi knocked in a 35 yard field goal to cut the lead to 20-17.
Boston College got a stop to begin the second half, but Grosel threw his 2nd interception of the game on the next possession. Grosel was looking for Zay Flowers near the UVA goal line, but Cavalier defensive back Nick Grant won the 50/50 ball as he and Flowers tumbled into the end zone for a touchback. Two plays later, UVA scored on a 60 yard TD run by Armstrong.
UVA added 10 more points to make it 17 straight before BC finally stopped the bleeding with Flowers’ 2nd TD reception of the game. Flowers continues to shine in his sophomore season— he compiled 8 catches for 180 yards, 2 TDs and a 2 point conversion.
After a failed onside kick attempt, UVA’s Keytaon Thompson added his second score of the day, going untouched on a 43 yard touchdown carry that gave the Cavaliers a commanding 43-25 lead. Grosel added another TD pass to his stat line on a pretty throw and even better catch by Jehlani Galloway, bringing the final balance to 43-32 in favor of Virginia.