After an agonizing first half, the Boston College football team put forth an excellent second half to pick up it’s first conference win of the season. It still wasn’t all pretty with a couple of turnovers, but the defensive intensity allowed BC to win 27-24 on a go-ahead field goal from Liam Connor.
Jeff Hafley’s team came out exactly how they were throughout last week’s game against Louisville, sleepwalking. The defense allowed UVA’s opening script to easily go 10 plays for 75 yards with only one third down in the process.
Thomas Castellanos and the BC offense would start off by punting, getting picked off on fourth down, and then intercepted once again. The Cavaliers would score off that second turnover early in the second quarter to extend the lead. Muskett, who would finish the first half with 218 yards passing and three touchdowns in the first half, was bringing out the boo birds early for the Eagles.
But the Eagles defense still didn’t let things get too out of hand. A few sacks from the likes of Donovan Ezeiruaku and George Rooks, the former who has been surprisingly quiet this season, would give the Eagles little jolts. The defense would finish with five huge sacks on the day.
With under 2 minutes to go in the first half, BC finally had something break right. Castellanos made a play out to Lewis Bond and he broke a tackle to get the Eagles deep into the red zone. Bond shined on the day and his seven catches for 104 yards were yet another catalyst for the Eagles comeback.
After Pat Garwo punched in the touchdown, a weight came off the Eagles’ wings, but UVA would choose to be aggressive. Muskett and company drove down the field to just about the cusp of field goal range. An intentional grounding penalty though should have closed that chapter, but after a helmet came off, UVA was left with 0:03 to go. Muskett heaved up a 39 yard pass which Malachi Fields brought down to make it a two score game again. It was a deflating end to the half in spite of Hafley calling a timeout just before the play to set up.
Boston College would complete flip the script in the second half. They opened the scoring with a 42 yard field goal from Connor. The Eagles leaned a bit more on the ground game with the pass game largely ineffective. Garwo had a great effort on the day with his backfield mate Kye Robichaux out. He would finish with 23 carries for 87 yards and that first touchdown. Alex Broome got the following drive going with a 33 yard run, eventually setting up a Joe Griffin Jr. touchdown catch on the goal line. The tides were shifting, and Elijah Jones kept things going with the first Eagles interception of the season.
the takeaway from Elijah Jones pic.twitter.com/5trzabew3K— Boston College Football (@BCFootball) September 30, 2023
Nine plays later, it was Bond once again. He corralled a short pass and took it 33 yards to give BC the lead. That made it four scores on four straight possessions as well.
Lewis Bond.— Boston College Football (@BCFootball) September 30, 2023
Go-ahead touchdown. pic.twitter.com/AGu9FuaLqB
From that high, the air was then taken out of the stadium early in the fourth quarter. Eagles wide receiver Ryan O’Keefe collided with a UVA defender on the team’s next possession. A very scary moment, O’Keefe was stretchered off the field and taken to a nearby hospital.
Garwo would fumble a few plays after that, and then so would Joe Griffin Jr fighting for more yards. UVA would only come away with a field goal from 44 yards to tie the game fortunately, but the Eagles needed to get their mindset right again with O’Keefe top of mind.
BC played the clock well on their final scoring possession. Garwo and Bond would move the Eagles into field goal range for Connor. The Eagles would bring a whole bunch of pressure on Muskett to get the ball back and close the game.
The Eagles pick up their first ACC win and second of the season. They’ll head to West Point next weekend.