Boston College 16, Syracuse 7: Andre Williams Powers Eagles Past Orange

Boston College freshman running back Andre Williams rushed for 185 yards and a touchdown on a school-record 42 carries as Boston College defeated old rival Syracuse in the regular season finale at the Carrier Dome. Read more at BC Interruption and Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician.

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Boston College 16, Syracuse 7: Andre Williams Powers Eagles Past Orange

SYRACUSE, NY - It's tough for any team to succeed when its best player isn't on the field, and that was the scenario Boston College faced on Saturday when it took on Syracuse at the Carrier Dome. Without junior tailback Montel Harris in the backfield, it seemed like a win might be out of reach.

Nevertheless, Eagles coach Frank Spaziani had an ace in the hole, and his name was Andre Williams. Williams rushed for 185 yards and a touchdown as Boston College defeated old rival Syracuse in the regular season finale for both teams.

"We know Andre's talent," Spaziani said. "Did we think he would have a day like that? Who could think that? He's a tough kid and he works hard, and as I said before, that's a good recipe for success."

Williams, who started in place of the injured Harris, broke the school record for carries in a game, rushing the ball an impressive 42 times. The amazing thing was that Williams didn't even know it until the game was over.

"Did I? Wow," Williams said after learning about his record-breaking performance. "I didn't know how much we were going to run, but I knew I definitely just had to make sure that we had a run game. I didn't know if Syracuse was expecting the run since Montel was out, but I was just thinking that we can't just be passing."

When all was said and done, Williams was simply thankful for the opportunity to shine.

"It was amazing just to be out there, knowing that it's the last game of the season," said Williams. "If we (win), we'd have a winning record. It was just a good feeling because I knew the team was behind me the whole time. We just did what we had to do."

Chase Rettig completed 11-of-19 passes for 110 yards and an interception for Boston College. Chris Pantale had three receptions for 66 yards to lead the Eagles' receivers.

Ryan Nassib finished the day 15-for-24 with 146 yards for Syracuse. Bailey had 71 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries and Marcus Sales caught five passes for 73 yards for the Orange.

Boston College and Syracuse both finished the regular season with overall records of 7-5. Both teams are bowl eligible.

"It's great," Rettig said about the Eagles' turnaround performance this season. "Dropping five straight and then coming back and getting five straight puts you with a winning record. Now, we can start talking about this bowl game."

Williams opened the game with a six yard run on first and 10 from the Eagles' 28 yard line. On the next play, fellow true freshman quarterback Chase Rettig hit receiver Bobby Swigert for an 18-yard gain and the first down. Williams rushed for four yards on first down from the Syracuse 44 yard line and Rettig connected with Swigert again, this time for a five yard gain to the right.

On third and one, Williams picked up the first down on a four yard rush up the middle, giving Boston College new life. Williams followed that play with a two-yard scamper up the middle. Then, Rettig passes to freshman Alex Amidon on back-to-back downs before Williams again carried the ball for an eight yard gain.

Williams rushed the ball on the next three downs to set the Eagles up with a second down and nine on the Orange 10 yard line. Rettig missed his next two passes, though, forcing a fourth and nine.

After a timeout, Eagles' kicker Nate Freese split the uprights on a 27-yard field goal to give Boston College an early 3-0 lead with 7:49 to play in the first quarter. The Eagles' scoring drive covered 62 yards on 15 plays.

"The first drive definitely made us feel confident," Rettig said. "The best thing about the first drive is what we haven't really been able to do much, which was convert on those early third downs."

The Eagles converted three times on third down in the opening drive, due in part to the performance of Williams.

"Andre played great today," Rettig said. "He was our offensive high. He stepped up, ran hard, and I've got to give a lot of credit to him and a lot of credit to our offensive line."

While Boston College couldn't score six, Rettig was still happy with the opening drive.

"Unfortunately, we didn't come away with a touchdown but we put three points on the board and just started off with some confidence," said Rettig. "That translated throughout the game from there."

Syracuse moved the ball 43 yards on six plays in its opening drive, but was forced to punt, setting Boston College up with a first and 10 on their own 17.

This time around, the Eagles' offense wasn't so successful, driving the ball just 25 yards on nine plays before punting with 11 seconds left in the first quarter.

Boston College had the ball for the majority of the first quarter, keeping the ball for nearly 12 minutes while Syracuse had the ball for nearly three minutes.

Neither team put together a successful drive in the first 11 minutes of the second quarter. Syracuse had two drives in the quarter and punted the ball away both times. Boston College went three and out on its first drive of the quarter and saw its second drive end when Rettig threw an interception.

Rettig's pass was intended for receiver Jonathan Coleman who stopped short instead of running a straight route towards the endzone. As a result, Rettig aired the ball out and was intercepted by Syracuse defender Kevyn Scott with 7:34 to play in the first half.

After Syracuse's second thee and out, the Eagles put together a solid drive to end that saw them drive 39 yards on seven plays. BC capped off the drive with another Freese field goal, this time from 29-yards out, to give the Eagles a 6-0 advantage heading into halftime.

The Orange put their first-half struggles behind them on the opening drive of the third quarter, driving 80 yards on 12 plays and scoring the game's first touchdown on a five-yard rush from Antwon Bailey with 9:39 left in the quarter. Ross Krautman made the extra point, and Syracuse had their first lead of the day.

During the drive, Boston College sophomore linebacker Luke Kuechly surpassed Tom McManus as the Eagle's single-season tackles leader with 166. Kuechly made a tackle on the first play of the second half and then stopped Bailey after a 13-yard run two plays later to pass McManus.

"I don't really look at that too much," Kuechly said about breaking McManus' record. "Winning is the most important thing. I don't just get tackles by myself. The defensive line is part of it, and they've done a great job of getting a push on the offensive line. It's a testament to the defensive line and the defense as a whole."

The sudden lead change didn't phase the Eagles, who silenced the amped up crowd with a 10-play, 78 yard drive that was capped off by a one-yard touchdown run from Williams on third and one, giving Boston College the 13-7 edge with 4:51 left in the third quarter. It wasn't easy, though, as the Orange stuffed the Eagles at the goal line on first and second down.

"It was hard," Williams said about getting the final two yards to the endzone. "We were kind of stumbling around a little bit in the red zone, but I knew that if we could drive down the field, we could definitely get two yards."

On the ensuing kickoff, Prince-Tyson Gulley returned the ball 17 yards but fumbled after a Kuechly hit him. The ball rolled towards the Orange endzone, but Gulley recovered it at their own five. 

Despite the minor setback, Syracuse managed to work the ball down the field once again, going 22 yards in eight plays before they were forced to punt, giving the Eagles the ball heading into the fourth quarter.

Freese hit another field goal, this time from 22-yards out, to pad the Eagles' lead to 16-7 with 6:48 remaining in the game.

Syracuse had a shot to make things interesting with less than two minutes to play, but senior linebacker Mark Herzlich intercepted a pass to seal the Eagles' victory.

"It was sweet," Herzlich said about his interception. "It was just an exclamation point on the end of the season, really. It's been a very crazy season for me, and it was an awesome way to end it."

Herzlich and company will look to finish the 2010 season with their sixth straight win when Boston College participates in bowl season.

All things considered, it was an amazing way to finish a roller coaster season that saw the Eagles win two, lose five and win five all in succession.

"It was awesome," Herzlich said.

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Boston College At Syracuse: Eagles Defeat Orange 16-7 In Regular Season Finale

SYRACUSE, NY - Boston College freshman running back Andre Williams rushed for 185 yards and a touchdown on 42 carries as the Eagles defeated Syracuse 16-7 in their regular season finale on Saturday at the Carrier Dome.

Nate Freese hit two field goals in the first half to give Boston College a 6-0 lead entering halftime. Antwon Bailey scored on a five-yard run to cap off a 12-play, 80 yard drive to open the third quarter and give Syracuse a 7-6 lead with 9:32 left in the quarter.

The Eagles answered with a 10-play, 78-yard drive that was capped off by Williams' one-yard touchdown run one third and one to give Boston College a 13-7 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Freese hit another field goal, this time from 22-yards out, to pad the Eagles' lead to 16-7 with 6:48 remaining in the game.

Syracuse had a shot to make things interesting with less than two minutes to play, but senior linebacker Mark Herzlich intercepted a pass to seal the Eagles' victory.

Chase Rettig completed 11-of-19 passes for 110 yards and an interception for Boston College. Chris Pantale had three receptions for 66 yards to lead the Eagles' receivers.

Ryan Nassib finished the day 15-for-24 with 146 yards for Syracuse. Bailey had 71 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries and Marcus Sales caught five passes for 73 yards for the Orange.

Boston College and Syracuse both finished the regular season with overall records of 7-5. Both teams are bowl eligible.

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Boston College Vs. Syracuse: Eagles Lead 13-7 Heading Into Fourth Quarter

SYRACUSE, NY – After a relatively silent first half, Boston College and Syracuse combined to score 14 points in the third quarter and the Eagles took a 13-7 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Orange scored on the opening drive of the quarter, moving 80 yard on 12 plays and ultimately scoring on a five-yard touchdown run from Antwon Bailey with 9:32 left in the third.

During the drive, Boston College sophomore linebacker Luke Kuechly surpassed Tom McManus as the Eagle’s single-season tackles leader with 166. Kuechly made a tackle on the first play of the second half and then stopped Bailey after a 13-yard run two plays later to pass McManus.

Boston College responded with a 78-yard, 10-play drive of their own that resulted in a one-yard touchdown scamper from freshman running back Andre Williams that gave the Eagles a 13-7 lead with 4:49 left in the quarter.

Through three quarters, Williams has rushed for 127 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries.

Chase Rettig has completed 10-of-18 passes for 111 yards and an interception for Boston College.

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Boston College Vs. Syracuse: Luke Kuechly Becomes Boston College's Single Season Tackles Leader

SYRACUSE, NYLuke Kuechly passed Tom McManus as the Eagles’ single-season tackles leader early in the third quarter. Kuechly now has 166 tackles.

Kuechly had three tackles in the first half and tied McManus on the first play of the third quarter. Kueckly surpassed McManus by tackling Antwon Bailey after a 13-yard run down the sideline.

The all-time record for tackles in a single-season is held by Texas Tech defender Lawrence Flugence, who had 193 tackles in 2002.

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Boston College Vs. Syracuse: Eagles Lead Orange 6-0 At Halftime

SYRACUSE, NY – Boston College true freshman running back Andre Williams had 73 yards on 18 carries in the first half and the Eagles took a 6-0 lead over the Orange into the locker room.

The Eagles’ first scored on a 27-yard field goal from Nate Freese with 7:42 left in the first quarter.

After Syracuse’s second thee and out of the second quarter, the Eagles put together a solid drive to end that saw them drive 39 yards on seven plays.

Boston College capped off the drive with another Freese field goal, this time from 29-yards out, to give the Eagles a 6-0 advantage with 1:40 left before halftime.

Eagles true freshman quarterback Chase Rettig completed 9-of-16 passes for 80 yards, but also threw an interception.

Rettig was picked off by Syracuse defender Kevyn Scott. The pass was intended for receiver Jonathan Coleman, who stopped short instead of running a down-field route. Rettig aired the ball out down field, but it was nowhere close to Coleman and Scott intercepted it.

Tight end Chris Pantale had two catches for 35 yards to lead the Eagles’ receivers.

Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib completed 5-of-10 passes for 55 yards. Delone Carter rushed for 30 yards on six carries and Marcus Sales had one catch for 26 yards in the first half for the Orange.

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Boston College Vs. Syracuse: Eagles Lead Orange 3-0 After First Quarter

SYRACUSE, NY - Boston College true freshman kicker Nate Freese connected on a 27-yard field goal with 7:47 left in the first quarter to give the Eagles a 3-0 lead over Syracuse after the first quarter.

On Boston College's opening drive, true freshman running back Andre Williams rushed for 27 yards on 12 carries to pace the Eagles' offense. True freshman quarterback Chase Rettig completed 7-of-10 passes for 61 yards for Boston College.

Freshman Alex Amidon had three catches for 19 yards, freshman Bobby Swigert had two catches for 19 yards and tight end Chris Pantale had one reception for 18 yards to pace the Eagles.

For Syracuse, quarterback Ryan Nassib completed 2-of-3 passes for 34 yards. Delone Carter picked up 15 rushing yards on two carries and receiver Marcus Sales had one catch for 26 yards in the quarter for the Orange.

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Boston College Vs. Syracuse: Greetings From The Carrier Dome

SYRACUSE, NY - It's never fun getting up at 4 a.m. for any reason, but when it's for a Boston College football game in Syracuse, it's totally worth it.

After driving for nearly five hours, with a few pit stops along the way, I've arrived at the Carrier Dome for today's regular season finale featuring the Boston College Eagles and the Syracuse Orange.

Both teams are bowl eligible entering today's finale, with Boston College coming in at 6-5 overall (4-4 ACC) and Syracuse at 7-4 overall (4-3 Big East).

The Eagles are coming off of a 17-13 win over Virginia last Saturday that made them bowl eligible for the 12th consecutive season.

Syracuse didn't enjoy a similar fortune last week, losing 26-3 to Big East rival Connecticut. The loss bumped the Orange into third place in the Big East, dashing their hopes of a first-place finish in the conference.

The story of the game for Boston College today is freshman running back Andre Williams, who will be starting in place of junior tailback Montel Harris after he injured his left knee on the final play of the third quarter last Saturday.

Harris finished with 114 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries before leaving prior to the fourth quarter against Virginia. He exited in second place on the Eagles' all-time rushing list with 3,600 yards. This season, Harris has collected 1,278 rushing yards and eight touchdowns on 269 carries for Boston College.

As for Williams, he has a career total of 210 rushing yards on 34 carries in 10 games this season. Williams burst onto the scene last week against Virginia, rushing for 108 yards on 12 carries, including a 59-yard scramble that set up Harris' only touchdown of the game.

It will be very interesting to see how Williams responds to the challenge in the Eagles' final regular season game. Harris' status for a bowl game is unknown, as he had arthroscopic surgery on Monday.

Boston College and Syracuse haven't met since 2004 when the Orange steamrolled the Eagles 43-17 at Alumni Stadium. The game was Boston College's last as a member of the Big East, as it moved to the ACC the following season.

Saturday's game marks the 46th time the two schools have faced off. Syracuse leads the all-time series against Boston College 28-17. It is the second longest series in Boston College football history, as the Eagles have only played more games against Villanova.

Expect to see a good game out of these longtime rivals this afternoon at the Carrier Dome. Check back with SB Nation Boston and BC Interruption throughout the game for updates.

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Boston College Vs. Syracuse: Eagles Face Orange In Regular Season Finale

It's been a long and bumpy regular season for Boston College's football team this year, and it all comes to a close on Saturday afternoon when the Eagles face rival Syracuse on national television at the Carrier Dome (12 p.m. ET, ESPN).

Saturday's meeting between old rivals Boston College and Syracuse marks the first time since 2004 that the two teams have played and the 46th time overall. According to BCEagles.com, it is the second-longest series in Boston College football history.

Boston College (6-5) started its season out with two consecutive wins over FCS Weber State and Kent State but lost its next five games. Seemingly out of the bowl conversation, the Eagles went on a remarkable run that saw them win four in a row.

With their fourth straight win, a 17-13 win over ACC foe Virginia last Saturday, the Eagles became bowl eligible for the 12th straight season. In the win, junior running back Montel Harris rushed for 114 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries and true freshman Andre Williams rushed for 108 yards on 10 carries.

It was a bittersweet win for the Eagles, as they lost Harris after he suffered a torn left lateral meniscus in his left knee on the final play of the third quarter. It was later reported that Harris had arthroscopic surgery and would be inactive for Saturday's game against Syracuse.

Williams will start in his place, but realizes that it won't be easy taking Harris' place (via BCEagles.com)

"Montel has some big shoes to fill," Williams said. "Early in the year, we weren't jelling as an offense yet but I think Chase [Rettig] definitely feels more comfortable behind the line. His pass game is pretty solid so I think with us back there it will be a good balance and we'll be able to do some things."

Boston College's turnaround has been led by true freshman Chase Rettig and sophomore linebacker Luke Kuechly. Rettig has completed 75% of his passes (75-of-142) thrown for 1,007 yards, six touchdowns and six interceptions.

Kuechly, who is the nation's leading tackler with 136, has had 10 or more tackles in 20 consecutive games, which is the longest streak in college football. Earlier this week, Kuechly was named as a finalist for the Butkus award, honoring the nation's top linebacker.

"It's a great honor and I think it really is a reflection of the team," Kuechly said yesterday (via the Boston Herald). "I think back to all the workouts in the weight room and getting through camp and I know I wouldn't have been able to do it without my teammates."

Kuechly is also a finalist for the Nagurski Award, which honors the nation's top defensive player. He is five tackles shy of Tom McManus' 141 tackles, which is the most in school history. Kuechly is 23 tackles shy of the NCAA single-season record for tackles, currently held by Texas Tech's Lawrence Flugence back in 2002.

Syracuse (7-4, 4-3 Big East) is coming off of an embarrassing 23-6 loss to Big East rival Connecticut last Saturday. Quarterback Ryan Nassib completed 20-of-36 passes for 171 yards and threw an interception while Delone Carter collected just 67 rushing yards on 19 carries in the loss.

Michael Jones split the uprights from 35 yards out with 0:31 seconds left in the first quarter to score the only three points for Syracuse.

The Orange loss bumped them into third place in the Big East, making it less likely that they would capture the conference's Bowl Championship Series bid.

Syracuse, which is bowl eligible, hasn't been able to establish a solid stretch of games, with their biggest winning streak being three games against Maine, Colgate and South Florida from September 18th to October 9th. 

Nassib has completed 174-of-313 passes for 1,948 yards, 16 touchdowns and 17 interceptions in 11 games this season. Carter leads the team in rushing with 1,005 yards and seven touchdowns on 198 carries.

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