CHESTNUT HILL - Chase Rettig (21-for-39, 287 yards, 2 TD) led the Boston College Eagles on a 13-play, 85-yard drive that ended with a 14-yard game-winning touchdown pass to Jonathan Coleman en route to their first FBS win this season, 20-17, over the Maryland Terrapins at home on Saturday.
"It was an exciting, exhilarating victory," said Eagles head coach Frank Spaziani. "I can't say enough about the job that the kids did to hang in there. We struggled on offense but we were able to make a bunch of plays at the end."
The Eagles' offense survived on the passing game alone, as the rushing game had just eight net yards thanks to four sacks of Rettig accounting for a loss of 43 yards. Maryland controlled the ball for nearly seven minutes longer than Boston College did, but the first downs were nearly even (BC 17, Maryland 16) and BC put the ball on the ground three times and fumbled the ball away twice.
Alex Amidon continued his hot stretch, catching nine passes for 137 yards. Andre Williams rushed for 60 yards on 16 carries and fumbled once. Spiffy Evans had two big punt returns and racked up 179 all purpose yards in the win.
Maryland quarterback Caleb Rowe, filling in after a string of injuries to the Terps' gunslingers, performed admirably, completing 23-of-42 passes for 240 yards and two scores, but he was picked off three times. Stefon Diggs led all receivers with 152 yards and one score. Wes Brown rushed for 73 yards.
"We had our opportunities to win and we couldn't make a play when we needed to make a play here at the end," said former UConn coach and Maryland coach Randy Edsall. "It's very disappointing, but again, it's one of those things that our kids played hard, competed, put themselves in a position to win the game and then couldn't come up with the one play that we needed to make."
Boston College appeared to be ready to deliver a blowout, scoring the game's first touchdown after a two-play drive culminating in a 20-yard scoring pass from Rettig at 13:15 of the opening quarter. The score was set up by a 29-yard punt return from Evans after Maryland's offense went three-and-out.
Evans had another gem of a return after the Terapins' punt on their second drive, taking the ball 72 yards to set up a first down at the Maryland 19 yard line. Williams took the ball 15 yards for a first and goal and nearly punched it in on a three-yard run the next play, but a costly fumble resulted in a turnover.
Nate Freese's 36-yard field goal with 4:45 to go in the first half pushed the Eagles' advantage to 10-0, a score which would hold through halftime. BC added another field goal, a 28-yard strike from Freese at 12:11 of the third quarter, to bump the lead to 13 points -- its first double digit lead since beating Maine.
Maryland's offense finally came alive, scoring 17 unanswered points in the third and fourth quarters. Rowe led the Terps on a 13-play, 69-yard drive that ended with a one-yard touchdown pass to Nigel King at 6:26 of the third quarter, making it a 13-7 game. Brendan Magistro's 28-yard field goal cut the Maryland deficit to three with 0:08 left in the third and a 66-yard touchdown pass from Rowe to Diggs at 8:47 in the fourth put the Terps in the driver's seat, 17-13.
Rettig's game-winning pass to a wide open Coleman came with 52 ticks left.
"They made plays," Spaziani said of his team's game-winning drive. "They made some plays. That's the mark of some guys with some constitution and character. That's what they had to do. We made a couple of nice plays and then we got a big play at the end. That's what good players do, they make a play."
Boston College heads back on the road to face Wake Forest next Saturday.
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