The Boston College Eagles defeated ACC Atlantic rival as Dillon breaks pair of school touchdown records.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Boston College used a balanced attack of long passing plays and punishing runs by its ball carriers to earn a 58-27 win over Syracuse this afternoon at the Carrier Dome.
BC gained a school-record 691 total yards, with 484 coming in the first half. The previous record for a single-game was 656 versus Penn State in 1982.
AJ Dillon carried the ball 35 times for a season-high 242 yards and three touchdowns. Backfield mate David Bailey put forth another outstanding performance, tallying 172 yards and two TD’s on 16 carries.
Redshirt sophomore signal-caller Dennis Grosel was highly efficient on the afternoon, going 8-of-10 for 195 yards and three touchdowns. As a ball carrier, Grosel added 25 yards on the ground on four carries.
Defensively, Max Richardson led Boston College with eight tackles (seven solo), including a sack. He also forced a fumble. Mehdi El Attrach had six tackles while Nolan Borgerson, Tanner Karafa, and TJ Rayam each made five tackles.
Aaron Boumerhi connected on his lone field-goal attempt of the game and was a perfect 7-of-7 in point-after kicks on the day.
Boston College’s offense was firing on all cylinders in the opening half, scoring on 10 of its 12 drives. Nine of the 10 scoring drives ended up in the Orange end zone.
After a 13-play, 71-yard drive to start the day, Aaron Boumerhi connected on a 21-yard field goal attempt to make it 3-0. Syracuse responded with a touchdown on its next drive, covering 84 yards in six plays, culminating in a nine-yard pass from Tommy DeVito to Aaron Hackett.
But the Eagles rushing attack began to pick up the pace, as David Bailey busted through with a 29-yard touchdown run, helping BC take a 10-7 lead a little less than two minutes later.
BC’s defensive front forced a three-and-out on the Orange’s next possession but gave the ball back on a turnover. Syracuse converted the fumble recovery into a drive that ended with a 47-yard field goal, tying the game at 10-10. The Eagles would turn it over on another fumble on their next drive and the Orange tacked on a TD on a 26-yard passing play, making it 17-10.
Grosel connected with Kobay White on a 64-yard touchdown strike to start the second quarter, to tie it up at 17-17. It was Grosel’s longest completion of his career.
SU would go back up 20-17 on its next drive, after a 30-yarder by the Orange’s Andre Szmyt. From there, it was all Boston College.
A BC defensive stand forced Syracuse into a three-and-out, before Dillon made BC history once again. The junior All-American ball carrier broke free on the left side for a 51-yard TD run. It was his 35th career rushing touchdown, breaking the previous record held by Keith Barnette (1973-75).
After Syracuse turned it over on downs, Bailey made quick work on BC’s next drive, carrying the ball 74 yards to the house, making it 37-20 with 3:47 remaining in the half.
Max Richardson keyed the BC defense on the ensuing drive by the Orange, sacking DeVito and then forcing him into a fumble on the very next play. Marcus Valdez recovered the ball deep in ‘Cuse territory with 44 seconds left. Grosel kept it on a red zone 4th down and linked up with Isaiah Miranda on a four-yard pass for the redshirt junior’s first career touchdown. It was 44-20 at the half.
Midway through the third quarter, Dillon put the Eagles over the 50-point mark in a game for the first time this season – and for the first time since Sept. 8, 2018 (62 vs. Holy Cross). Dillon used a 32-yard carry to start the drive, which covered 74 yards in nine plays over 3:33. The Eagles would lead, 51-20, with 8:54 left in the third.
Syracuse again turned it over on downs, giving BC the ball back on its own 33-yard line. But the drive stalled and, for the first time in the game, the Eagles were forced to punt. On their next drive, the ‘Cuse scored on an 85-yard passing play on 3rd down to make it 51-27.
On BC’s next drive, the Eagles used their pounding ball carriers and surgical strikes to go 80 yards for another touchdown. Grosel connected on passes of 19 and 28 yards to Kobay White and E. Williams, while Dillon and Bailey blasted through the Orange D-Line. Dillon scored his third rushing TD of the game from two yards out, which proved to be the final scoring of the game – at 58-27 with 13:52 left in regulation.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Eagles broke the game open with 34 points scored in the second quarter.
- BC gained almost 300 yards of total offense in the quarter (294), rushing for 176 yards while gaining 118 in the air.
- Boston College did not have a drive end in a punt until the third quarter.
- Six different receivers caught Grosel’s eight completions.
- Boston College scored 44 points and totaled 484 yards of offense in the first half. It marked the most points and total yards in a half for the Eagles in an ACC game. The 44 points scored were the most by any ACC team in the first half in 2019 and the 484 yards were the third-most by any FBS team in the first half in 2019.
- Dillon became Boston College’s all-time leader with 35 rushing touchdowns as he scored on a 51-yard rushing touchdown in the second quarter. He entered the game tied with Keith Barnette (1973-75) with 34 rushing touchdowns.
- Dillon became BC’s all-time leader in total touchdowns with his 37th career score on the 51-yard run. Dillon has 35 rushing touchdowns and two touchdown receptions in his career. He was tied with William Green and Troy Stradford entering the day.
- Boston College returns home to host its annual Red Bandanna Game on Saturday, Nov. 9. Kickoff is set for noon from Alumni Stadium on ACC Network.