CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — Boston College battled wire-to-wire before dropping its first game of the 2020 season, 26-22, to #11 North Carolina at Alumni Stadium.
The Eagles engineered a touchdown on their final drive of the fourth quarter, going 69 yards in 15 plays over 5:01 – capped by a seven-yard touchdown reception by CJ Lewis. But on the attempt to tie it, Carolina intercepted the Phil Jurkovec pass and returned it for the two-point score.
Jurkovec finished the game 37-of-56, for 313 yards and two touchdown passes. The 37 completions were the most by a BC signal-caller at home since at least 1996 and the most overall since Nov. 4, 2006 (Matt Ryan – 40 at Wake Forest). His 56 pass attempts were also the most by a BC quarterback at Alumni Stadium since at least 1996 and was the highest overall total number of attempts since Ryan passed 56 times on Nov. 10, 2007, at Maryland.
Nine BC receivers accounted for Jurkovec’s 37 completions, led by tight end Hunter Long’s nine catches for 96 yards. Zay Flowers hauled in eight passes for 61 yards, while Patrick Garwo made six catches for 30 yards. Lewis and David Bailey each made TD catches on the afternoon. Bailey added seven carries for 28 yards.
Carolina got the scoring going on its first drive, covering 83 yards in 12 plays – capped by a 24-yard touchdown pass from Sam Howell to Khafre Brown, making it 7-0 with 7:35 left in the opening quarter. On BC’s next drive, Aaron Boumerhi connected from 35 yards, capping a 10-play, 57-yard drive, making it 7-3 with just under four minutes to go in the first quarter.
The Tar Heels extended its lead to 14-3 late in the first. UNC started the drive on a short field and found the end zone from one-yard out with 1:25 left. Boumerhi struck again, connecting on a 27-yarder, making it 14-6 with 12:34 to go in the first half.
Pressure by the BC defense forced Howell into an interception deep in Carolina territory, as Brandon Sebastian hauled in the deflected pass at the five-yard line. On third down, Jurkovec found David Bailey on the outside for the running back’s first career touchdown. Boumerhi converted the PAT, making it 14-13 with 11:35 left in the half. With just over a minute remaining in the first half, Howell engineered another scoring drive for the Tar Heels, scrambling before converting a 41-yard TD strike with 1:09 left. But the Eagles would drive the length of the field and Boumerhi connected on his third FG of the half, making it 21-16 at the break.
Carolina extended its lead to 24-16, connecting on a 35-yard field goal midway through the third quarter.
Max Richardson led Boston College with 13 tackles, including eight solo stops and a pass break up. Isaiah McDuffie registered 12 tackles (nine solo), while making two QB hurries and a sack. Marcus Valdez, Brandon Barlow, and Maximillian Roberts each logged a sack.
BC hosts Pitt next week – Saturday, Oct. 10 – at Alumni Stadium. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. and the game will air on ACC Network.