Two teams with identical records of 0-2 met at Alumni Stadium on Saturday night. Boston College (1-3) and Maine )0-3) were looking to get their seasons back on track. The Black Bears’ offense has been part of the problem. Through two games this unit, led by senior QB Joe Fagnano, has averaged only nine points in the two losses. The BC Eagles’ issues are with a young offensive line trying to establish a level of play for both the running and passing game The run game is struggling gaining only 33 net yards in two games and the passing game has 434 yards through the air with four touchdowns passes and three interceptions in two games. Something had to give in this one.
After two drives from BC and one from Maine, the Black Bears got the first break of the night. A shanked punt by Eagles punter Danny Longman set up Maine in BC territory at the Eagles 38. Although the drive gained little in the way of yards, it would set up Black Bears place kicker Cole Baker with a 45-yard attempt field goal which he would knock through the uprights to give Maine an early 3-0 lead. Boston College took the ensuing kick and needed only five plays to take the lead. QB Phil Jurkovec found WR Zay Flowers down the left side of the field. Flowers made the catch and wrestled with a Maine defender to get into the endzone for an Eagles score. It was 7-3 BC with 4:22 left in the quarter. That lead would last all of 22 seconds. A return of the kickoff, 73 yards by Black Bears Trevin Ewing, set his team up at the BC 22-yard line. From there, Fagnano hit Shawn Bowman with a 17-yard TD pass to give the Black Bears the lead back at 10-7. BC came right back with Jurkovec to Jay Williams that covered 53 yards. On the next play from the Maine two, Jurkovec hit tight end George Takacs for a two-yard score and BC had the lead back at 14-10 with two minutes left. The first quarter ended with BC up by four.
The Eagles offense, which showed life in the first quarter, kept that going in the second. The first drive after a Maine punt ended with Jay Williams taking a handoff on a jet sweep to the right. He cut it back inside and ran it in from 9-yard out for the first Eagles rushing TD of the season. 21-10 BC. Toward the end of the first half, the Eagles struck again. An eight-play 71-yard drive was capped off by a one-yard run to paydirt by Pat Garwo. The drive was mostly gained through the air as the BC offensive line held after giving up two sacks early on and started to play much better as the half went along. The half came to an end on a BC interception on a Fagnano last-second heave. Boston College went into the locker room up 28-10.
At the half, the Eagles running game was still not what you would want to see. They had 34 net yards on 18 tries. But the passing game looked sharp with Jurkovec going 15-of-20 for 219 yards and two touchdowns. The Maine offense struggled in both the running and passing games. They gained only 42 net yards on the ground. Fagnano was 9-of-18, with one pick for 81 yards, and three sacks. BC was 5-of-8 on third down and a perfect 3-3 in the red zone. BC’s first drive of the third resulted in a 46-yard FG by Connor Lytton to make it 31-10 BC. The big play of the drive once again came through the air as Jurkovec hit his tight end Takacs down the right sideline for a big gain that set up the field goal. Maine decided they were not going away quietly. The next possession was an eight-play 75-yard drive. A flea-fickler pass from Fagnano to Zavier Scott covered 49 yards. A couple of plays later, Fagnano hit Montigo Moss on the left side for a four-yard score and it was 31-17 BC halfway through the quarter. As the third quarter was coming to an end, Eagles WR Zay Flowers was continuing to move up the BC receiving list. With six catches through three-quarters, Flowers now has 142 catches, which places him fifth all-time at BC.
In the fourth, the Eagles defense came up with a fumble recovery by Josh Deberry to stop a Maine drive. Another Black Bear drive was stopped by a Kam Arnold INT. He returned it 49 yards deep into Maine territory. No points would come of it because of a missed 28-yard field goal try by Lytton. The Eagles running game finally got one with 1:48 left in the game. Pat Garno broke a tackle at the line and ran free to the endzone for a 30-yard touchdown, his second rushing score of the night. This had to feel good for him and the offensive line. The final score from BC was Eagles 38 Maine 17.
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