No. 19 Boston College Downs Army, 44-7
Sept. 10, 2005
BOSTON (AP) - Few pro scouts would be impressed by a player who runs 40 yards in 16 seconds, unless he followed the route Will Blackmon took on Saturday.
Blackmon ran across the field and turned the corner for a 41-yard touchdown in the second quarter and No. 19 Boston College beat Army 44-7 to remain unbeaten heading into its Atlantic Coast Conference opener.
"We had three shots at him but he made a remarkable play on it. It was a remarkable athletic play," Army coach Bobby Ross said.
"I think they'll be moving up in the rankings. They're as big as any team I've coached against, and that includes my 13 years in the National Football League. They're really big."
BC (2-0) hosts No. 11 Florida State next Saturday night in the Eagles' first league game since defecting from the Big East to help make the ACC a 12-team superconference. They'll bring a Top 20 ranking into the game after beating Army (0-1) to please coach Tom O'Brien, who went to Navy and coached there, too.
"We tried to preach it all week, to not think about any of the games down the road. But that's our first ACC game," linebacker Ray Henderson said. "That's like a demon entering our minds."
Quinton Porter was 15-for-20 for 206 yards and two touchdowns, and backup Matthew Ryan was 7-for-8 for 83 yards after coming off the bench with five minutes left in the third quarter. Brian Toal scored his first two touchdowns since being converted from linebacker, and DeJuan Tribble forced a fumble and intercepted a pass for the Eagles.
"I think we 'out-athleted' them," O'Brien said. "We have better players. I don't know if we're a better team. The speed factor and everything else is going to change on Saturday night."
Zac Dahman was 17-for-32 for 154 yards and two interceptions, giving Army a 7-0 lead on a 6-yard pass to Jeremy Trimble on the opening drive. But after going 80 yards on that first drive, the Black Knights mustered just one field goal attempt by Joe Riley - a miss from 37 yards - and BC scored 44 unanswered points.
Mathias Kiwanuka, the ACC preseason player of the year, was benched briefly after a roughing-the-passer penalty on the third play of the game.
"That's what coach O'Brien does. He doesn't give anybody a pass because they are who they are," Henderson said. "He sat him down and said, 'Get your head right."'
The final score came with seven seconds left when third-string quarterback Karim El Nokali handed off to No. 4 running back Survival Ross on a 12-yard draw play that was called back for illegal procedure. BC ran the same play on the restart and Ross went in from 17 yards.
"That was embarrassing. I was really upset by that. Two in a row," said Bobby Ross, who didn't suspect O'Brien of running up the score. "We missed some tackles on that. We looked like we were playing on ice there."
Blackmon, who last week caught eight passes for 100 yards, returned a kickoff and a punt and played defensive back in BC's season-opening victory over Brigham Young, injured his left shoulder in the first quarter. But it obviously didn't affect his legs.
BC led 20-7 early in the second quarter when Tribble knocked the ball loose from Jacob Murphy, and Robert Francois recovered at the Army 41. On BC's first play, Porter bobbled the snap but got a handle on it and threw to Blackmon on the right side at the Army 36.
With nowhere for him to go, Blackmon turned back toward the line of scrimmage, sidestepped a handful of would-be tacklers and circled around to the left side of the field. Getting a pick from a blocker to help him turn the corner, Blackmon went the last 40 yards due North and scored easily.
"I took a huge risk," he said. "My intention was to make the first guy miss and go downfield. But when I got by him, another guy came."
Smarting from the botched snap, Porter hung his head until he realized his work wasn't done.
"I got someone," he boasted. "You go back and look at the tape."
Army, which has played football for 116 years, opened on the road for just the sixth time. The Black Knights are 0-6 starting away from home.
The teams traded touchdowns on their first possessions and Porter hit Tony Gonzalez for a 31-yard touchdown, finding him wide open in the middle on a fourth-and-9. L.V. Whitworth scored from 2 yards out early in the second quarter to make it 20-7.