Football Goes On The Road To Play No. 2 Miami
Nov. 20, 2000
Date: Saturday, November 25, 2000
Time: 3:30 p.m. EST
Site (Capacity): Orange Bowl, Miami, Fla. (72,319)
Television: National broadcast on CBS (Verne Lundquist, play-by-play, Todd Blackledge, color, Jill Arrington, sideline).
Radio: Boston College Football Radio Network (John Rooke, play-by- play, Peter Cronan, color) -- local coverage in Boston on WEEI-850 AM and internet broadcast on www.bceagles.com, Boston College student radio station WZBC-90.3 FM also provides coverage, natioanl radio broadcast on Westwood One (John Tautges, play-by-play, Fran Curci, color).
Boston College wraps up the 2000 regular season on Saturday as it travels to face Miami in the Orange Bowl at 3:30 p.m. EST. Boston College brings a 6-4 record into the contest and a 3-3 mark in BIG EAST play as the Eagles are coming off a 28-16 loss at Notre Dame two weeks ago.
The Eagles wrapped up the home portion of their schedule on Nov. 11 with a 31-3 win over Temple and played all six of its home games in a seven week span with the only road trip being a 42-26 loss at Pittsburgh on Oct. 21.
Miami enters the game with an overall mark of 9-1 and a BIG EAST record of 6-0. The Hurricanes are coming off a 26-0 win at Syracuse last weekend. The Hurricanes enter the game ranked No. 2 in the latest Associated Press poll and No. 2 in the latest ESPN/USA Today rankings.
The Hurricanes are the third team BC has played the year that has been ranked at the time of the game. Notre Dame was ranked 11th in the AP poll at the time of the game and No. 12 in the ESPN/USA Today rankings. Virginia Tech was No. 4 in the AP and No. 4 in the ESPN/USA Today poll at the time of their meeting with the Eagles.
For the Eagles, senior quarterback Tim Hasselbeck (Norfolk, Mass.) is one of three captains for Boston College this year, but sprained his knee vs. Temple in the second quarter and missed the Notre Dame game. Hasselbeck is 114 of 203 in the air this season for 1,690 yards, 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions. In the game against Navy on Sept. 23, Hasselbeck threw for a career-high 355 yards on a 20-for-28 effort with two TD passes. Against Connecticut on Oct. 7, Hasselbeck was 10 of 15 for 209 yards and two touchdowns.
Sophomore Brian St. Pierre (Danvers, Mass.) made his first start of the season, and second of his career, against the Irish and was 15 of 29 in the air for 172 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. St. Pierre had been playing the first possesion of the second quarter of each game the past two seasons and this year has completed 45 of 74 passes for 541 yards and four touchdowns.
Sophomore tailback William Green (Atlantic City, N.J.) is the leading rusher for the Eagles with 1,086 yards on 171 carries with 13 touchdowns. He rushed for 91 yards against Temple on Nov. 11 to become the 14th player in BC history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. On Oct. 28 against Rutgers, Green ran for 223 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries. The 223 yards were the sixth-highest in school single-game history as Phil Bennett had 253 against Temple in 1972. Green has rushed for 100 yards in four of the past six games with 117 yards vs. Virginia Tech, a career-high (and fifth-highest in school history) 225 yards vs. Connecticut and 104 yards against Syracuse.
Senior tailback Cedric Washington (Holyoke, Mass.) is the second- leading rusher with 136 carries for 585 yards and five touchdowns and has rushed for 100 yards or more in seven career games, including two this year. He missed the Connecticut game with a knee injury, but returned off the bench vs. Syracuse and had 77 yards rushing and started the past four games.
Junior wide receiver Dedrick Dewalt (Chicago, Ill.) has 34 receptions for 664 yards and eight touchdowns, including a 77-yarder vs. Pittsburgh.
HEAD COACH TOM O'BRIEN
Boston College head coach Tom O'Brien (Navy '71) enters his fourth season in charge of the Eagle program and has an overall record of 22-22 at the school. Last year, Boston College posted an 8-4 mark and played in the Insight.com bowl - the first postseason appearance for the Eagles since the 1994 season.
The Eagles were the third-most improved team in NCAA Division I-A football last season.
O'Brien came to Boston College after spending 15 years as an assistant coach at Virginia - the final six as offensive coordinator.
Today's game vs. Miami marks the 22nd meeting between Boston College and Miami. The Hurricanes control the series by an 18-3 count and have won 10-straight games in the series. Since the BIG EAST began playing football in 1991, the Hurricanes lead the series by an 8-0 score. Boston College head coach Tom O'Brien is 0-3 vs. Miami. The Eagles have an 1-11 record vs. Miami in games played at the Orange Bowl. The last Boston College win in the series came on Nov. 23, 1984, as quarterback Doug Flutie threw a 48-yard pass to Gerard Phalen on the final play of the game to give the Eagles a 47-45 win. A week later, Flutie was awarded the Heisman Trophy in New York City.
Last season, the Hurricanes posted a 31-28 come-from-behind win over Boston College in Alumni Stadium on Oct. 23. The Eagles had a 21-0 halftime lead and scored a TD on a three-yard run by Cedric Washington to make it 28-0 with 6:18 left in the third quarter.
Miami then mounted its largest comeback in school history as quarterback Kenny Kelly had three TD passes, James Jackson ran for another one and Andy Crosland kicked a field goal with three seconds left to break at 28-28 tie and give Miami the win.
BC quarterback Tim Hasselbeck was 18 of 35 in that game for 139 yards while Washington rushed for 183 yards.
There are eight players on the BC roster from the state of Florida -- Josh Cervi (Valrico, Fla.), Sean Guthrie (Miami), Myran Hunter (Tallahassee), Jonathan Ordway (Seffner), Mark Parenteau (Pompano Beach), Haven Perkins (Longwood), Emmerson Phillips (Ft. Lauderdale) and Marco Williams (Tampa).
Boston College head coach Tom O'Brien was an assistant coach at Virginia when the lost to Miami in the 1996 Carquest Bowl by a 31-21 score, current BC assistant Jerry Petercuskie was also on that staff.
ON GRASS Even though its November and the final regular season game of the season, the game against Miami on Saturday will be just the second of the year for BC on natural grass. Boston College played its first game on grass two weeks ago against Notre Dame. The Eagles have played six games on turf at home and also road games on turf at West Virginia, Army and Pittsburgh.
WINNING SEASON AND BOWL ELIGIBLE Boston College guaranteed itself a winning season with the win over Temple (Nov. 11). Combined with an 8-3 regular-season mark last year, Boston College now has posted consecutive winning seasons for the first time since 1993-1995. Before that, BC had not posted conseutive winning seasons since 1982-84.
The six wins also means that BC is "bowl-eligible" for the 2000 season. BC played in the Insight.com bowl last year and if it advances to a bowl game this year, it will mark the first time since the 1992-94 season that BC has played in a bowl game in consecutive years (`92 season - Hall of Fame, `93 season - Carquest, `94 season - Aloha).
EXPERIENCED ON "O", YOUNG ON "D" The Eagle offensive starting unit against West Virginia in the season-opener was an experienced one as it consisted of seven seniors, two juniors and two sophomores. These 11 players combined for 65 starting nods during the 1999 regular season among five players, including four who started all 11 games -- senior tackle Michael Cook (Walpole, Mass), senior guard Paul LaQuerre (West Barnstable, Mass.), senior guard Paul Zukauskas (Weymouth, Mass.) and Washington.
Conversely on defense, the Eagles had just three senior starters on defense, along with four juniors, three sophomores and a redshirt freshman. The defense had 42 starts from last year returning with three 11-game starters -- junior linebacker Scott Bradley (Hanover, Mass.), Johnson and junior cornerback Jonathan Ordway (Seffner, Fla.).
With the injuries that have hit the Boston College defense, the lineup has become even younger. On Sept. 30 vs. fourth-ranked Virginia Tech, the Eagle started two seniors, two juniors, three sophomore and four redshirt freshmen.
BIG EAST HONORS Here's a recap of the BIG EAST weekly honors that Boston College has won this year:
RB Williams Green, co-offensive player of the week, Oct. 28 vs. Rutgers (223 yards, 22 carries)
DE Sean Guthire, defensive player of the week, Oct. 28 vs. Rutgers (12 tackles, three sacks)
SS Ralph Parent, co-defensive player of the week, Oct. 14. vs. Syracuse (two interceptions)
TOUGH FOURTH QUARTER DEFENSE
The Boston College defense has been particularly effective in the fourth quarter this season as opponents have only scored 44 points in the final stanza. The number becomes even more impressive when you take out two touchdowns scored in the season-opener vs. West Virginia in the fourth that were scored on interception returns -- meaning that the defense has yielded just 30 points in the fourth quarter.
Those 30 points came on a field goal by WVU, a touchdown with two seconds left by Army in a 55-17 win, a touchdown on an 82-yard run by Michael Vick of Virginia Tech (the extra point was missed) and two touchdowns vs. Pittsburgh.
INTERCEPTIONS VS. SYRACUSE
The Eagles posted four interceptions vs. Syracuse on Oct. 14 -- the most by a BC team since having five vs. Navy in 1990.
All four Boston College interceptions came in key situations as junior cornerback Lenny Walls (San Francisco, Calif.) returned his 29 yards for a touchdown to give the Eagles a 13-3 lead in the second quarter.
Sophomore strong safety Ralph Parent (Brookline, Mass.) had two interceptions, including one that ended an 11 play-62 yard Syracuse drive in the final moments of the first half as Syracuse had driven to the BC seven-yard line. Parent's second interception came on the first Orange possession of the second half and ended a six play-14 yard drive.
The other BC interception came in the first quarter as Guthrie ended a seven play-50 yard drive as the Orangemen had moved the ball to the BC 30.