It was a game that came down to the wire on Saturday night, but Boston College forced a last minute turnover to defeat Louisville 34-27. The Eagles (6-4) struggled on defense, but used a pounding methodical offense and turnovers to pick up the victory on Senior Day in Chestnut Hill.
It wasn't all positives though as the Eagles were dealt a major blow shortly after halftime as starting quarterback Phil Jurkovec and running back David Bailey were knocked out of the game with injuries. Jurkovec looked to have a lower leg injury, possibly his knee on a non-contact play, but remained on the sideline throughout the game. David Bailey left the game with an upper body injury.
The game itself was dictated by Louisville turnovers. After Louisville kicked a field Boston College took their opening drive to the Cardinal goal line, but Jurkovec lost a fumble on a play that looked like it should have been blown dead due to forward progress being stopped. However, shortly after Louisville gave the ball right back on a fumble by Tutu Atwell. This was the first of three Cardinals turnovers in the game.
The Eagles struggled in the red zone in the first half, only scoring one touchdown in their four trips inside the 20. The lone touchdown was on a run by Bailey, which was mainly due to the offensive line, who had a superb game for the Eagles. Aaron Boumerhi hit a pair of field goals on two of the drives. BC headed into the locker room up 13-10 at the half.
The second half is where the game got frenetic. After David Bailey's second touchdown gave the Eagles a multiple score lead, Jurkovec went down with an injury and was replaced by Dennis Grosel. Late in the third quarter he took off and ran the ball 44 yards, which set up the play of the game. The backup quarterback tossed a touchdown pass to CJ Lewis who made a one handed grab on his back in the end zone.
Louisville fired right back though with a touchdown pass from Malik Cunningham to Tutu Atwell to make it a one score game. Cunningham was incredibly elusive in this game, accounting for 412 total yards both on the ground and in the air. However, after a 43 yard kick off return, Grosel threw his second touchdown pass of the game, and laser to Jehlani Galloway.
The pace continued to increase as on the very next play Cunningham hit Dez Fitzpatrick on a bubble screen that he took to the house. BC wasn't able to move the ball on the drive, but a tipped pass from Jahmin Muse was grabbed by Shitta Sillah to clinch the close win. "That was a huge play, we needed a stop," head coach Jeff Hafley said after the game.
It was an emotional game for the team Hafley said after the game. While the status of Phil Jurkovec and David Bailey is unknown, the play of Dennis Grosel was inspiring. Last year's starter who lost the role in summer camp came in and didn't skip a beat. He made big plays when he needed to and got a big win for his team.
"I just told the team, it's the example of what life is all about. The starting quarterback gets beat out, yet he comes to work every single day. He's one of our best leaders. Never complains, never says a word. All he does is prepare. And when his time came, he took the game over." Hafley said about Grosel after the game.
Boston College will finish off the regular season next Saturday against Virginia (pending the conference doesn't change the schedule, which could happen).