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Boston College blows game at home and Steve Addazio doesn’t want to hear ‘my bad’

09.28.14 at 10:58 am ET
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CHESTNUT HILL — This is the age of ‘my bad’ sports.

A player blows a coverage at a critical juncture or drops a pass when he carelessly takes his eyes off the ball and he taps his chest and pronounces, ‘my bad’ to the coach and his teammates.

Well, after watching his team meltdown in the fourth quarter and lose 24-21 to Colorado State, presumably blowing any chance at a Top 25 spot, Steve Addazio wanted no part of it when addressing the media afterward.

As a matter of fact, what followed was a 55-year-old man’s fascinating interpretation of today’s sports culture.

“Sometimes I don’t think that young guys, they get it,” Addazio said. “I don’t think they really fathom that when you get 12 shots and when they’re gone, they’re gone. Everybody loves this, ‘my bad’ stuff. I don’t know what that is. ‘My bad.’ OK, thanks, thanks for telling me.

“The reality in college football of it’s gone, it’s gone. A loss is a loss. It’s over. And it’s fragile. You have to hang onto that thing and how tough it is to finish and close things out the right way. We didn’t close this game out. We had every opportunity to close the game out and we didn’t do it. And we have to learn to do that. And if anything can come out of this I hope that that can come out of it, some time, some day.”

The Eagles led Saturday’s game 14-0 and 21-14. They were driving for a score midway through the fourth quarter that would’ve put the game away when graduate quarterback Tyler Murphy rolled to his right and threw a pass that was intercepted, changing the momentum of the game.

The Eagles appeared to have escaped when Steven Daniels tipped a fourth-down pass at the line of scrimmage with six minutes left. But BC’s offense when 3-and-out, giving the Rams the ball back. The Eagles had one more chance to put away the Rams when they forced a 4th-and-10 from the 11. But this time there was a no tipped pass at the line, only an open lane for Garrett Grayson to fire a strike to Charles Lovett.

‘€œThe toughest thing about this loss is just watching the way we lost it,” Addazio said. “It’€™s just the way we lost it. We had a chance to end the game, 4th-and-10, end the game. It’€™s over. And turning the ball over when we had a chance to seal it out on the other end. That’€™s what’€™s going to be hard about this game.’€

“That’s the way it is. It’s going to be hard on everybody, players and coaches. That’s the way it is. Everybody wants everybody to feel good real quick. ‘Well, that’s OK.’ No, it’s not. It’s not OK.”

Boston College is dealing with injuries at several key positions. Linebackers Mike Strizak and Josh Keyes are banged up. Bobby Vardaro is an NFL prospect at left guard and is dealing with a bad hamstring.

“We’re banged up, nicked up, that’s no excuse,” Addazio said. “That’s just the way it is. Everybody is. We’re not deep enough, we’re not deep enough to handle the amount of injuries we’re dealing with right now. And they show up. And they show up when you don’t want them to show up. That’s all part of it, man.

Read More: Bobby Vardaro, Boston College Eagles, Josh Keyes, Mike Strizak

Rams Tougher: Colorado State stuns Boston College late

09.27.14 at 3:45 pm ET
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CHESTNUT HILL — Garrett Grayson connected with receiver Charles Lovett on 4th-and-10 in the back corner of the end zone with 1:02 left in the fourth quarter to lift Colorado State to a stunning 24-21 win over Boston College Saturday before 33,632 at Alumni Stadium.

Boston College quarterback Tyler Murphy, who led scoring drives of 80, 96 and 82 yards on the day, got the ball back with a minute left at his own 25 but could not move the Eagles (3-2) into field goal position. Eagles running back Jon Hilliman, who finished with 128 yards on 24 carries, added two rushing touchdowns as Boston College fell for second time this season at home.

“I said in the locker room,, this is a devastating deal,” BC coach Steve Addazio said. “You just hope that somehow in there, there is a way to learn how fragile it is, how tough it is and why we practice the way we do. Why we coach the way we do to be able to close these games out. When you let these games get away they’€™re gone forever.”

After a scoreless first quarter, Boston College took control to open the second quarter. And once again it was the running game leading the charge.

Hilliman capped off an 80-yard scoring drive with a four-yard run up the middle for a touchdown. The drive began when Eagles cornerback Bryce Jones made a leaping interception of a Grayson pass in the front corner of the end zone. The play was initially ruled out of bounds but review overturned the call and ball was placed at the Boston College 20.

Boston College made it 14-0 when Tyler Murphy once again showed off his running skills with a read option to his left. He escaped a would-be tackler and then scooted to the left pylon for his sixth rushing touchdown of the season.

Colorado came back with their first scoring drive of the game, a 78-yard march that was finished off by a 21-yard pass in the flat from quarterback Garrett Grayson to a wide-open Rashar Higgins.

BC, led by Murphy, appeared poised to score right before halftime. Murphy, with 1:31 left before halftime, led the Eagles from their 22 down to the Colorado State 23. But the drive stalled and Alex Howell missed wide right on a 40-yard field goal attempt that had plenty of distance.

Still, the Eagles appeared to be in control, especially on the ground. For the third straight game, the Eagles were dominating the rushing game. They had 180 yards in 30 carries to Colorado State’s 36, which matched the combined total of Southern California and Maine in the previous two games. Dating back to the start of the USC game, Boston College had outgained their opponents 1,045-72 on the ground.

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Read More: Boston College, Colorado State, Garrett Grayson, Tyler Murphy

Mayor Marty Walsh voices support for moving Beanpot to Belfast in 2016

09.26.14 at 10:56 am ET
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The Beanpot in Northern Ireland? It sounds crazy, but if Boston Mayor Marty Walsh gets his way, it could very well happen. While visiting the Odyssey Arena in Belfast, which became a sister city of Boston earlier this year, Walsh expressed his support for bringing the annual college hockey tournament to the city in 2016.

“In the 62 years since its inception it has become the official battle for Boston’s hockey bragging rights and is widely known as the ‘social event of the winter season’,” Walsh said, according to the BBC.

“In light of the recent Sister City twinning between Belfast and Boston, which is underpinned by a longstanding connection between the two cities through ice hockey, I think it would be wonderful to bring the Beanpot to Belfast and am lending my support to the campaign.”

The Beanpot, which features Boston College, Boston University, Harvard and Northeastern, has never been held outside the city of Boston. The first one was held at Boston Arena (now Matthews Arena) in December 1952, the next 42 were held at the old Boston Garden, and the last 19 have been held at TD Garden.

According to the BBC, Walsh will host a delegation from the Odyssey Trust and Belfast Giants in Boston in early October. They will meet with the NCAA and representatives from the four Beanpot schools to further discuss the idea.

“Bringing this tournament to the Odyssey Arena is ice hockey’s answer to bringing Notre Dame to Croke Park,” Walsh said. “The impact would be massive and would bring a major economic boost not only to local sport, but to hospitality, tourism and culture in Northern Ireland.

“Ice hockey has played an important role in fostering strong relationships between Belfast and Boston and bringing this high-profile tournament to Northern Ireland would further cement that relationship and celebrate the links between the two cities.”

The coaches from the four Beanpot schools were not immediately available for comment, but Steve Nazro, vice president of events for TD Garden, said he was just as surprised by Walsh’s comments as anyone else.

“This is the first we’ve heard of it, so we’re trying to work through it,” Nazro told WEEI.com. “It caught us totally by surprise. That’s really all I can say for now.”

It will be interesting to see where the schools stand on this idea. Bringing college hockey to a new audience is an admirable idea, and the Beanpot makes sense in the context of the Boston-Belfast city twinning, but the idea is already being panned by fans of the Beanpot schools on Twitter. Needless to say, it would be difficult for them to attend, which would kill the atmosphere that helps make the tournament so special.

Another point to consider is that the Beanpot fills (or comes close to filling) a 17,565-seat building here because it is special for the four schools and the city as a whole. It would not be nearly as special for the people of Belfast, so it’s hard to imagine that the Beanpot would sell significantly more tickets than any other set of games that could be brought to the city. Odyssey Arena has a capacity of 8,700.

 

UPDATE: On Friday afternoon, the mayor’s office clarified Walsh’s remarks and said he meant to suggest a tournament similar to the Beanpot would go to Belfast, not the Beanpot itself. The following statement comes from his press secretary, Kate Norton:

“Today Mayor Walsh expressed his support for a ‘Belfast Beanpot’ – an initiative proposed by the Odyssey Trust, to host 4-6 college hockey teams from the Boston area to play a tournament in Northern Ireland. The tournament would not replace the Beanpot. This would not be an effort to ‘move’ the Beanpot out of Boston.

“I spoke with the Mayor following the impressive press and social media firestorm that followed his interview earlier today. He conveyed to me, in no uncertain terms, that – particularly as a Boston College grad and a hockey fan – he would never move a classic Boston event like the Beanpot out of our City.”

Providence tops Hockey East coaches, media polls

09.22.14 at 2:20 pm ET
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Providence is the team to beat in Hockey East this season, according to both coaches and media around the league. The Friars picked up seven of 12 first-place votes in the league coaches poll and 26 of 36 first-place votes in the preseason poll conducted by the Hockey East Writers & Broadcasters Association.

Boston College finished second in both polls, while Merrimack, UMass and newcomers UConn finished in the bottom three spots in both. The two polls differed quite a bit when it came to the middle of the league, though.

Here are the two polls (first-place votes are in parentheses, voting point totals are listed to the right):

Coaches poll
1. Providence (7) – 127
2. Boston College (3) – 120
3. Notre Dame – 94
4. Northeastern (1) – 90
5. New Hampshire – 86
6. Boston University – 83
7. UMass-Lowell (1) – 79
8. Vermont – 75
9. Maine – 74
10. Merrimack – 37
11. UMass – 33
12. UConn – 26

Media poll
1. Providence (26) – 414
2. Boston College (8) – 399
3. Boston University (2) – 309
4. Northeastern – 305
5. UMass-Lowell – 267
6. Maine – 256
7. (tie) Notre Dame – 231
7. (tie) Vermont – 231
9. New Hamsphire – 171
10. Merrimack – 97
11. UMass – 80
12. UConn – 48

For what it’s worth, my submission to the media poll aligned more closely with my fellow media than the coaches. I had the same top four and bottom four as the media poll, with Maine, Vermont, UMass-Lowell and Notre Dame — in that order — in my 5-8 spots.

The media also picked a preseason All-Hockey East team:

F- Ross Mauermann (Senior, Providence)
F- Kevin Roy (Junior, Northeastern)
F- Devin Shore (Junior, Maine)
D- Ben Hutton (Junior, Maine)
D- Michael Matheson (Junior, Boston College)
G- Jon Gillies (Junior, Providence)

I had four players the same, but I had Boston University freshman Jack Eichel ahead of Mauermann at forward, and BU junior (and Bruins draft pick) Matt Grzelcyk ahead of Hutton on defense.

Marcus Outlow (107 yards), Eagles run past Maine, 3-1 for first time since ’09

09.20.14 at 9:19 pm ET
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Freshman running back Marcus Outlow led the Eagles, tallied 107 yards and recorded his first career reception while option quarterback Tyler Murphy added 99 yards on 13 carries to lead Boston College past Maine, 40-10, on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Stadium.

The Eagles overcame a very sluggish start and scored the final 30 points to put away the Black Bears. BC improved to 3-1 for the first time since 2009, gaining over 500 yards in total offense for the third time in 2014.

“Obviously it’€™s great to get our third win,” BC coach Steve Addazio said. “We certainly didn’€™t come out of the blocks very well. We were lethargic. We made a bunch of mistakes which is my responsibility. I’€™ve got to go back and take a look at our preparation, but we did come out in the second half and I thought we played much more physically. I won’€™t say it was clean but it was more physical.

“Coach Cosgrove and Maine came out and played hard. They did exactly what you think their program would do. Be physical, be tough and play hard. They absolutely did that. The amount of mistakes we made on both sides of the ball early, that’€™s on me. I’€™ve got to get that right. I’€™m not happy about that. We’€™ll get that fixed.”

The Eagles had another huge game on the ground, rushing for 413 yards and gaining at least 300 for the third game in 2014. Defensively, the Eagles held their opponent to under 20 rushing yards for the second straight game. The Eagles yielded just 16 rushing yards to Maine. In the last two games (wins over USC and Maine), BC has gained 865 rushing yards while allowing just 36.

Murphy, the graduate quarterback who transferred from Florida, entered the day leading all quarterbacks in the nation with 401 yards rushing. He gained 99 yards before being taken out midway into the final quarter, falling just short of his third 100-yard rushing game this season.

Murphy rushed for two touchdowns and threw for one while throwing for 130 more yards on an 11-for-18 afternoon. He has scored at least one rushing and passing touchdown in three of the four games in 2014 and rushed for at least 90 yards in all four.

Outlow also caught a 28-yard pass from Murphy that set up first-and-goal in the third quarter as Boston College began to pull away in the second half. Maine (1-2) actually led 7-0 when they scored its first touchdown against Boston College since 1915. After the game was tied at 10 early in the second quarter, the Eagles ran off 30 straight points to take the win.

Outlow gained all of his yards on the ground in the fourth quarter. He became the first true freshmen to rush for over 100 yards since 2008 when Montel Harris gained 116 in a win over Maryland. Jon Hilliman upped his career highs, rushing 21 times for 98 yards and running in for two scores for the second straight game.

Maine capitalized on a BC turnover to get on the board first with 9:41 left in the first quarter. On third-and-11, Murphy got rid of the ball as the Maine defender closed in on him. The ball tipped off Hilliman’s hands and Randy Samuels intercepted it at the BC 20-yard line. After a personal foul moved the ball to the 11, quarterback Dan Collins fired to Micah Wright for an 11-yard touchdown pass to give the Black Bears a 7-0 lead.

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Former BC lineman Chris Snee named to ACC Football 2014 Class of Legends

09.19.14 at 10:47 am ET
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Former Boston College offensive lineman Chris Snee was named a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference Football 2014 Class of Legends on Thursday, the conference announced.

Snee, who played with the Eagles from 2001-03, will join a 14-member group that will be honored at the ACC Night of Legends on Dec. 5 and Dec. 6 at the Dr. Pepper ACC Football Championship at Bank of America Stadium.

During his career at Chestnut Hill, Snee was a second-team All-American and a first-team All-Big East selection in his final year in 2003. With Snee’€™s help, Eagles running back Derrick Knight amassed 1,721 rushing yards in 2003, which was fourth best in the nation.

As a team, the Eagles finished with a 25-13 record and won three bowl games during Snee’€™s tenure. Snee then entered the NFL in 2004 and enjoyed a 10-year career with the Giants. He was a four-time Pro Bowl selection and was named an All-Pro on three occasions. The offensive lineman was also a key piece during New York’€™s two Super Bowl wins in 2007 and 2011 over the Patriots. He retired this past offseason.

BC, coming off a 37-31 upset of No. 9 USC, hosts Maine this Saturday afternoon.

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BC QB Tyler Murphy, OL Andy Gallik, LB Josh Keyes earn ACC honors for roles in win over USC

09.15.14 at 3:03 pm ET
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Following Saturday night’s stunning 37-31 victory over ninth-ranked USC, Boston College dominated the ACC honors that were handed out Monday.

Tyler Murphy

Tyler Murphy

Quarterback Tyler Murphy was named Offensive Back of the Week, center Andy Gallik was tabbed Offensive Lineman of the Week and Josh Keyes was selected Linebacker of the Week.

Murphy rushed for 191 yards, the second-highest total by a quarterback in ACC history. He averaged 14.7 yards per carry against a USC defense that came in allowing just 4.0 yards per rush through two games. Murphy’s 66-yards touchdown run in the fourth quarter put the game away, giving BC a 37-24 lead with 3:30 remaining.

Gallik, like Murphy a graduate student, helped the Eagles rush for 452 yards and total 506 yards of offense — the second time this season the Eagles have passed the 500-yard mark.

Keyes had eight tackles, including seven solo and 5.5 for loss, and helped limit the Trojans to 20 rushing yards in the game. He had a key sack of USC quarterback Cody Kessler on a third-down play in the fourth quarter with BC protecting a 10-point lead.

 

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BC coach Steve Addazio on MFB: Saturday night win over USC ‘most electric atmosphere I’ve been in since I’ve been at Boston College’

09.15.14 at 2:44 pm ET
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Boston College football coach Steve Addazio, riding high after Saturday night’s upset of ninth-ranked USC, joined Middays with MFB to recount the monumental win. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Steve Addazio (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Steve Addazio led the Eagles to an upset of ninth-ranked USC on Saturday night. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

The game was dedicated to the memory of Welles Crowther, a former BC lacrosse player who died during the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, after leading a number of people to safety at the World Trade Center. Crowther, known for wearing a red bandanna, returned to the South Tower to rescue more people when the building collapsed.

BC players wore red bandanna-patterned designs on their helmets and other parts of their uniform to pay tribute to Crowther.

“I’m a big believer in the emotional side, in the passion side of the game,” Addazio said. “Obviously if you don’t have your X’s and O’s and your fundamentals right, you’re not going to overcome it with just that. By why not both? Why not play with that passion and that high energy and that emotion. It’s what the game is all about to me, and that’s what I love about the college game.

“Having a chance to be a part of that red bandanna game to honor Welles Crowther and everything that he stood for. … All that we’ve been hearing all week long [about NFL players misbehaving], it’s kind of made my stomach turn. But now let’s talk about a great story, a story about a guy that was unselfish, that gave of himself, gave his life to save other people. That’s kind of what the BC ‘service for others’ is — obviously that’s an extreme, but that’s what it’s all about.”

Addazio said he gave the team “a little history lesson” about 9/11 and talked about how Crowther was “one of our own,” a BC athlete who went on to leave a lasting mark outside the world of sports.

“Kids need to hear more about [Crowther's heroics]. They don’t need to hear more about elevators and everything else,” Addazio said. “They need to hear more about, to me, the true greatness that lies in a lot of people. And this was an unbelievable story. Being a part of it, and being around his parents after the game, it was just moving.”

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Why it’s time to start paying attention to ‘big time’ Tyler Murphy

09.14.14 at 11:51 am ET
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CHESTNUT HILL — Steve Addazio was not the least bit surprised in what he saw from Tyler Murphy on the national stage Saturday night against a Top 10 team. Murphy had 191 yards rushing on 13 carries and a game-breaking touchdown run in BC’s shocking 37-31 win over USC Saturday night at Alumni Stadium.

But before the awesome rushing display in the second half, Addazio watched as his read-option quarterback kept his cool in the first half when the Eagles fell behind, 17-6, to the ninth-ranked team in the country.

“€œIt was early in the game when they got up on us,” Murphy said. “Coach always says that we are going to stick to the
game plan, get it to the fourth quarter and win there. So we just kept believing and taking it one play at
a time. There was a lot of football to play. The guys did a good job of putting everything on the line and
fighting to come back.”

When Addazio went to the University of Florida to recruit Murphy, who was leaving the Gators last season with a year left of eligibility, he knew he was getting a mature quarterback who wouldn’t panic when times got tough.

“Yes, this is what I hoped for,” Addazio said. “And I saw it in training camp. He was a great leader for us, just really his demeanor, his energy, his attack of the game plan. We just watched him start to grow and emerge. You saw it in Week 1, you saw it last week and you saw it this week, just taking control of the game.”

“We rushed for 452 yards. They rushed for 20. We had very few penalties. We had one turnover. Tyler Murphy had 191 yards rushing. Tyler Murphy played like a big time player.”

Why is that such a big deal to Addazio?

“When you have a big-time quarterback, that’s what they do, they take control of the game,” Addazio said. “They make the plays that are there to be made. He threw the ball really well, ran the ball really well, practiced this week with a steel resolve really well. Good things happen to good people that work hard and that’s what happened.”

Taking control of the game is exactly what Murphy did in the second half when the Eagles needed it the most. When USC drew to within six points at 30-24 with under five minutes left, BC needed one drive to kill the clock and keep USC at bay. Murphy went one better – he put the game away with a 66-yard sprint on a perfectly-executed read option off the left end.

The touchdown put BC up, 37-24, and Murphy and the Eagles could sense a huge win on the national stage.

“€œIt meant a lot, especially after last week’€™s loss,” Murphy said of the win eight days after getting handled by Pittsburgh. “Coach really challenged us as a team this week and we really went after it. It goes to show that if we really set our minds to something and we play as a team, the sky’€™s the limit. Personally, it’€™s been a long journey. It means a lot to me. It’€™s pretty easy on my part because I have guys who want to work and sacrifice for each other. We really just try to stick together as a team and out-play teams.”

“First of all, he has skills. I knew he could throw it, I knew he could run it, I knew he was a tremendous person. I knew he had the respect of his teammates at Florida. I knew they had deep respect for him, and that’s a starting point because players know. When they respect guys, there’s a reason they respect guys. He had a great respect. So, I knew there was a winner there just waiting for an opportunity. I knew him from when I recruited him and I knew that we were getting an extremely high-character individual that football meant a lot to. I was fortunate I had a history. For me, it was quite easy, really.”

With a win over the ninth-ranked team in the country, expectations will surely rise over the next month, with teams like Maine and Colorado State on deck before they enter the meat of the ACC schedule. And Murphy will be there to keep his teammates on an even kiel.

Read More: Boston College, Steve Addazio, Tyler Murphy, usc

BC stuns, runs over No. 9 USC

09.13.14 at 11:33 pm ET
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CHESTNUT HILL — The Boston College football team came up with the perfect tribute to Welles Crowther and Pete Frates Saturday night.

On an emotional night in which the late Crowther (a 9/11 hero) and Frates (a living international symbol of the fight against ALS) were honored, the Eagles came up with the biggest win of the Steve Addazio era, a shocking 37-31 upset of No. 9 Southern Cal at Alumni Stadium.

“It’s a great, great night for our team, for the players,” coach Addazio said. “They played really hard and came off a rough week last week. We had a really hard week of practice. There were a lot of people second-guessing them but they had a real steel resolve.

“This red bandanna game meant a lot. We talked a lot of about Welles Crowther, we talked a lot about who he was and what it takes to be a BC man. Our guys dug deep on this. This was a great win. It was all over, a lot of big plays by a lot of people We were proud to give out one of the game balls out to the Crowther family after the game.”

The Eagles beat the Trojans badly all night long in the trenches. Boston College ran the ball 54 times for 452 yards while USC had just 20 yards on 29 carries. The school’s all-time mark is 518 yards against UMass in 1973.

While the Eagles were running all over USC, they also got to USC quarterback Cody Kessler for five sacks and minimized the effect of USC’s speedy receiving corps.

“We sacked them. We harassed them. We played relentlessly on defense,” Addazio said. “That’€™s a good football team.
This is the first win over a top-10 opponent in 10 years. We played hard. Anybody who was at the game
would say that this team just wouldn’€™t back down. We just kept coming and kept playing. I’€™m most
proud of that.

“I said to our team going into the game that all I ask is that we play with relentless effort
and that we play really, really hard. That’€™s what we talked about and to have faith, faith in each other.
They did that. They responded. I’€™m very, very proud of our football team. I’€™m very proud of our
coaching staff.

“Offensively we had 506 yards to their 337. We rushed for 452 yards. They rushed for 20. We had very
few penalties. We had one turnover. Tyler Murphy had 191 yards rushing. Tyler Murphy played like a
big time player.”

Murphy, the option quarterback who put the game on ice with a 66-yard touchdown read-option run with 3:30 left, finished with 191 carries on just 13 carries. Jon Hillman (19 carries) and Myles Willis (nine carries) each added 89 yards on the ground. Hillman added two touchdowns on the night for Boston College, which improved to 2-1.

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