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Syracuse upends BC's BCS plans, 43-17!
Chestnut Hill - An Diamond who did a lot of unplanned cutting wreaked havoc on the Fiesta Bowl-bound BC Eagles this weekend. The BC students who showed up at Alumni Stadium during Thanksgiving break donned Sombreros hoping to continue the revelry into the New Year in Tempe, AZ at the Fiesta Bowl, where expected Big East Champ Boston College (8-3,4-2) would meet the Utah Utes in a $14 million payoff before running off to re-join Miami and Virginia Tech to play in the re-formed ACC next year, but the Syracuse Orangemen (6-5, 4-2) had different plans. Actually, it was an unexpected back-up plan that would subdue the Eagles. Though BC came in with second team redshirt Freshman Matt Ryan under center in place of injured QB Paul Peterson, it was the Syracuse offense that surprisingly beat up on the Eagles defense who had allowed 13.6 points per game heading into the regular season finale.
The Orangemen got off to a fast start as second team TB Damien Rhodes, playing in place of injured Walter Reyes took the first pitch from scrimmage and worked his way around right end for a 61-yard scoring jaunt to put Syracuse up 6-0 16 seconds into the contest. PK Collin Barber put up the extra point for a quick 7-0 Orangemen lead. When BC had the ball, the PA announcer continuously noted, “Tackle by Diamond Ferri.” “ Stop by Diamond Ferri.” Stop made by Strong safety Diamond Ferri.” Syracuse took back the ball on its own 13. On the first play, QB Perry Patterson’s ball was intercepted by BC LB Dan Henderson who put the Eagles on the SU 14. The Eagles got no closer, thanks to more tackles by SS Ferri, and PK Ryan Ohliger booted up a 31-yard FG to start the BC scoring and narrowed the margin to 7-3. Rhodes, who got Syracuse off to its quick start, left the game in Q1 with a leg injury. CFF noted right away that the next ball carrier was the ubiquitous DB, number 22, Diamond Ferri! The stalwart defender now became the Orange workhorse on offense as well. His seven-yard TD run around left end put up Syracuse up 14-3 before the quarter ended. With Reyes out and Rhodes now injured, Ferri’s game almost came to an end as the Everett, MA native was shoved into the wall on the side of the end zone by a BC defender as he’d already crossed the goal line. No flag was thrown for what seemed like a late hit even as Ferri lay motionless near the wall for several minutes. It was the first of several stadium collisions the Orange would have on the day after some late hits out of bounds by the Eagles.
The Orange held the Eagles in check as Ryan had several teammates drop passes on him. In Q2, Syracuse would get on track again starting from its own 32 and converting on several third down situations. On fourth and two at the four, the hard-running Ferri took it in again to widen the Orange lead, 21-3. Ferri continued to play defense as well and stopped BC for –3 yards on the next series as he made two of the three tackles. Taking over at their own 40, Syracuse moved into field goal territory where Barber put up another three points from 33 yards away to make it a 24-3 Syracuse surprise. SU FS O’Neal Scott and BC LB Dan Henderson exchanged interceptions for their respective teams, and BC got to the SU 44 where it turned the ball back over on downs. Syracuse was unable to move the ball and proceeded to punt after a BC time-out. The TO paid off for the Eagles as SS Jaime Silva blocked the punt and DeJuan Tribble returned it 29 yards for a BC TD with :23 remaining in the half. The score stood at 24-10 into intermission with BC receiving the ball to start the second half.
CFF found lines for everything too long at halftime in BC’s Alumni Stadium. GGA’s Eric Koreivo (9), Matt Wiley (13) and Ben Wiley (10) checked out the BC Fan Fest before the game, where each got to try to throw a pass into a target. Matt missed the target completely, Eric hit vinyl, and Ben came up solid as he “completed” his pass. He can now say he completed his first pass ever at BC. We had hot dogs and sodas before the game that we brought to our seats in the south end zone. There we found wet bleacher seats where water had dripped from the mezzanine scoreboard above us. Luckily, someone had the foresight to leave a large roll of paper towels out to wipe up the excess. The towels and our blankets kept us dry and comfortable the whole game as the weather was unseasonably mild in New England on Thanksgiving weekend. BC paid final tribute to parents of the senior class, a class that totaled 33 victories over their four year careers.
WR Grant Adams looked like he might start the second half off with bang for the Eagles as he returned the ball to the 44, but the BC offense fizzled and punted to Syracuse where they started from the twelve. Syracuse’s O produced, and put Barber into position for a 42-yard FG to extend the lead to 27-10 in favor of the Orange. FS Anthony Smith intercepted this time for the Orange and put the ball at the BC 23. Barber booted again from 32 yards this time to take a commanding 30-10 lead before the end of Q3.
The fourth quarter started up with BC giving the ball back on downs. The day was a demonstration of BC futility as the offense showed that it missed Paul Peterson’s leadership. With about 10 minutes remaining in the game, the score was out of reach and the GGA’s were interested in getting t-shirts before the store closed, and we had to catch a bus back for our 20-minute ride to the satellite parking lot, so we left our seats and could only listen to some loud cheers of the few remaining of the 44,500 to see the last Big East battle between these two schools. BC would finally score an offensive TD on a 11-yard pass play from Ryan to WR Joel Hazard, but it was Ferri who continued to put on his display of offensive and defensive prowess as he returned a BC pass 44 yards for a TD on a interception. Soph QB Perry Patterson (6-4, 242 lbs) would finish the scoring for SU and for the game with a 5-yard TD run as the Orangemen not only upset, but also clobbered inept Boston College, 43-17.
Extra points: Put away your sombreros and tequila, BC fans. You may still get to Arizona, but it may be the Insight.com Bowl. Been there? Done that? How about the Gator Bowl? Or the Continental Tire Bowl? Don’t expect the Big East to send the Eagles off to a premiere bowl as it bids good riddance to you in the ACC.
In what was expected to be an open and shut case to seal a BCS bowl position for the Eagles, is now a puzzling picture revealing how poorly planned this whole BCS arrangement is. Four teams are tied for first in the Big East with 4-2 records and none should be ranked in the Top 20 this week. Yet, one is headed to one of the four major BCS bowl games set aside to supposedly determine the national championship. Granted, these games are meaningless aside from #1 vs. #2 (unless #3 is undefeated), but these games were supposedly set aside for marquee match-ups for big payoffs. The Liberty Bowl is going to have better teams than at least two of these games. Get this: if Pitt 7-3 beats South Florida in a game postponed by hurricanes earlier in the season, they’re in the BCS. South Florida joins the Big East next season, but the C-USA team could already have a big conference impact this season. If USF wins, 6-5 Syracuse, who lost its opener to Purdue, 51-0, and lost to 2-9 Temple two weeks ago, gets to go to the BCS! If they don’t go to the BCS, Syracuse might not go bowling at all when even new conference member UConn is 3-4 in conference play, but 7-4 overall! Though this should indicate the ineffectiveness of the BCS as well as the overall bowl system, which contracts out to teams ranked anywhere from fourth to seventh in a conference, it still won’t change because the TV contracts are in place for several more years. We still say our playoff solution is the best to determine national champions. It allows the few remaining teams in it to play games while practicing through December any way.
The BCS bowls will shake out next week. There will be a lot of ugly bowl matchups, particularly in the big games. CFF would rather see the likes of Utah, Louisville and Boise State in these games than conference champs in leagues that control the TV money. Something will eventually have to give because this system just gets worse and worse.
Damien Rhodes had 107 rushing yards on the day while Ferri ran for 141. His two-way play was one of the most impressive displays ever seen by CFF.
We wonder what influence the result of this game as well as a BCS bowl possibility will have on the status of head coach Paul Pasquoloni? His days may be numbered at Syracuse, and if so, we’ll see where else he could end up. As successful as he's been though, we've always wondered about the performance of his teams off the field. To his credit though, he was one of the few Big East coaches to say he was sorry to see the rivalry with BC end. In the press, he didn't seem to make it a major point that they were leaving, but according to his players, it must have been an incentive he inspired in them going into this game.
Unlike previous excursions to Chestnut Hill, we nixed the train ride and used satellite parking which we found to be free and well organized. We only found that a lack of signs made the lot difficult to find on the way in until we made a phone call, but other than that the 20 minute rides to and from the game worked out well. Tailgating, however, is prohibited in the industrial zoned parking lots.
New England can’t get too greedy now that it won the Super Bowl and the World Series this year. UConn men and women won basketball championships. A BCS team would have been a nice exclamation point to a pretty successful year in that part of the country.