Eagles Edge Hoos

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Robert Randolph was 1-2 in field goals against Boston College.

A Hall of Fame coach once said, “If you go for a field goal when you need six points, you just know that dadgum ball is going to go wide right.” Bobby Bowden never spoke a truer word, and the Cavaliers learned that lesson the hard way on Saturday in Chestnut Hill, falling 17-13 to Boston College.

Down 17-13 with 4:48 remaining in the fourth quarter, Virginia opted for a 25-yard field goal, which sailed wide right. Junior placekicker Robert Randolph had hit a 40-yarder earlier in the game, but his final effort to pull the Hoos to within 1 point was found wanting. Coach Mike London doesn’t blame his kicker, however, and thinks other factors may have contributed to Randolph’s error.

“We’re glad to be on TV, but it felt like there was a ton of timeouts that just slowed the game. Either way you have to make the kick, whether it was one timeout or no timeout at all. He was doing a good job, but I guess it went right,” London said. “Nobody is pointing fingers at him, because we could have done a lot of things on both sides of the ball to help ourselves.”

The UVa offense got the ball back with 1:12 left to play, but the clock ran out on senior quarterback Marc Verica and the Cavaliers. Starting from their own 9-yard line, the Hoos picked up three first downs and moved the ball into Eagle territory. However, there were no long pass attempts on the final drive, except for a desperation heave toward the end zone on the last play of the game.

Overall, Verica was 31-49 for 284 yards and one interception. On the pick, it looked like the Cavalier signal caller was trying to throw out of bounds, but Eagle linebacker Mark Herzlich was in the vicinity and came up with the ball. Herzlich finished with eight tackles, including one for a loss, and co-linebacker Luke Kuechly put up another solid performance with 15 tackles. Verica had a couple other close calls with fumbles and interceptions, but luck was with him on those previous mishaps.

Marc Verica had another 200-yard passing day on Saturday.

“[Verica] has played in a lot of games. He made an ill-advised throw for an interception, but I think we had over 400 yards of total offense, which is something that hasn’t been done around here in long time,” London said. “It’s a tough loss, but you always have to learn from things like this. Players have to learn that the margin for error is so thin.”

True freshman Michael Rocco played one series under center for Virginia midway through the second quarter but mostly played it safe, completing three short-yardage passes to receivers Kris Burd and Dontrelle Inman , while handing off to sophomore running back Perry Jones on the other plays. Rocco’s lone drive ended in a punt, and Verica had control of the offense from that point on.

Burd and Inman became the first receiving duo in Virginia history to have more than 700 receiving yards simultaneously in a season, while Jones scored the first rushing touchdown of his career on a 1-yard carry in the second quarter. On the penultimate drive that ended with the missed field goal, it looked as if maybe Inman had caught a touchdown pass and landed with his arm in bounds for a score. Fans, supporters, and the coaching staff all thought Inman was good for six points, but even after further review, the officials ruled him out of bounds, resulting in the fateful missed kick.

“I asked the question, ‘Was it a touchdown or a play that should be reviewed?'” London said. “Dontrelle said he landed on top of the guy with the ball, inbounds. Obviously, they didn’t call it. I never got an explanation for that, but I guess I will soon.”

The Cavaliers did a nice job moving the ball on Saturday, but the offense was unable to kick-start the scoring in the second half, and Boston College was able to pull ahead for good with a touchdown toward the end of the third quarter.

The UVa defense allowed the rushing pair of Montel Harris and Andre Williams to each rush for more than 100 yards. Harris scored the go-ahead touchdown before leaving the game after tweaking his knee. Harris’ 114-yard day moved him into second on Boston College’s all-time rushing list.

With that duo grinding out yards, BC true freshman quarterback Chase Rettig only attempted 19 passes and completed 10 of them. Nevertheless, he finished the game with 152 yards and one TD pass, a 39-yard strike to freshman Alex Amidon that beat Cavalier double coverage. Rettig threw one interception as UVa junior safety Rodney McLeod came up with the ball on the drive immediately following Verica’s pick. McLeod led the Hoos on Saturday with 8 tackles in addition to the interception. Sophomore linebacker LaRoy Reynolds and sophomore DE Will Hill each recorded their first career sacks, while junior Matt Conrath also hit Rettig for a loss.

Once again, however, the clock hit 0:00 and the Cavaliers came up just short. Rather than penalties (Virginia only had 9, far fewer than last week’s 16-penalty outing), the theme of this week is simply missed opportunities.

“The opportunity when their quarterback was hit and the ball bounced in and out of our hands. He probably would have took and ran it for a score,” London said. “They have the best running back in the conference – statistically – and they did a good job at what they do. It’s disappointing, but you have to look up, look forward and get ready for our final game.”

Final Stats

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