Saturday, August 30, 2014

Football Downs Massachusetts in Foxboro to Open Season

The Boston College football team earned a 30-7 victory over Massachusetts on Saturday afternoon at Gillette Stadium in the first game of the 2014 season. Graduate quarterback Tyler Murphy recorded rushing and passing touchdowns while throwing for 173 yards and rushing for a career-high 118 more.

Graduate Josh Bordner made his first appearance as a wide receiver after a three-year stint as backup quarterback to Chase Rettig. He caught his first career touchdown, a 43-yard pass from Murphy, and recorded 81 yards on four catches on the day in his first career start.

The Eagles amassed 511 total yards of offense while the defense allowed just 202. BC collected 338 yards on the ground while allowing just 55. The Eagles held the ball for 42:11, collected 27 first downs. The Minutemen only mustered nine for the entire game. The last time the Eagles recorded over 500 yards in total offense and over 300 in rushing was on Nov. 9, 2013 at New Mexico State.

The Eagles connected on two field goal attempts in the first half to take a 6-0 lead into halftime. After turning the ball over on downs on their first offensive set, senior linebacker Josh Keyes sacked Massachusetts quarterback Blake Frohnapfel for a loss of eight yards on third-and-12 at the BC 43-yard line to give BC the ball back.

Starting on the BC two-yard line, the Eagles drove 71 yards in just under five minutes to put the first points of the game on the board. On third-and-three, Murphy rushed for a career-long 31 yards to put the Eagles at their own 40. Sophomore running back Tyler Rouse led the charge, carrying the ball three times for 27 yards to set up senior kicker/punter Alex Howell for a 44-yard attempt to second the second quarter. The points were the first of Howell's career.

BC went up, 6-0, on a second field goal after the Eagle defense forced a quick three-and-out. The offense took over with 13 minutes to go and drove the field 72 yards. Senior kicker Joey Launceford recorded his first career field goal, a 28-yard attempt, to increase the Eagles' lead.

With just over two minutes to play in the first half, UMass defensive back Randall Jette intercepted Murphy's pass at the 39-yard line and returned it 20 yards. Frohnapfel was called for intentional grounding as junior defensive back Justin Simmons put the pressure on. The Minutemen were not able to recover as the BC defense allowed just a four-yard pass on third-and-25. Kicker Blake Lucas missed a 47-yard attempt to kept UMass scoreless.

Sophomore running back Myles Willis scored the first touchdown of the season to open the second half. On the 13-play, 75-yard drive that lasted just over six minutes, freshman running back Sherman Alston registered his first career run - 14-yard run to give the Eagles a first down at the UMass 23-yard line. After six straight rushes and a pass interference call in the endzone on the Minutemen, Willis forced his way into the endzone with a one-yard run to give the Eagles a 13-0 lead with 8:49 to play in the third.

After the defense forced another three-and-out, Murphy made it 20-0 on a one-yard run of his own. It capped off a 10-play, 52-yard drive that lasted 4:47.

Massachusetts got on the board when Frohnapfel connected with Tajae Sharpe on a 77-yard pass with just under 1:29 to play in the third quarter.

It didn't take long for the Eagles to retaliate. On their next possession, Murphy hit Bordner for a 43-yard pass to increase the lead to 27-7 on the first play of the fourth quarter.

Simmons intercepted Frohnapfel's pass and returned it 20 yards, giving the Eagles the ball at UMass's 35-yard line with 12:29 to go in the game. Launceford connected on a 21-yard field-goal attempt to push the lead, 30-7.

The Eagles return to action on Friday, Sept. 5 with a 7 p.m. game against Atlantic Coast Conference opponent Pittsburgh. The game will be televised on ESPN.

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