Boston College Eagles navigate their way to upset-victory

Nov 12, 2022; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Boston College Eagles receiver Zay Flowers (4) gestures to fans after scoring during the first half against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at Carter-Finley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 12, 2022; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Boston College Eagles receiver Zay Flowers (4) gestures to fans after scoring during the first half against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at Carter-Finley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports /

Any number of words can describe Saturday’s game for the Boston College Eagles against the 16th-ranked NC State Wolfpack.

Only one word can sum it up perfectly: victorious.

Redshirt freshman Emmett Morehead found Joe Griffin Jr. for a two-yard touchdown with 14 seconds left, giving the Eagles (3-7, 2-5) a 21-20 upset win over the Wolfpack.

The hard-fought victory also saw multiple streaks end on Saturday. Snapped is Boston College’s four-game losing streak. Evaporated is the 15 straight games the Eagles had lost to ranked opponents, dating back to 2014. And the victory also ended the NC State (7-3, 3-3) streak of 16-straight home wins.

It was also a game that witnessed a Boston College receiver move himself to the top of the Eagle record books.

Boston College Eagles on offense

Sensational and speedy, elusive and exciting, wide receiver Zay Flowers is making his case as a 1st-round NFL draft pick next spring.

Flowers delivered on yet another multiple touchdown game, his fourth such game in 2022 and giving him 10 receiving touchdowns this season. He had seven receptions and 130 yards, leaving him 79 yards short of 1000 in ’22.

The star receiver also became the leader in career receiving yards with a 15-yard reception in the first quarter, passing Alex Amidon. Flowers now sits at 2900 for his career with two games left.

Though Flowers was mostly quiet for the last 20 minutes of the game, the attention given to him allowed other receivers to step up.

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Jaelen Gill, fumble on a punt return aside, had one of his strongest games of the season. Gill hauled in five receptions for 79 yards and proved to be a solid option for Morehead all game.

Dino Tomlin had three for 43. One of these was a nice toe-tapping sideline grab on Boston College’s second scoring drive of the game. Tomlin’s biggest might have been on the game’s final drive, where he had a 29-yard reception.

With the running game delivering a solid negative one yard total, it was up to the passing game and Morehead to lead the way. Under pressure all game, Morehead showed that future under center is in good hands for the Eagles.

A couple of freshman mistakes hampered him, throwing two picks, including one when the team was driving towards the end of the first half. But, overall, Morehead made the right reads and got the ball in into the right hands.

Morehead notched another 300-yard game, finishing with 330 on 29-48 and accounting for all three Boston College touchdowns.

Getting the passing game going was huge, as was a gritty effort by the defense on a day which began as anything such.

Defense on the fly for Boston College Eagles

BC Eagles
Boston College Eagles Defense. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports /

Two drives to open the game for NC State accounted for 14 points and 156 yards and things certainly looked bleak. Everything was clicking for the Wolfpack and the Eagles were giving up big play after big play.

Then, Boston College’s defense settled in, allowing only six points and 179 yards the rest of the way. A huge momentum turner in the second quarter was a fourth-and-goal stop by Neto Okpala and Vinny DePalma.

Okpala’s tackle-for-loss was one of 11 Boston College and he also had a fumble recovery. The Eagles had two sacks and also forced four turnovers.

At the center of so much of that was Marcus Valdez, who was a joy to watch all game.

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Valdez was especially dominant in the fourth quarter, where he secured both of Boston College’s sacks, forcing a fumble on the first one. He also ended the game with a fumble recovery, after a series of laterals from NC State.

Valdez finished with six tackles, three going for a loss.

Huge contributions were made by Cole Batson, who led the team with nine tackles. Batson did have a costly — if not iffy — penalty after it appeared the Eagles stopped the Wolfpack on 3rd-and-22. Elijah Jones ended that drive, however, with an interception.

Jones had an up-and-down game, finishing with four tackles. But there were also pass interference and holding penalties, some questionable calls, that helped keep drives alive.

It was a sloppy game in the penalty department for Boston College, collecting 12.

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Win number three was a big one for Boston College, overcoming a lot to secure the big road-victory. Doesn’t mean anything in regards to postseason play but for this young and oft-injured team, it’s nice to get a victory over a ranked team. They really built off that momentum from the fourth quarter in last week’s loss and will hopefully keep that going in the season’s final two games.