Oct 27, 2001
By HOWARD ULMAN
AP Sports Writer
BOSTON – William Green scored on plays covering 71 and 70 yards and Boston College’s defense made the big plays at the end of a 21-17 victory over Notre Dame on Saturday night that seriously damaged the Fighting Irish’s bowl prospects.
The Eagles (6-2) clinched a winning season and became eligible for postseason play. The Irish (3-4) had a three-game winning streak ended despite quarterback Carlyle Holiday’s 109 yards rushing and first two collegiate scoring passes.
Green, who rushed for 195 yards on 28 carries, scored on a 71-yard run and a 70-yard pass play, but Notre Dame took a 17-14 lead on Nicholas Setta’s 42-yard field goal with 1:30 left in the third quarter.
The Eagles went ahead 21-17 on Brian St. Pierre’s second touchdown pass, a 20-yarder to Jamal Burke with 12:32 left in the game.
Then Notre Dame moved from its 37-yard line to a third-and-1 at the BC 16. Julius Jones was tackled for a 1-yard loss by Vinny Ciurciu and Doug Bessette knocked down Holiday’s fourth-down pass in the end zone with 3:04 to go.
BC had a chance to run out the clock, but Green fumbled and Notre Dame’s Tyreo Harrison recovered at his own 35 with 2:08 remaining.
On the next play Holiday was hurt on a 2-yard run and replaced by Matt LoVecchio, who was benched in favor of Holiday after Notre Dame lost its first two games.
LoVecchio got the Irish to a second-and-7 at the BC 20 then was tackled for no gain by Antonio Garay, threw an incompletion and was sacked by Sean Guthrie as BC got the ball back with 26 seconds left and ran out the clock
Notre Dame still can finish with a winning record but has a difficult remaining schedule against Tennessee, Navy, Stanford and Purdue.
The Eagles won despite Notre Dame’s 2-to-1 edge in time of possession, 40:15 to 19:45. Green, who accounted for 262 of BC’s 354 yards, didn’t need much time to score.
Three plays after Grant Irons’ interception gave the Irish the ball at the BC 24, Holiday threw a 21-yard scoring pass to Jones for the game’s first touchdown.
After the kickoff, the Eagles needed only three plays – all runs by Green – as they tied the score 7-7. He rushed for 8 yards on the first play and 1 on the second before bursting up the middle for the 71-yard touchdown. That gave him 1,062 yards rushing, making him the first BC player with two 1,000-yard seasons on the ground. He has 1,164 yards for the year.
Another Notre Dame interception, by Vontez Duff, started a 15-play, 74-yard drive capped by Holiday’s 5-yard scoring pass to John Owens nine seconds before halftime, making it 14-7.
The Eagles wasted little time scoring the tying touchdown with 3:25 left in the third quarter. Green and St. Pierre connected for a 70-yard touchdown play with the running back covering 45 yards after the catch.