Sports, Football, Top Story, Fall

BC Finishes Regular Season With 45–20 Blowout Loss to Miami

The Friday after Thanksgiving likely evokes past images of miracles for Boston College football. Nov. 23, 1984 is a date most Eagles fans will never forget. 

Thirty-nine years before BC’s contest with the Hurricanes on Friday, former BC quarterback Doug Flutie led the Eagles to defeat defending national champion then–No. 12 Miami with a Hail Mary. Flutie’s throw is still considered the best play in BC football history, and a bronze statue of the pass, similar to the one of St. Ignatius outside McGuinn Hall, is positioned right outside Alumni Stadium’s entrance.

But 39 years after Flutie’s heroics, BC fans will likely want to forget what happened on the Friday after Thanksgiving in 2023 against the same exact team. They’ll probably want to forget it fast.

The Eagles lacked in all facets of their final game of the regular season, losing the total yards battle, the time-of-possession battle, and the turnover battle. No miracle surfaced against the Hurricanes (7–5, 3–5 Atlantic Coast), as BC (6–6, 3–5) fell 45–20 for its third loss in a row.

“It was a pretty emotional locker room,” BC head coach Jeff Hafley said.

The Eagles pounded Miami’s conference-leading run defense on its first offensive drive of the game, as quarterback Thomas Castellanos picked up 25 rushing yards on five carries to enter a first-and-goal situation just four minutes in.

Prior to entering the red zone, Castellanos executed a veteran throw on a wheel route to Dino Tomlin.  

The 40-yard catch handed BC an opportunity to go up early in the game, and BC’s offense capitalized on Kye Robichaux’s 1-yard rushing touchdown. Robichaux went airborne on the carry, doing a midair somersault over the defensive line to pick up a 7–0 lead.

BC’s defense, meanwhile, couldn’t handle two long, third-down stops on Miami’s first drive.

“We did a really good job executing on the first drive,” Castellanos said. “And [then] we kind of just let it slip away.”

While Vinny DePalma stopped the Hurricanes on 3rd-and-7, an unnecessary roughness penalty on Sione Hala gave Miami a first down and 15 yards. Then, on 3rd-and-16, Miami wideout Colbie Young did his best audition for the NFL with a slick toe-tap snag to give the Hurricanes a tight fourth down, which their offense converted. 

The Eagles dragged Mark Fletcher Jr. down to his knees on first-and-goal, but Fletcher had no trouble bullying his way through a brick wall on second down to tie the game at seven apiece. 

A Lewis Bond fumble nearly turned into a disaster for the Eagles, but Alex Broome shoved off a defender and recovered the football, allowing BC to punt. Just after the second quarter started, however, Miami got on the board again. 

The Hurricanes boasted a rush attack of three running backs, and Henry Parrish Jr. got the house call. Parrish trotted into the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown to cap off Miami’s second offensive drive with a 14–7 lead. 

“Lots of ups and downs,” defensive lineman Neto Okpala said. “A lot of mistakes that we made, we can definitely fix them. We’ve just got to look deep in ourselves and work on ourselves.”

After three straight three-and-outs, go-to wideout Xavier Restrepo broke the second-quarter offensive stalemate with a contested, 24-yard catch on 4th-and-8 from BC’s 34-yard line. BC’s secondary had Restrepo covered on both sides, but failed to make an effort on the ball.

Facing man-to-man coverage, Young then used his size on a slant route to cap off a 10-play, 69-yard scoring drive which added to Miami’s lead to make it 21–7 with four minutes left in the first half.

Just under the 30-second mark of the half, Parrish registered his second rushing touchdown of the game from two yards out after a dart to Jacolby George gave the Hurricanes short, red-zone positioning to give Miami a 28–7 advantage. 

“Those three-and-outs were critical,” Hafley said. “They kind of took us out of our game. The defense was on the field for a pretty good stretch there in the second quarter. The game got the way it was. We haven’t been built very well to come back like that, but we need to be.”

While Miami received the kickoff to start the second half, an early Tyler Van Dyke fumble reversed drives right away. 

After picking up a 4th-and-3 with the help of offensive lineman Christian Mahogany, Castellanos took it himself for 21 yards up the middle. Castellanos’ 11th rushing touchdown of the season secured BC’s second touchdown of the game to slice Miami’s lead in half at 28–14. With the score, Castellanos tied Tyler Murphy for most rushing touchdowns in a season by a BC quarterback.

“I appreciate the fight in the team,” Hafley said. “That one could have opened up really quick, and they came back.”

The Eagles put themselves into closer reach with the points, but a George touchdown reception and an Ahmad Moten interception flattened BC’s comeback momentum with 11 minutes left to play. The interception marked Castellanos’ 12th pick of the season.

A dexterous, turn-around grab for freshman wideout Jaedn Skeete led to a 2-yard Bond touchdown with 5:50 remaining. But the Hurricanes prevailed with another rushing touchdown and interception, sealing their winning season with the road victory. 

“It gets us in a bowl game,” Hafley said of finishing the season with a .500 record. “We’re going to go get seven.”

November 24, 2023