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COLLEGE FOOTBALL / 1996

Boston College Runs of Out of Emotion

Nonconference: Eagles hang tough but eventually end up losing to Notre Dame, 48-21.

November 10, 1996|From Associated Press

Boston College tried to make the best of a bad situation. After a while, though, the Eagles could not solely play on emotion and were run over by No. 17 Notre Dame.

"I don't know if I've ever had a week where you put it all together--the opponent's pretty tough, the emotions ran the gamut," Boston College Coach Dan Henning said Saturday after the Irish beat his Eagles, 48-21, following a week-long gambling scandal that forced 13 player suspensions.

Asked if he was proud of the way his players responded, Henning added: "I wouldn't call 48-21 rising up."

For a few hours at sold-out Alumni Stadium, players and coaches tried to forget the continuing investigation and focus on their game with heavily favored Notre Dame (6-2). The crowd of 45,500 cheered as the Eagles (4-6) took a 10-7 lead and then pulled even at 21-21 early in the third quarter.

"We knew it was emotional," Boston College quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said. "There were tears in guys' eyes when we came out there. I know there were tears in my eyes."

Omari Walker's two touchdowns and spirited play led the offense and safety Daryl Porter charged up the defense with an interception and several big hits.

But the bigger and deeper Irish took over, rushing for 426 yards as five backs scored and the defense forced five turnovers.

"Their whole thing had to be, 'It doesn't matter what's happening, we're going to show the whole country we can beat Notre Dame,' " said Notre Dame quarterback Ron Powlus, who had one of three Irish fumbles and threw an interception. "We hoped our physical play could wear them out, and it did."

After Marc Edwards, Jamie Spencer and Autry Denson ran for first-half touchdowns as the Irish took a 21-10 lead, Robert Farmer got his chance and promptly ran 81 yards for a touchdown that broke the 21-21 tie with 6:20 left in the third quarter.

Just 2:15 later, he went 11 yards for another score. Nose guard Alton Maiden picked up fumble and ran 20 yards to make it 42-21 before Randy Kinder added a one-yard score with 5:52 left.

In a turbulent week filled with suspensions, suspicions and soul-searching, the Eagles were unable to overcome a team that piled on the fourth-highest rushing total in Coach Lou Holtz's 11 years at South Bend.

Denson led the way with 155 yards in 23 carries, while Farmer had 98 in just three attempts. Edwards had seven carries for 68 yards before leaving in the second quarter with torn knee ligaments. He'll be sidelined the rest of the season.

Trailing 21-10, the Eagles fought back to tie on John Matich's 41-yard field goal, a 16-yard touchdown run by Walker and a two-point conversion pass from Hasselbeck to Anthony DiCosmo.

Then came Farmer's first touchdown, which was Notre Dame's longest run since 1973.

Asked if he was relieved to win the game, Holtz said: "Can you imagine the head football coach at Notre Dame feeling relief? I never have."

The gambling scandal took its toll on the undermanned Eagles. Of the 13 suspended players, two were starters--tight end Scott Drago and linebacker Jermain Monk.

Cornerback Kiernan Speight, accused of gambling by his teammates but later exonerated, missed the game by his own choice.

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